Boy Scout devotes Eagle project to bocce ball at GreenFields
Residents of GreenFields of Geneva senior living community have an Eagle Scout to thank for the addition of bocce ball to their Silver Games competition, pitting resident against resident, in September.
Daniel Zawadzki wanted his Eagle project to benefit seniors in some way and discovered that GreenFields residents were "serious about bocce ball." Thus, a year-in-the-making bocce ball court was born.
"I went to my Scout master for ideas of something to do for senior citizens, and this was one of the first that came up. He told me that GreenFields residents really wanted a bocce ball court," said Zawadzki, a member of Oswego Boy Scout Troop 31, who then proposed the idea to staff at GreenFields. Complete with removable PVC pipes and ribbons designating foul lines, the 18-year-old's indoor/outdoor bocce ball court is 40 by 12 feet (about half the size of a regulation court) and wheelchair accessible.
"My project took months and months of planning and a lot of paperwork, but it was very exciting to see it actually come together. Seeing the residents enjoy it made all that hard work pay off," said the high school senior who just recently had his Eagle Scout board of review and will soon be inducted into the prestigious Eagle Court of Honor, achieving the Boy Scouts of America's highest rank.
In addition to planning and building the court for the hard, brightly colored bocce balls, Zawadzki engaged in considerable solicitation of funds and supplies. Through letters, email and social media, he contacted local businesses, which supplied such materials as pipes, tape, ribbons, door stops and wedges. Other companies and individuals made monetary donations to see his project to fruition.
When the day finally came to get the court out of his backyard, Zawadzki labeled it with instructions, attached the ribbons, cleaned the pipes and drove it over to GreenFields. He and some friends (who'd also helped him build the court) assembled it and tested it out by playing a few games with some of the residents.
"We lost all the games," said Zawadzki, "but that's OK, because it was really cool to see how grateful the residents were and how excited they were about having a bocce ball court."
"Friendship Hall was packed with participants and spectators at the bocce ball tournament during our Silver Games. It was great to see the impact that Daniel had on our community through this project," said Jim Holbrook, GreenFields executive director.
A devout Christian who might like to go into ministry someday, Zawadzki said he'd also like to work with seniors.
"I have always looked up to my elders. They have more experience in life and such interesting stories. They have taught me a lot of life lessons," said the young man with a great-grandparent still living and whose project at GreenFields afforded him some meaningful contact with residents there.
With plans to attend junior college or perhaps join the Army and attend college on a G.I. bill, Zawadzki is pursuing his hobbies of playing rock music on the drums, riding his bike, hiking, camping and musical theater, where he is currently performing in Spotlight Youth Theater's production of "Mary Poppins."
As for becoming an Eagle Scout, Zawadzki is aware of the opportunities the accomplishment stands to bring him in life. "Plus, my dad has always been good at sports, and this gives me a way to one-up him," he quipped.
GreenFields of Geneva
GreenFields is an exceptional Life Care community offering a wonderful retirement lifestyle in an ideal location. GreenFields offers independent living, assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing with the most comprehensive plan available for long-term care if ever needed. For additional information, visit www.GreenFieldsOfGeneva.org.