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Stairway to Moultonboro

MA junior Rickie Galipeault (center) poses with two MA classmates atop the staircase he built connecting the athletic fields to the track. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
July 04, 2011
MOULTONBORO If you build it, they will come.

Rickie Galipeault put together an outstanding season for the Moultonboro Academy track and field team this spring. He also needed a community service project in his quest to gain Eagle Scout status after being in the Cub and Boy Scout system since he was seven.

Why not tie the two together?

That's exactly what Galipeault did.

"I went to a couple of the selectmen meetings and asked them for ideas on what the town needed for a community service project," began Galipeault, a junior at MA. "I got a lot of good ideas but the best idea came from the people here at the school."

That idea? Build a set of stairs connecting the baseball and softball fields at MA to the track complex.

"Before we could do it, we had to have a spaghetti dinner at the Lion's Club to raise money," Galipeault explained.

The dinner, held on May 28, raised nearly $600 for the project. With almost 100 people in attendance, it was more than enough to move forward and purchase the materials needed for the stairs.

"It's not so much about the project, but the leadership you have to show," said Galipeault of the Eagle Scout selection process. "Just the research before I even went down to ask them about the fundraising, I had 95 hours and 42 minutes of time into it and then another seven and a half hours meeting with people."

Galipeault carried a huge binder with all his various paperwork for the project, as every detail was carefully separated and put in order for easy access.

"At one point this was taking up almost all of my time," he admitted. "I had like two days before I had to see (the Eagle committee) and they make sure everything is in order. For the truck that was bringing in my materials, I had who was driving it, the registration, the insurance information, where the gas was coming from, all that. It's very involved."

Galipeault and 12 others worked on the stairs when they were built on June 4, and while he originally planned for three days of work, things happened much quicker than he expected.

"With the help of my dad and some other people, it went a lot faster than I thought it would," he said.

The project has been well received by the community, as Galipeault has gotten plenty of feedback so far.

"Even before they were built, I was being congratulated for getting the project approved," he recalled. "Then, like two days after, my brother and sister had a track meet and just about every person that walked by said, 'Nice job on the stairs."

The next step for in the process will involve Galipeault showing his finished project to the higher ups, a meeting that will hopefully take place early this summer.

"I still have some stuff to type up, but you go back to district and go for your Eagle board," he said. "They'll make sure you're somebody they want to be an Eagle Scout, someone that has all the right qualities. They'll ask you questions, anything from Cub Scouts on up to Boy Scouts. I'll just have to be ready."

Preparation has never been a problem for Galipeault, as he qualified for the state championship meet this spring in the long jump and javelin, taking seventh in the former. He broke the school record in the jav, as his heave of 140 feet was also the toss that got him the automatic bid to states. The junior also competed in the triple jump during a busy spring season.

"Triple jump is my favorite even because I've been doing it the longest, and I like it because almost nobody on my team knows how to do it so I kind of get to show them," he explained.

Martin Lord Osman
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