Eagle Scout throws good shade

Garrett Hoffman, 14, stands in front of his Eagle Scout project, a Ramada at the Dig It Kingman Community Gardens. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Garrett Hoffman, 14, stands in front of his Eagle Scout project, a Ramada at the Dig It Kingman Community Gardens. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN-Local gardeners will be able to duck out of the heat thanks to a local Boy Scout.

14 year-old Garrett Hoffman, Life Scout in Troop 19, read an article in the Miner about the vandalism at the Dig It Kingman Community Gardens last September and the idea for an Eagle Scout project was born.

"When something bad happens it doesn't mean you just forget about it, you get out and help," he said.

After taking a good look at the garden, he realized people would need shade while working in sun. He then took on the task to facilitate the construction of a Ramada over the picnic tables at the garden.

Dig It Kingman Community Gardens, donated by Praise Chapel church, leases 4-foot-by-16-foot plots of land for $50 a year. 40 beds are built; 33 leased with 7 available. There's both a children's and communal garden. The more popular crops include watermelons, pumpkins, peppers, cucumbers and even potatoes.

There was previously no respite from the blistering heat at the garden.

"The Hoffman family and Doug Angle from Angle Homes approached us after the article came out," said garden founder Mike Roundy. "They felt compelled to give back to the community."

Hoffman got approval from the Eagle Scout board in January, consulted garden volunteer Jon Mayberry about structure specifications, and then slowly began getting the logistics in order. It took some time to get plans formulated but once the building permit from the city arrived, his team began construction.

"I got the permit in March," he said. "My parents, other volunteers and Scouts have been working on it a little at a time since then."

His mother Shawn works for Angle Homes and put him in contact with Vice President Clyde Pease, who helped draw schematics. Hoffman then contacted garden organizers and other volunteers and supporters to get the dirt flying.

"I thought it was going to be easy," he said. "But then me and my dad got to looking at it and realized it wasn't going to be easy at all. It was still worth it. It (the Ramada) turned out really nice.

Dig It Gardens gave Hoffman a requirement for the size and the rest was up to him. True Value donated the lumber, Desert Construction donated concrete and Canyon State Enterprises LLC donated the roofing materials. The city donated a building permit.

Part of the project involved delegating tasks, so Hoffman took charge of 10 other Boy Scouts during the construction.

"Part of being an Eagle Scout is learning leadership skills. You're supposed to work hard but not do all the work," he said. "It was a hard project, but I didn't give up."

"I'm really proud that he can do hard things and learn leadership skills." said father Steve Hoffman. "It's a lesson he can use the rest of his life."

"There's a lot of kids today that aren't taught hard work."

The shelter was finished May 20 and Hoffman is awaiting a final inspection by the city.

"He picked up some good leadership skills and learned to give back to the community," his father said.

Hoffman is still a few merit badges short of Eagle Scout and begins attending Lee Williams High School this year.

"It fulfills the purpose of the garden to bring the community together," Roundy said. "It was huge for us because we didn't have any shade or place to rest. It was a blessing when they approached us."

"Some of the worst things that ever happen turn out for the best."