Eagle Scout project keeps baseball players dry

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NORTH BEND - Little League baseball players at Torguson Park in North Bend will now be dry thanks to a another ball player who sat in the rain.

About two years ago, Alex Rendelman of North Bend was sitting on the bench in the rain and cold. For all the beautiful views of Mount Si and the impressive list of sponsors that lined the outfield fence, the dugouts lacked roofs. If someone did have the foresight to anticipate rain during a game, a tarp strung over the dugout was usually the best they could do.

"He came home and said someone should do something about it," said Alex's mother, Wendy Rendelman.

This memory came back to Alex, now 13, as he contemplated what project to do in order to earn his Eagle Scout badge. He decided on building roofs for the dugouts.

"I had a plan and went around giving volunteer speeches everywhere I could," Alex said. "Getting people to volunteer was hard."

His efforts were fruitful, though, and 70 people, including professional carpenters and fellow Little Leaguers, signed on to help. Although the project was aided by lunches, money and materials donated by local patrons, the logistics were left to Alex, who modeled the roofs after baseball dugouts in Issaquah.

He was in charge of two, 35-man crews during the construction, which was slated to be finished Sunday, June 16, and was responsible for all the planning, be it the design of the roofs or ensuring someone with a knowledge of first aid was present.

"Leading the project was fun because I just had to delegate the tasks," Alex said. "'You go here. You do this.'"

Wendy reminded Alex that the project was not just about ordering older people around, but the valuable lessons learned while trying to get his badge. It is only one of the many tasks Alex must complete before he is awarded his Eagle Badge, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve.

Alex, who has been in Boy Scout Troop 466 since the third grade, must also gain 21 merit badges, maintain a leadership position for six months and serve as an example of the Boy Scouts' principles. The last challenge is an appearance before a board of Scout leaders, where Alex said he will be drilled with questions all day.

"I only plan on doing that once," he said.

Alex does remain thankful for the project and the badge it will bring. For him, it was a chance to learn the challenges of leadership and for everyone else, a chance to stay dry while playing baseball.

"It teaches you new things that you didn't know before," he said. "You get to do a lot of stuff in the community."

Alex will find out next month if he made Eagle Scout.

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