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Boy Scout finishes playground project

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Boy Scout finishes playground project

About 25 kids christened the new playground at Sequoia Heights Baptist Church on Sunday. The playground was installed by Camron Moebius, who took the task on as his Eagle Scout Project.

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POSTED April 16, 2014 12:37 a.m.

Camron Moebius isn’t an Eagle Scout just yet. It’s a process, he says, complete with a mountain of paperwork and merit badge requirements.

But the hard part is behind him. 

The summit is in sight.

Moebius officially unveiled his Eagle Scout Project on Sunday morning, cutting the ribbon on a new playground for the children and guests of Sequoia Heights Baptist Church.

Senior Pastor Mark Mahaffie presided over the event, blessing the new equipment as the post-mass crowd swelled and gathered around the temporary fencing. As the ribbon dropped and the fencing was pulled away, about 25 kids stormed the playground near the corner of Union Road and Wawona Street.

“It’s going to be a great gathering spot for parents with kids,” Mahaffie said. “We’ve always had a playground, but it’s been a one- or two-type of thing they could play on. This is a playground the city would put in.”

Moebius worked the perimeter, chatting with his tiny guests as they kicked up bark and tested every amenity. The new play unit features three slides, climbing apparatuses of varying degrees of difficulty, platforms and pull-up bars, a tunnel and a zip bar. The area has been outfitted with new play bark and a bench. 

The playground is now a safe source of adventure and imagination; no longer a splintering and wobbly hazard.

“It felt amazing – like I had made a difference in some kid’s life,” said Moebius, a soon-to-be 16-year-old sophomore at Lathrop High. “I know they’re really excited about it.” In some ways, “I changed the image of the church, so it felt good to make a difference.”

It didn’t come easy.

The project took 17 months to complete.

It began with a set of two- and three-dimensional drawings in December 2012 – and an out from the Boy Scout district representative who signed off on Moebius’ proposal. At the time, the representative thought Moebius had bitten off far more than he could chew.

Moebius’ initial plan was to purchase a brand new play unit from California Playgrounds in Walnut Creek at an estimated cost of $30,000. It was his intent to fund-raise the money, utilizing public events like the Crossroads Street Faire and Pumpkin Fair.

“He told us then, ‘I don’t know about this. It’s a little too big Maybe you should scale it down or pick one portion of that project,’” Camron’s father, K.C. Moebius, said of the early discussions with the district rep. “Camron said, ‘No, I want to do this.’”

His determination was rewarded.

Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars for a new unit, Camron connected with a church in the Bay Area looking to sell its unit for a fraction of the cost. The playground cost about $2,000.

With the help of volunteers and additional donations, Camron moved the unit in a U-Haul truck and anchored it into place. The final pieces – yards upon yards of play bark – were put into place last week, thanks in large part to a coin drive hosted by the church. 

K.C. Moebius, a chairman with Manteca Scout Troop 423, saw significant growth from his son during this process. 

“Camron has been one of those kids that if it gets tough, he sometimes would say ‘Oh, never mind.’ As discouraging as this was, as difficult as it was, he never gave up,” the older Moebius said. “I’m so proud of him.”

Quitting was never an option.

Not for Camron.

“I made a promise,” he said. “I had to keep it.”

Camron says he’s still has to earn three merit badges and complete the necessary paperwork before he can be advanced to Eagle Scout, but his pursuit has new life now that the playground project is behind him.

“It was a great leadership experience, definitely,” he said. “I found out that I can be a great leader – and my knees are stronger than I thought, too. The planning and finding ways to get people involved, materials and stuff like that, it takes a lot. But once you get it all done, it just feels nice.”

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