A call came in last spring from a young man asking if he could build something for Timothy Christian School for his Eagle Scout project. The young man was Colin Campos.
Colin, a part of the Boy Scout Troop #125 Ragamuffin Patrol of South Plainfield began looking for an Eagle Scout project during 2020. He spoke with Debra Hopkins, the committee chairman for the boy scouts. As a member of Grace Alliance Church which meets on Timothy Christian School’s campus, Debra was familiar with Timothy and suggested that Colin meet with the TCS administration.
Colin met with head of school, Dr. Smock, and elementary principal, Kristi McInerney, and explained his desire to have his Eagle Scout project be something that could help the school. After Dr. Smock suggested a few ideas for the project, Colin decided upon creating an outdoor classroom for us.
All agreed that the “classroom” would be built outside between buildings two and three for all elementary classes to use.
“Originally, I was planning to use actual desks, but then while researching ideas online, I saw desks put together from logs and decided that’s what I would do!” Colin said.
Most of the material used for the project is reclaimed or repurposed wood. Instead of chairs, students sit on ‘stools’ that resemble a tree stump. The desks are made of logs and wood. Recycled pallets and 4×4 plywood from Lowes were used to create the wooden platform, ‘stage,’ for the teacher.
Colin’s dad and scout master, Paul, supervised the project and was instrumental in making it happen. Paul and Colin chopped down a cherry tree in their own backyard which they then used to make some of the desks and stools for the outdoor classroom. A FB post for free wood resulted in more donated material for the outdoor classroom. Cedar Hill Landscaping donated the mulch. The total cost for the project, including donated materials, was $1,901.51
On April 14, Dr. Smock and Mrs. McInerney took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially “open the classroom” to students! As Colin cut the ribbon, the third grade students cheered with excitement and then “ran into the classroom” and sat on the wooden stools at their wooden desks to celebrate with ice pops!
All elementary classes have now had turns using the outdoor classroom and will continue to use it more as the warmer weather arrives. They have already used it for Bible class, snack time, and most recently to pray during the National Day of Prayer. The excitement has spread and now our middle schoolers are requesting to have a class there as well!
Now a senior at South Plainfield high school, Colin plans to enlist in the army and then later pursue an education in criminal justice.
We are truly grateful to Colin and Paul for this gift that will be used by students and staff for many years to come!