Campbell Allen is a junior at Big Walnut High School, but his roots go all the way back to Hylen Souders Elementary School when it was a grade K-5 building.
Allen returned to his roots when he was searching for an Eagle Scout project.
Allen, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 192 out of Central College Presbyterian Church, asked Souders physical education teacher Scottie Hefner if he had any ideas for an Eagle Scout project.
“I was looking for an Eagle Scout project to do and Mr. Hefner suggested I paint the playground,” Allen said. “Last year it was resurfaced and then it was just plain blacktop. I remember going to school here and the painted games on the blacktop was a big part of stuff that we did.”
Allen and Hefner put their heads together, decided on games and court markings, and Allen went to work designing two basketball courts, and lines for tetherball, kickball and hopscotch. Allen added a beanbag dart game to the design, and a Big Walnut Eagle at the center of the blacktop area.
Allen didn’t just grab a bucket of paint and go to work. Part of completing an Eagle Scout project is raising funds, scheduling people to help with the project and, for this project, masking off areas to be painted.
“I had to go to the Souders PTO and present my project to them for funding; then they had to make a decision,” Allen said. “I budgeted $400 and they put in $250.”
Allen said the project took five days to complete, but the planning began in May. He said there were 40 hours of planning and meetings; and with the help of five other Boy Scouts, about 80 man-hours to paint.
Hefner said that before Allen completed the project, the playground was one big, blank asphalt space.
“These games painted on the blacktop gives students the opportunity to play games with each other, thanks to Campbell,” Hefner said. “He did a really nice job — measured it, masked it and painted it.”
Hylen Souders Principal AJ Hoffman said the finished product looks great, and it’s being used by students.
“When I went out there today, kids were sitting on the eagle,” Hoffman said. “Something like this leaves a lasting impression. It focuses on the community and how a former student can have a lasting impact on a school. I thank him for all the effort that he put into it.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093