MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough Troop 2 Boy Scout Brandon Proteau created a StoryWalk, which allows people to read a children’s book outside, for the Hudson Public Library to complete his Eagle Scout project.
Proteau’s StoryWalk has 18 signposts that laminated pages can be placed in, allowing for people to alternate children’s stories. The signs are placed on a path that children can walk down, reading the story as they go.
“That’s kind of cool because what it does is it gets kids outside and reading,” Proteau said. “It might get an audience of kids that don’t necessarily read children’s stories because they don’t go to the library that often.”
Proteau works at the Hudson Public Library.
After he was having difficulty finding an Eagle Scout project, his scout leader suggested that he ask the library. Director Aileen Sanchez-Himes told him about the idea for the StoryWalk.
After thinking about it, Proteau determined it could be a good Eagle Scout project.
“It’s large, but it would also work well with having a large amount of people work on it at the same time, because you have so many individual parts,” Proteau said.
With an Eagle Scout project requiring Proteau to lead a team of scouts, six scouts came to his house to help work on the StoryWalk for two days.
Proteau said the scouts were extremely helpful and didn’t require as much guidance as other Eagle Scouts might need for their projects.
“I would say that everyone cooperated so well that I got to help work on my project instead of just leading them the whole time,” Proteau said.
Proteau’s signs have a wooden backboard. The laminated story sheets are placed against the backboard, and a flexible piece of plastic goes over the pages to hold them in place and protect them from the weather.
“So they can actually lift up the plastic and place in different stories however many times they want,” Proteau said.
The StoryWalk signs were created in a way that they could be moved if the library wanted to move them to a school, playground or park. Most StoryWalks have 16 signs, but Proteau decided to create two extras in case one of the signs was damaged or a story had extra pages.
Proteau said an Eagle Scout project requires a lot of motivation that is not as necessary throughout the rest of one’s scouting career.
As part of his project, there were challenges that he did not always anticipate, like needing an official letterhead from the Hudson Public Library for a business from which he was soliciting donations.
“It’s a lot of work,” Proteau said. “It’s rewarding to do the work, but it’s also very difficult to do on your own.”
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