MINT HILL – What started off as a plan to construct a small fire pit for VFW Post 4059 in Mint Hill snowballed into something so much more for Eagle Scout Jonathan Goforth.
The 16-year-old from Stallings, who attends Hickory Grove Christian School and is a member of Boy Scout Troop 65, not only built the fire pit, but also a 484-square-foot patio and three leaning walls. The additions make his Eagle Scout project the largest in Mecklenburg County and the North Carolina Boy Scouts of America.
“I really wanted to give back to the veterans that fought for and died for the country and are still fighting today, so I asked the VFW in Mint Hill what I could do,” Goforth said. “The commander said they needed a fire pit, but I decided to do more as just a testament of just my thankfulness of what they’ve done for the country. It started off as just a 3-foot diameter fire pit with some benches around it and turned into a 22 foot by 22 foot patio.”
It took Goforth two years to complete the project, but he didn’t work alone. Goforth said he received a lot of help from his scoutmaster, who owns a landscaping business Creative NatureScapes. He walked Goforth through what supplies he needed and helped him secure approximately $8,000 in
donated materials from Pavestone Charlotte and Creative NatureScapes.
The labor began this past spring and took Goforth about three months with help from his troop, as well as members of his football team. His scoutmaster also brought in heavy construction equipment to move dirt for the patio.
But the physical labor wasn’t even the hardest part. Goforth admitted that planning the project was more difficult than actually executing it due to setbacks with donations, timing of deliveries and just the overall size and scope of what he decided to build.
“That was the most overwhelming part because I was like, ‘How am I going to get these materials?’” he said. “But in the end, it all came together.”
On Nov. 12, VFW Post 4059 dedicated and named the project after Goforth. There was also a flag retirement ceremony and Goforth received the VFW’s annual Commander’s Award, which he was not expecting.
Goforth said he learned a lot over the two years it took to complete his project, but most importantly how to adapt to change, stay determined and persevere.
“More times than not, you use Plan Z more than you use Plan A,” Goforth said.
He plans to apply for National Eagle Scout Project of the Year.