Eagle Scout candidate builds sign holder downtown

The new sign frame at Fourth and San Benito streets allows nonprofits to promote upcoming activities

In June, Christopher Chambless led a team of fellow Scouts and adults to construct the new sign at the corner of Fourth and San Benito streets in downtown Hollister. Once a decaying, wobbling structure, the new sign boasts solid wood posts set in cement, strong bracings, solar lights, and a larger space for non-profits to post their events.

Yet construction was the last step in a grueling series of project hurdles, starting with a professional project plan, a fund-raising effort, collection of materials, and enlisting a work team. The project plan simulates the process used widely in the field of project management, including phases, critiques, and calls for improvement until every aspect of the plan meets specifications set by Boy Scouts of America (see http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx).

Christopher first sought approval from the City Clerk to rebuild the aging sign, cleared the Boy Scout approval hurdles, and then presented the project plan to the Exchange Club that contributed a portion of the funding needed. McKinnon Lumber chipped in with selected materials.

Finally, 15-year-old Christopher had to entice a team of Scouts and adults to volunteer two Saturdays in the heat. He was also responsible for assuring a complete set of materials and tools were on hand so the work could move forward without delays. Maybe hardest of all was the Scout requirement that the Eagle candidate must lead the work team, filling the role of site supervisor. Success at this leadership development stage qualifies an Eagle candidate for a final board review.

The volunteers were Liam Row, Dylan Row, Daniel Chambless, Michael Chambless, Brendan Barton, Ryan Barton, Chase Beasley, Dawson Garcia, Andrew Pearson, and Kris Pearson. In a thank-you letter, Mayor Ignacio Velázquez wrote, “I could not let this opportunity pass to thank you for your excellent work for our community and our City. It is a joy for me to see such a dedicated and talented young man do so much for our community.”

See more photos available at http://animoto.com/play/Jgigzv8CW4ugMmShKJignQ​.

According to city staff, nonprofits can arrange to display signs at the 400 block of San Benito Street by visiting the Hollister City Clerk’s office to pick up information and an application. Planning ahead is recommended because city staff start taking applications in January, a time for nonprofits to select display dates which run for two weeks per sign. A certificate of insurance is required. Contact the City Clerk’s office by phone at 831-636-4300 ext.16 or by email at cityclerk@hollister.ca.gov.

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Lois Locci

A Hollisterian since 1999 (and a Silicon Valley escapee), Dr. Locci taught English and Intercultural Communication at De Anza College in Cupertino for years before adding a second career as chair of the education department of UC Extension, providing professional development for teachers K-14 in four counties and three countries. Also at UC, Dr. Locci led the development of Advanced Placement® and honors courses for the University of California College Prep Online until retiring in 2012. She served a four-year term as Trustee for Gavilan Joint Community College District and currently serves on the board of BenitoLink.