Special to The News and Sentinel
MARIETTA - Since the time he was about 5 years old, Marietta High School senior Matthew Roberts has played soccer at the Marietta Soccer Complex in Devola.
Roberts, now 18, has also been a Boy Scout since the age of 5, going on skiing and camping trips, and visiting places like the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Matthew Roberts builds a shelter as part of his Eagle Scout project.
"My dad pushed me to do it and I'm glad he did it - it's been a really good experience," Roberts said. "A lot of my close friends are from Boy Scouts."
Recently, combining his interests in soccer and Boy Scouts, Roberts constructed a shelter at the Marietta Soccer Complex on River Road for his Eagle Scout project. His father, Jim, and other Scouts from Troop 231 lent a helping hand.
"It's the only shelter protecting people from rain and lightning," Roberts said.
Scoutmaster Steve Temesvary said the project was definitely a group effort and even he helped out with constructing the shelter.
"Probably every weekend we had anywhere from six to 10 boys and probably four or five dads," he said.
"That's what you hope for Eagle projects - you hope for it to be a group effort."
Planning the shelter took much longer than actually building it, as the Scouts had to learn about building codes, inspections, acquiring plans and building in a flood plain.
They also had to solicit donations for the project.
"This started in eighth grade and every year, we progressed with it a little bit and got the plans and permits," Roberts said.
He said the Scouts were able to raise more than $1,000 through community donations, much of which came from parents of players in the Marietta Soccer League, which uses the soccer complex.
"The parents liked it - they said it was a good thing what I was doing," he said.
Roberts said the actual construction began last year, and finally, about a month ago, the 20-feet by 32-feet shelter with a tin roof was completed.
"I had done a little bit of landscaping...but this is the biggest project I've done so far," Roberts said. "It was fun - it took a lot of commitment."
Jim Roberts said he believes the shelter his son helped create will greatly benefit those who use the field.
"We feel that completing this project exemplifies what Scouting is all about," he said. "He presented the project idea to the soccer league board - the soccer league did not go to him asking for a shelter."