Jesse Osborn becomes Eagle Scout

Photo by Jeff Baughan Mary Ambrose, widow of William Ambrose, cuts the ribbon for the new handicap pathway at Lauckport United Methodist Church on Nov. 6.

PARKERSBURG — Within the ranks of the Boys Scouts of America, the rank of Eagle Scout is the highest. Part of the requirement is an approved service to the community project.

Lauckport United Methodist Church sponsors Troop 16.

Jim Osborn was the first Eagle Scout awarded in 1966 as he helped construct the Boy Scout building at the church. Osborn’s 18-year-old son, Jesse, received the 149th Eagle on Nov. 14.

Jesse’s project grew from replacing a concrete pad at the church leading to the basement entrance to the church and the drainage piping which traveled beneath it, to adding a walkway, a bench and pad, and plaque honoring William Ambrose, a late member of the church.

“Bill was a longtime member of the church,” said Jim, “as well as a Scout committee member. He was the one to suggest to Jesse it would be nice to have a handicapped ramp as part of his project. Bill passed before the project was completed.”

The project was presented to the church and a short ceremony followed with a ribbon-cutting Nov. 6. Ambrose’s wife, Mary, cut the ribbon to open the walkway.

The completion of the project is one which has been on again and off again. It just needed someone to finish it.

“It was a project which had been started before,” said the Parkersburg South senior, who has been with Scouting for six years. “But it always took too long or was too expensive to complete. I started and it just kept growing. About halfway through it, I decided to finish it.”

The Osborns raised approximately $5,000 in funds and supplies to do the project. Jesse said the commercial estimate for the project was approximately $12,000. He was joined by Troop 16 members, friends and church members at times for the project, which included new guttering and drainage pipe taking water runoff from the church’s roof and channeling it under the concrete pad at the entrance to the basement and over a small hill behind the church.

There was the handicap ramp to the basement where the troop meets and which the church uses, concrete pads were placed in front of the basement door and along the walkway which a bench rests upon, a retaining wall was built, landscaping was done, a sinkhole filled and patched with a concrete slab in the parking lot along with placing the plaque honoring Ambrose. The project required approximately 12 months from start to finish according to Jesse.

“We worked the smaller sections in the beginning but we had to do the drainage with the gutters and the piping first before we could do anything. The pad in front of the door was next and then the landscaping,” he said.

Work initially was done on the weekends according to Jesse but the work stepped up in the summer when he worked three to four days a week, eight hours a day.

“Early on when new things were added, it was no big deal,” he said. “I had no idea how much work it would come to. It took practically the entire summer.”

Among the things Jesse had to do was preparing the church grounds for the concrete walkway, building and placing the forms for the walkway and then leveling the pour.

Part of the requirement for the project was for Jesse to be in charge of the worksite. It was quite a learning experience he said.

“I learned a lot of leadership and communication skills besides just learning how to do things with my hands.”