Eagle Scout Builds Gazebo For Nursing Home Residents

Nicholas Dant didn't have much time. He was building a gazebo at a nursing home for his Eagle Scout project and had to complete it before his 18th birthday.

Dant, who graduated from high school in May, worked into the evening some nights at the nursing home. Thanks to good weather and lots of help, he completed the project Aug. 21 — two days before his birthday.

“If it hadn't been for my Scoutmaster's uncle . . . we wouldn't have made the deadline,” Dant said. Because residents in wheelchairs would use the gazebo, it needed a ramp, which was not in the plans. His uncle “figured that out,” Dant said.

The project began as an idea in June 2008 and construction started in July 2009.

“We bought the plans off the internet,” Dant said. “It was kind of like ‘building a gazebo for dummies.'”

The plans included instructions for the tools and materials needed, and Dant received a discounted price from 84 Lumber. Friends provided cash donations for the materials.

Dant, who is now a freshman at the University of Louisville majoring in psychology, explained that the rules for an Eagle Scout project require him to recruit and organize volunteers. “We're not supposed to do it all ourselves,” he said.

Other Scouts from Troop 67 and their parents helped. He said on the busiest days, there were 19 people at work on the project.

He estimates that the project took “over 200 man-hours.” For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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