WEDDINGTON – The property surrounding a 123-year-old building in Matthews recently received a much-needed makeover, thanks to prospective Eagle Scout Joey Sinopoli.
The 17-year-old Weddington resident dedicated his Eagle Scout project to sprucing up areas behind and beside the Reid House, located at 134 W. John St. in Matthews. The house was built circa 1890 and is one of the few remaining Victorian-era houses in the area, according to www.MatthewsReidHouse.org. The Matthews Historical Foundation owns the building and rents it out for special events.
When Joey was considering ideas for the project that would help him earn the rank of Eagle Scout – the highest merit any Boy Scout can achieve – his dad found out about a need at the Reid House for yard work. Joey, a member of Troop 140, which meets at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Matthews, was eager to earn his Eagle rank and decided to run with the idea.
Joey’s project consisted of a planning stage and three workdays. He began planning the project in April and held the first workday in May, during which he and a group of fellow Scouts pulled weeds from around the gazebo behind the house, and from the flowerbeds to the left of the house.
One of the toughest things about the project initially was taking charge. Because Eagle Scout projects focus on leadership, Scouts working on their Eagle rank head up the efforts while fellow Scouts and volunteers do the legwork.
“It’s all about leadership,” Joey said. “You do less work because you’re in charge. I was so used to working, it was hard remembering (to be in charge) and not to work as much.”
On the second workday, Joey and a team of nine fellow Scouts built benches to be placed next to one of the flowerbeds. Stallings resident Ray Helms provided wood for the benches and let the Scouts work on them in his home.
The third and final workday was held Aug. 9. Joey and his fellow Scouts planted flowers around the gazebo and along the flowerbeds adjacent to the house. They also laid mulch, pulled more weeds and cut tree branches.
While Joey paid for some of the materials with money from his savings account, he received donations of flowers – most of which are perennials – from King’s Greenhouse in Stallings, as well as mulch at a discounted price from local company Blue Max Materials.
Looking back on his efforts, Joey said his favorite part was watching the project materialize.
“I like how it went,” he said. “I like how much progress (went) into the project.”
Now that the project is finished, Joey plans to continue working on the final two merit badges – citizenship in the community and family life – he needs before earning his Eagle rank. He also plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro after completing his junior and senior years at Weddington High School.
Joey enjoys camping, hiking, swimming and singing in his spare time, and said his favorite Boy Scout memory was hiking nearly 50 miles in Virginia two summers ago. Though it was tough, Joey said, the experience reinforced some of the most important lessons he’s learned from Boy Scouts.
“It’s about being prepared,” he said. “Be the person that people can count on and someone who’s easy to hang out with. Learn how to lead more.”