By Judy La Russa,
Brandon Oliphant began his scouting life while he attended first grade by joining Tiger Cubs. Many years later, Brandon was awarded a rank of Eagle Scout during a Troop 125 ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church in Redding on Saturday, April 21, 2018. After the ceremony, friends and supporters met up with Brandon and his family—Matt (dad), Trisha (mom) and Andrew (brother), at a gathering where he had accomplished his Eagle Scout project in building a metal and wood 20×30 covered pavilion at the Palo Cedro Community Park. Those invited to the celebration enjoyed a tri-tip lunch while sitting under Brandon’s beautiful shade structure; played corn hole games; observed some of Brandon’s scouting life memorabilia; and relished the tranquility of the park.
When Brandon first contemplated on what he wanted to do to earn his rank of Eagle Scout, he believed his project needed to be as meaningful to him, as well as for his family and the community. And, most of all, he wanted it to be bigger than his brother Andrew’s Eagle Scout project, which was a concrete and steel bridge built at the Palo Cedro Community Park in 2012. Brandon said he felt a lot of personal pressure following in his big brother’s footsteps. It was then when he had the idea of building the structure in the Park. “This means my family will always be able to utilize both projects, and the structure could give back to the community,” said Brandon. Brandon’s parents were very nervous about the ambitious project and would soon realize the total cost was an estimated $26,000.
Brandon first started by reaching out to an engineer family friend, Robert Zaech of Z & H Associates, Inc., to help him design his project. After receiving estimates for the project, Brandon presented the design and idea to the Palo Cedro Community Park Board. After several meetings, a few changes to the design and location designation, the project was approved. Next step was to get the funds.
The future Eagle Scout, would eventually receive over $20,00 in material donations and raised a little over $10,000 in monetary donations. During the pavilion construction, Brandon would hold “work parties”, from a large network of friends, family, and scouts that were more than happy to come out and lend a hand. In total, over 1300 hours were accumulated for this project.
Growing up, Brandon has always had ambitions to be a firefighter, but working on his project opened his eyes to also consider being a general contractor or maybe an engineer. After Brandon’s brother Andrew completed his Eagle Scout bridge construction project in 2012, he attended college and will soon be graduating with a civil engineering degree. His father Matt said, “it all started right there,” pointing to Andrew’s bridge.
With the Eagle Scout construction projects, the Oliphant’s family legacy will leave years of enjoyment for the whole community.
For readers wanting to see firsthand, the Palo Cedro Community Park is located at 9472 Cedro Rd in Palo Cedro. For park rental or more information go to their website at pcpark.org.