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Friday, July 19, 2019

Community Engagement: Eagle Scout Builds GaGa Ball Pit at Highland Park


By Jessie Eden 

A local Eagle Scout dedicated his time to add something fun and unique to Highland Park recently...and you may not have heard of it but it’s very fun!

Gaga Ball https://youtu.be/LViZPfEEQiE  is a high energy form of dodge ball in a pit atmosphere. It requires participants to keep moving to avoid getting hit with a soft, foam ball. This activity is popular at summer camps throughout the U.S.

Roofing, siding, gutters, painting. 

Local Eagle Scout Lance Borden, fell in love with the game.

“I was introduced to the game of GaGa Ball when I went to Boy Scout summer camp for the first time at age 10,” said Borden. “I enjoyed the game so much, I decided to make it my project by bringing it to one of our local parks here in Fort Thomas.”


Borden with Mayor Eric Haas. 

Tackling the project was no easy feat though. First, Borden had to meet with city officials for approval. City Administrator Ron Dill explained the process and why the city felt the GaGa ball pit it was a good fit.

“Typically when we work with Eagle Scout projects, a member of our staff (usually me or Kevin Barbian) schedules a time to meet with the scout candidate (sometimes a parent or their scout leader attends) and review what type of project they are interested in pursuing,” said Dill.

“In the case of the gaga pit, Lance met with Kevin and had already developed his concept. He knew he wanted to build the gaga pit and was requesting to locate it somewhere in Highland Park. The details in this instance came together easily and he was in the "build" phase pretty quickly. The city was aware of the concept and the growing interest and had considered placement of a gaga pit so the request was an easy match.”

After the project was approved by the city, Borden then tackled the prep work and the process of organizing scout volunteers to assist him.

“Getting things ready, by going to suppliers to get donated materials, pitching my idea to the City Council as well as working with Parks and Recreation to choose the location and prepare the ground for the built was a lot of work!” said Borden.

“Still, I would say the biggest challenge was leading others throughout the day during the build of the pit. It was important to me to make sure that everyone was doing something to help get the project completed. I wanted all of the volunteers to feel needed and valued. I didn't realize how much work it was going to be to coordinate the various tasks and lead a large group of adults and youth.”





Once the location was chosen at Highland Park, Borden and his team set to work and before they knew it, the pit was complete. “I felt very proud of what I had accomplished and so grateful to all the people who helped along the way to make it possible. I have completed the hardest part of achieving the Eagle Scout award, and once I finish a few other things I will officially become an Eagle Scout,” said Borden. “I would love to thank my donors Hellmann Lumber, Ace Hardware, Lowes, and Pilot Lumber for donating the materials I needed. I would also like to thank Troop 70 for the volunteer time and help they gave to me.”

Great projects like this have been a large part of the Fort Thomas community for a long time. Over the years, the Eagle Scouts have contributed many projects to Fort Thomas. “We are always excited to work with the Eagle Scout projects because they result in gaining an asset into the community and helping younger citizens understand and appreciate the value to contributing to their community,” said Mayor Eric Haas.

“Many of their projects have been contributing to our community for many years and are particularly evident throughout our parks.  Projects have included kiosks, signs/landscaping, birdfeeders, benches, ballfield dugouts, trail improvements, foot bridges, and even the picnic shelter at Riggs Memorial Park.”


These types of projects have a major impact on the community and the city is grateful for the steady partnerships and projects with the scouts and the public.“The city is so fortunate to have an active and engaged public. We benefit so much from groups like the scouts, community organizations and individuals who offer countless volunteer hours,” said Mayor Haas.

“In some instances, the city is limited in resources, most particularly the countless hours necessary to maintain all of these spaces and amenities that we all enjoy. These volunteers are essential to creating and maintaining the great trail systems, native gardens, landscaping/beatification and many other amenities that we may not otherwise be able to offer the community. Our partnerships with these groups and individuals is awesome to witness!”

Do you have a project that you think would improve Fort Thomas? Get in touch with the city and start a conversation about it.

Call Newport Pavilion OTR for a free workout. Mention FTM. 
“The city embraces the involvement of residents and community groups to volunteer. We have had great success with groups that have tremendous amounts of volunteer hours creating and maintaining our trail systems, placing and improving landscaping and assisting with other projects in our parks,” said Dill.

“We typically request that they contact city staff to arrange for approval of their project/participation and plan for details to gain city support to complete projects.”

1 comment:

  1. Great job Lance! Good to see Troop 70 is as active as ever.

    ReplyDelete