Thursday, Chadron Girl Scout Bristyn Cummings was the recipient of two donations toward her goal of building bocce ball courts outside of the Office of Human Development west of Chadron.
Cumming’s was given $125 by OHD and $50 more from Connie Moore, of Chadron Special Olympics.
Cummings, who is building the courts as part of earning her Girl Scouts Gold Award, says she wanted to do something that would get the whole community involved. She says her brother competing with Chadron Special Olympics also helped her to decide on the project.
“They don’t really have courts to (play bocce), so it would help benefit our community, OHD and Special Olympics,” Cummings says.
According to her, Chadron State College also has a bocce ball team that will be welcome to use the courts that are to be located behind the OHD building.
Bocce originated in Italy and is the third most participated sport in the world after soccer and golf according to the Special Olympics website.
Cummings says Chadron Special Olympics athletes begin their bocce season late in June and compete at State at the beginning of August. Currently the team practices at Wilson Park where they use ropes to approximate the borders of a playing surface.
Cummings will build two courts lined with bricks that will use turf leftover from renovations to Elliott Field at Chadron State College for the playing surface.
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She began brainstorming the project for her Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, about two years ago and began taking steps toward the creation of the bocce ball courts last July.
Initially she thought she’d like to create the courts at one of Chadron’s parks, meaning she’d not only need project approval from the Girl Scouts, but also from the City of Chadron. Ultimately, the City of Chadron decided against the courts due to concerns about maintenance if Cummings were to leave the area. Luckily, OHD was more than willing to house and maintain the courts at their facility.
Cummings GoFundMe website for the project lists a goal of $5,000. The courts will require a significant amount of bricks to line the outside and Cummings’s mother Kristol says Kevin Miller at Job Corps is hoping to be able to show Bristyn how to lay them. She’s already received a small donation of bricks from Evelyn Michaelson.
Cummings says she welcomes donations of materials or funds as well as volunteer work to build the courts.
“Setting up for the building of the courts will be the hardest part I have, so I’ll need people who can lift bricks and move them and set them,” she says.
Whatever she can’t amass in material donations, Cummings plans to purchase with money raised in part through her GoFundMe page which can be found by searching “Bristyn Cummings bocce ball courts” on GoFundMe’s home page.
“Truly anything helps,” she says.