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Eagle Scout project involves prayer walk at CCHS

PROJECT COMPLETED — As an Eagle Scout project, Jack Blake, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 3 in Steubenville and a student at Catholic Central High School, created, constructed and installed a Stations of the Cross prayer walk outside the school. The project also included developing a sitting space under the side tree with a handmade wooden bench. Each station was donated and dedicated to a loved one. -- Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — A Catholic Central High School sophomore has completed his Eagle Scout project by creating, constructing and installing a Stations of the Cross prayer walk outside the school.

Jack Blake, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 3 in Steubenville, completed his service project during the summer, an undertaking that also included developing a sitting space under the side tree with a handmade wooden bench. Each artfully designed station was donated and dedicated to a loved one.

The son of Jeff and Julie Blake of Wintersville, Blake installed an outdoor Stations of the Cross prayer walk that spans the side wall of the building from the front to the back. It is made up of 14 posts that have shrines attached to the top of each post. The Stations of the Cross consist of 14 images of Jesus’ last hours on Earth, leading up to his death on the cross. He noted it is a very special place for Catholics to pray, reminding them of Jesus’ sacrifice for all humankind and allowing them to identify with Jesus throughout the 14 stations. There also a meditation bench that sits under the shade of a tall pine tree.

The purpose of the Eagle Scout project is to give the Scout an opportunity to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project that benefits an organization in the community. Blake worked with Tom Costello, CCHS principal, to plan where the stations would be placed. Blake wanted his Eagle Scout project to be one that would leave a legacy and be around for many years to come. The school’s small chapel can only fit about 20 people, and the Stations of the Cross path would allow for a place to pray that would accommodate more people and get the students outdoors.

Supplies were donated or discounted from four local businesses, and the remainder of the project was funded by a “dress-down day” fundraiser held at CCHS and by sponsorships for each individual station. Nelson’s Fine Art and Gifts, Weirton Lumber, DiGregory’s Greenhouse and Lowe’s Home Improvement made contributions.

Each station has a plaque that lists its donor, and some are in memory of loved ones. The response for sponsors was humbling, according to Blake, who in less than three days had all the stations sponsored as part of a project that touched many people’s hearts. Blake and members of his Boy Scout troop installed the stations and landscaped around each one.

The Scouts removed grass, cleaned up trash, dug post holes, cut 4 X 4’s, attached the station shrines, laid landscaping fabric, spread mulch, added pathway landscaping lights and placed the stone meditation bench. The project involved more than 235 hours, four onsite work days and many days of planning.

Blake passed his final Board of Review in July at Fort Steuben Scout Reservation, earning the honor of Eagle Scout. His accomplishments will be celebrated at a Court of Honor at the end of September.

Blake plays in the marching, concert and steel drum bands at Central and is a member of the CCHS and Fellowship of the Pawns chess clubs. He also is a swimmer on the CCHS swim team and participates in the school musicals. He is a parishioner at Holy Family Church.

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