The Rev. Ruth Morrison and Preston Stewart stand in the renovated Outdoor Chapel with (left to right) Scout Master AJ Di Ninno, Eagle Scout Peter Di Ninno, Tim Stewart (Preston’s father) and Scout Thomas Rodda.
Thank you, Preston and Troop 30
It didn’t go exactly to his meticulous plans, but Preston Stewart’s Eagle Scout Leadership Project is complete and now the church and Cape Elizabeth community will benefit from his diligence.
A renovation of the church’s Outdoor Chapel was Preston’s project. Over two weekends in September, the chapel went from a scene of disrepair and over-growth to one that is now welcoming to anyone who wants to worship in a serene setting or just to reflect among the natural sounds of Robinson Woods.
Preston goes over his plans with Troop 30 Scout Master AJ Di Ninno
The project, with the help of scouts and leaders from Cape Elizabeth’s Troop 30, included the spreading of mulch over new landscaping fabric, the reconstruction of benches — using stumps from a tree recently cut down at the back of the church parking lot — and the construction of a pulpit at the front of the chapel.
A bird bath sits at the rear of the Outdoor Chapel and a new pulpit at the front
“I picked the project because the church is a community, one I’m part of, one I’m familiar with,” Preston said. “I knew that the church’s congregation would be really excited about the outdoor sanctuary being renovated.”
The mulch for the Outdoor Chapel floor was donated by L P Murray and Sons and the landscaping fabric was donated by Lowe’s. The lumber for the benches and pulpit was sold to Preston by Rufus Deering Lumber at a discount rate.
Because of the shape and size of the landscaping fabric, Preston had to alter his original plan to make everything fit.
“We figured it would be easier to arrange the fabric in a rectangular shape rather than cutting it in an oval shape,” Preston said. “Once the rectangle was cut out, I decided to angle the benches on one side of the trail to give a better view of the podium. Although it didn’t match my original plan, I couldn’t be happier about the final product.”
One page of Preston’s detailed plans for the renovation of the Outdoor Chapel
The original Outdoor Chapel was constructed in 1994 as John Hoskins’ Eagle Scout project and then renovated for a first time in 2005 for an Eagle Scout project by Matt Braun.
The Outdoor Chapel will be used for a first time during the Oct. 2 Animal Blessing by the Rev. Ruth Morrison. It will be used again on Oct. 15 for the outdoor wedding of Nancy Ricker’s granddaughter.
The Outdoor Chapel is essentially complete, but another coat of sealer will be brushed on the benches after the Animal Blessing and wedding.
Thank you to all the church members who contributed sandwiches, chips and drinks for lunches for Preston and his fellow scouts and Troop 30 leaders over the two weekends of renovating the Outdoor Chapel.
Scroll down to the Sept. 22 Facebook posting for more details on how Preston’s Outdoor Chapel project began.