Frenchtown resident Rory Callahan, 17, of Alexandria Boy Scout Troop 112 recently completed an ambitious Eagle Scout project with the help of many volunteers and donors, creating a sand volleyball court at Alexandria Township Park that meets national regulations for the sport.
"I thought a volleyball court would be an ambitious project and I wanted to leave a permanent reminder at the park of something a community can build if they come together," said Callahan, a senior at Delaware Valley Regional High School. "Also, I wanted to take on a project that would inspire Scouts in the future and give them a sense that the sky is the limit with what their project can be."
The 50-foot by 80-foot court was 18 months in the making and includes 200 tons of sand. The court is intended for both recreation and formal competition as the playing surface and net height meet national specifications.
"The sand volleyball court was the next step in the park's development process," said Callahan, who hopes to study business at Pennsylvania State University next Fall. "Other scouts have looked into the project before me, and the park has expressed interest in building one, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make an addition to the park. When talking to classmates and teachers and adults about my project, they all seemed to express genuine interest so I believe it will be a popular community addition."
Callahan raised nearly $7,100 for the project through corporate and individual donations, but was able to keep expenses under $6,500. The Scout estimates that he was able to save close to $5,000 by obtaining generous material donations from local companies, including Baer Aggregates, Kollmer Equipment, Opdyke Lumber, Sawyers Controls and Hoffman Excavation, as well as the Alexandria Township Road Department. The balance of the funds raised has been donated to the Alexandria Township Park and Recreation Commission.
"The park commission had committed a $1,250 donation to the project so the excess funds allowed them to reduce that commitment," said Callahan. "I want to thank all the individual and corporate donors who supported the project as well as the many Scouts, friends and neighbors who generously provided their time to build the volleyball court, which required nearly 270 hours of work time."
Rory Callahan of Alexandria Boy Scout Troop 112 (left) looks on as Mark Yaros of the Alexandria Township Park and Recreation Commission signs-off on the completion of Callahan's Eagle Scout project, the park's first sand volleyball court.