Eagle Scout project improves ball field

July 13, 2010

By Kirsten Johnson

At 8:20 a.m. on a typical Saturday, many teenagers are sleeping.

Not 17-year-old Daniel Olleman, of Bellevue. At that early hour June 19, the Interlake High School junior was hard at work refurbishing the Lake Sammamish State Park’s baseball field for his Eagle Scout project.

Olleman constructed and organized the project himself. Starting three months prior, he made detailed arrangements with the state park manager, arranged for supplies to be donated by Cadman and Home Depot, and distributed flyers to gather volunteers.

Chris Meyer, Daniel’s scoutmaster, said he believes leadership is an essential quality for scouts to possess when they plan their Eagle Scout Projects.

“These are very big projects and it’s very tough to get your initial idea approved,” Meyer said. “You also have to plan it, organize it, gather volunteers and find materials. The whole thing is about effective leadership.”

Renovations for Olleman’s project included pulling weeds and spreading new gravel in the dugout, replacing bench tops, planting new grass in the outfield, leveling out the infield, sanding the bleachers and replacing an old sign.While his flyers asked for help from 35-40 volunteers, the generosity of those in his Scout Troop 438 and members of his youth group at Aldersgate United Methodist Church produced 56 volunteers for the day.

Fellow scout Cory Jainga said he came to help with the project because he knows Olleman would do the same for him.

“Daniel is just a good person,” Jainga said.

After three years of working toward his Eagle Scout and six years of camp outs, fundraisers and weekly meetings with the Boy Scouts, Olleman will finally earn the award at a Court of Honor later this summer.

That will happen just before he enters his senior year at Interlake High School. He hopes to go on and attend Western Washington University and study computer programming and business.

With a bright future ahead, no one could be more excited for him than his parents, Colleen and Mark Olleman.

“I’m so hugely proud of him,” his mother said. “He’s done so much for a 17-year-old kid.”

“He is doing this as a service for others, which is a wonderful thing,” his father said. “But it is also a testament to how great Troop 438 is. Being a Boy Scout has taught Daniel leadership, service and values.”

Olleman holds a very humble attitude toward his accomplishment.

“Being an Eagle Scout might look good, but I’m not doing it to look better,” he said. “I like to think that I’m doing it to be a better person.”

Kirsten Johnson: 392-6434 or isspress@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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