McKinley Park’s activity options are increasing as work is nearing completion on a bocce ball court near the bear on the southeast side of the park.
The court is an Eagle Scout Service Project being completed by Creston senior Quinten Fuller. A service project is required for a Scout to complete to earn the title Eagle — the highest ranking.
“When I was younger, we used to play bocce ball all the time in the grass and never really had a place to do it” Fuller said. “We went to a park one time and they had kind of a sand court, which, it works, but the sand wasn’t really fun to play on. With the court here, I’d have somewhere to play that wasn’t on grass.”
After making a proposal to the Creston Parks and Recreation board in March, Fuller did research on Winterset’s bocce ball court to get more information on how to bring his idea to life.
Throughout the process, Fuller has learned not everything goes to plan.
“The amount of dirt we have needed and even the amount of gravel we had first planned — we had to get a second load of gravel because we didn’t order enough the first time,” he explained. “We were constantly needing more dirt. It was a lot of changing plans, especially after we had dug into the ground and had already started. This side was way higher than the other side. Plans didn’t go how they were supposed to.”
Fuller said completing his Eagle Scout Service Project has shown him what some people do in service of their community, and how easy it is to do the little things.
“Service to other people is what Scouting is all about,” the Eagle Scout Service Project workbook states. “In many ways, your service project reflects who you are as a youth leader. Your result should be of significant impact in your community to be special, and should represent your very best effort.”
Fuller has been assisted by his scout leaders, his family and various community members.
“Dave Jennett, he runs Green Valley Pest Control, he let us use a lot of his equipment and he’s done a lot of landscaping stuff like this, so his knowledge was really helpful,” Fuller said. “He came down and donated his time and helped us move dirt and do a lot of the landscaping part of it. He was a lot of help.”
After putting the turf down over the gravel, the court should be ready for players. The landscaping around the court will take longer to complete.
With the court being right by the farmers market, Fuller hopes it can be integrated into the weekly event for another element of fun.
“I think maybe the farmers market could do something with it,” he said. “Maybe we could have a bocce ball tournament while the farmers market goes on.”
Bocce ball is designed to be played with two teams of two, but can be adapted to single players or larger teams. The goal is to land four large colored balls, called bocce, closest to a small white ball, called the pallino or jack.
The team going first throws the pallino and the place where it comes to a stop becomes the target. All players should then stand behind a line to make their throws. The team that threw the pallino throws the first bocce. Teams and players alternate throws until all eight balls have been thrown. Players try to make their team’s bocce the closest to the pallino.
Only the team with the closest bocce to the pallino scores any points. The team that is closest, or inside, gets a number of points equal to how many of their bocce are closer to the pallino than the other team’s nearest bocce. If the player’s bocce touches the pallino, it’s called a baci and the team earns 2 points for that ball. A game of bocce is called a round and it lasts until a team reaches a predetermined point value. Common point values are 9, 11, 12 and 15.