The idea behind Dominic Nero’s Eagle Scout project was to help out his church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa.
Nero, of Marseilles, asked the youth minister if the church had any needs and bookcases were suggested.
The church could always use more bookcases.
The Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, as it is officially known, entails demonstrating leadership while performing a project for community benefit.
Nero undertook the project for his church, but design and construction wasn’t something he could take on his own.
A total of 22 people helped him. Family, friends, neighbors, fellow Scouts and Scout leaders all sacrificed time around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to help Nero with his project.
“Doing this project showed me the bonds I truly made throughout scouting (and) the sacrifices they made to be able to be there with me,” Nero said.
Four rolling, double-sided bookshelves were made from scratch, involving design, woodworking, fundraising, painting and problem solving — totaling 275 1/2 hours.
“Making bookshelves and using carpentry was something I’d never done before, so that was cool,” Nero said. “It was cool for me to learn and then teach other people how to do it as well.”
He said he could see himself doing more woodworking projects in the future.
He also was thankful to give back to the church, which he said has done a lot for him, noting he’s gone on mission trips with the church.
The project helped Nero earn his Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program, and he also serves as the troop instructor and Order of the Arrow Troop Representative in Troop 0745, sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa.
Nero, 15, is a freshman at Ottawa High School, where he is on the cross country team and also works at Culver’s.
Moving forward in high school, he’s not sure he’s going to have as much time to devote to Scouting, which he has been a part of his life since he was 11.
Still, he’s thankful for the great things the program has done for him and others.
“I’ve seen it turn some pretty big troublemakers, like myself, into good people.”