CAMERON PARK — Spencer Orofino has left a path for Blue Oak Elementary School students and faculty to use for many years to come.
A member of Boy Scouts Troop No. 193, Orofino recently earned his Eagle Scout badge as part of his beautification project by building a pathway at the north end of the campus. In between the pathway is a brick wall, bushes and three picnic tables and benches.
He has been a member of the Boy Scout troop since he was in fourth grade and joined the Cub Scouts when he was in second grade.
Orofino, 18, graduated from Ponderosa High School last month. In September, he will attend the University of Oregon, majoring in journalism with an emphasis in advertising.
The idea to build the pathway came from Kenny Moonitz, a member of his troop who was building another project also on the campus.
“I came down here because another guy in our troop had done a project here and they had a lot of areas you could work on,” Orofino said.
Orofino spoke with Mike Guest, the head custodian at the elementary school, about his beautification project.
“He said ‘you can do what you want with it,’” Orofino said of his conversation with the custodian.
Orofino and nine volunteers, including some from his troop and Chuck, his father, started his project by ripping out wild growing shrubs.
“He (custodian) said he wanted that torn out,” Orofino said. “Other than that, he said it was all up to me.”
Orofino went to work on building a pathway. The pathway consists of stones the size of a person’s two hands combined. The pathway, according to Orofino, was built above the foundation of the roots of a tree. The crew was able to raise the foundation of the tree to make way for the pathway. To maintain the pathway, Orofino and his volunteers installed side borders.
“We just had to raise up the foundation as a whole … we had to go around them,” Orofino said. “It was a tricky project.”
The pathway has gone through its share of wear and tear in recent months since it’s located in the middle of the campus, Orofino points out. The children at the elementary school have walked on the side boardings of the pathway, but the side borders are still standing strong.
“(Some) kids walk on it and wiggle around,” Orofino said. “It does take a little bit of maintenance to keep it looking nice. But it’s better than the way I found it.”
Orofino and the volunteers built the brick wall in between the pathway and one of the picnic tables and bench and bushes.
The project was completed in eight months, Orofino said. The reason for the lengthy completion was because Orofino was busy with his academic studies at Ponderosa High and played on the Bruins’ varsity football team last fall.
Materials donated for Orofino’s project were from local businesses. On the brick wall between the pathway and new bushes is a plaque that thanked people and businesses for contributing their time and effort in making the pathway possible at Blue Oak. Orofino hopes many people will take time to notice the effort made toward building the pathway.
Some of hardware stores also gave Orofino discounts on the materials. Chuck and Allison Orofino, Spencer’s mother, donated the bricks from the family’s residence.
In the eight years he was in the Scouts, Orofino said he learned many skills that includes survival when camping. But the one skill he will carry for the rest of his life is moral integrity.
“You build character and I think that’s what it really means,” Spencer Orofino said.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or email@example.com. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.