CLARKS SUMMIT — Books, movies and a bocce ball set now have something in common: Each can be checked out with a library card at the Abington Community Library.
The bocce ball set belongs with Alec D’Elia’s Eagle Scout project, a bocce ball court he constructed down the road at Hillside Park.
The 16-year-old Life Scout from Boy Scout Troop 160, Clarks Summit completed the project Nov. 1 after 275 hours of work and 50 tons of rock, with help from his fellow Scouts and donations from local businesses. Sponsors included Hilltop Quarry, Dalton; Mariotti Building Products, Old Forge; Florey Lumber, Clarks Summit and Grand Rental Station, Dickson City.
D’Elia is a student at Scranton Prep and son of John and Kate D’Elia, of Clarks Summit. His Eagle Scout project was inspired by his grandparents, Tony and Dolores D’Elia, of Pittston, who he said used to play the game a lot at their lake house. He also saw the bocce ball courts at McDade Park in Scranton and thought it would be a good addition to the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB) park.
He said one of the best things about working on the project was meeting new people.
“Every weekend, I’d see the same people walking by, and they would talk to me about it…a lot of new faces,” he said. “It was fun.”
And what did he learn through completing the project?
“Patience is the key,” he said.
First, he had to obtain the AAJRB’s approval. Then he ran the idea by his Boy Scouts council. The location of the court within the park was set and then changed. Then when the physical work was ready to start, the first step was to dig up the grass area and about four inches of topsoil. After that, a base was made from fist-sized stones, covered by smaller stones and pebbles.
“There was a lot of grading and excavation that had to be done in this area because it wasn’t completely flat,” D’Elia said.
All the stones, timber and other materials had to be hauled over from the parking lot to the area just in front of the start of the boardwalk trail, where the finished court now sits.
The project’s approval date was Aug. 17, and in all, the physical work took about a month.
But it was worth it to D’Elia, who hopes community members of all ages will enjoy playing the game together on the new court.