Johnstown resident Nathan Kleshinski, 18, needed to put together the ideal project to attain his Eagle Scout rank.

Johnstown resident Nathan Kleshinski, 18, needed to put together the ideal project to attain his Eagle Scout rank.

Kleshinski joined Boy Scouts at age 13 and rose through the ranks.

"I just really enjoyed the program," he said. "I met some good friends there. I enjoyed going out on the camp-outs and all these different events, and I was like, 'I'm going to work my way up and become an Eagle Scout.'"

One of the requirements is to plan, develop and lead a service project helpful to a community, school or religious institution.
In November 2011, Kleshinski asked village manager Jim Lenner what he could do around Johnstown that would have an immediate impact on the community.

Lenner suggested that he fix up Rolling Meadows Park.

"The park was a mess when I first looked at it," Kleshinski said. "I mean, everything was rusted; a lot of the wood was broken or needed replaced. The picnic tables were just in really bad shape, so we went and looked at it and decided (to do the project)."

Kleshinski gathered his fellow Troop 4051 Scouts from Granville and went to work.

"The hardest part of this project was probably going around and getting donations from people," Kleshinski said. "In March, I went out and got different donations from different companies for wood and other supplies, like paint, food and paintbrushes, all sorts of extra equipment like that."

Kleshinski said the entire project had to be implemented through donations only. He said family members and community members could help, but he wasn't allowed to use any of his own money.

"I figured, since this is a community project, I would go around Johnstown and ask for donations," he said.

On April 6 and 13, the troop members did the manual labor.

"We replaced two different tables, and we painted all the equipment in the park and stained it and everything," Kleshinski said. "We built the picnic tables here at my house, and then we brought the picnic tables out to the park, and we secured them to the ground so no one could steal them."

In all, 13 Boy Scouts, ranging in age from 12 to 18, plus four adults helped with Kleshinski's Eagle Scout project at the park, and nearly a dozen businesses supplied products and food.

Johnstown employees were impressed when they saw the finished results.

"It's unbelievable the work that they did. They really did a phenomenal job," village administrative assistant Lisa Rawson said. "It's just the brush cleared out, all kinds of new wood; everything's painted nice."

Johnstown Mayor Sean Staneart agreed.

"We are really appreciative," he said.

Kleshinski said he merely wanted to leave his mark on Johnstown.

"I felt great doing it for the village. Just getting my Eagle Scout was a bonus from it," he said.

Kleshinski still is looking to collect $250 to help pay for supplies but said he would become an official Eagle Scout once his project is board-approved within the next few weeks.

He plans to give a presentation to village council about his project soon, he said.