When two area Boy Scouts decided to tackle a joint Eagle Scout project, the enormity of the task didn’t hold them back.

PELETIER | When two area Boy Scouts decided to tackle a joint Eagle Scout project, the enormity of the task didn’t hold them back.

That was 900 feet long, 250 tons of marl stone, countless hours of work and the past 12 months.

Kenneth Blais and Jake Martin, both Eagle Scout candidates with Boy Scout Troop 644 and sophomores at Croatan High School, recently completed a road reclamation project that has improved access to a much-used building in their community.

The Izaak Walton League of America, White Oak River Chapter, has a clubhouse in the Peletier community that has become home to Boy Scout Troop 644, Girl Scout Troop 1000 and is used by other groups as well the league members.

But getting to and from the building hasn’t always been easy.

When the scouts started meeting at the building they noticed a problem right away.

“The worst part was the width. It was only about 6 feet, and the potholes,” Martin said. “The complaints are what sparked my interest in the project.”

At approximately 900 feet long and 6 feet wide that puts the project in the ballpark of 5,000 square feet.

Lori Blais, advancement chair for Boy Scout Troop 644, also has a daughter in Girl Scouts and has frequently used the road for scout meetings and events.

It hasn’t always been an easy passage. The narrow path made it impossible for two cars to pass each other and one would have to find a spot to pull over to the side or hit reverse until they could. At night, it could be a dangerous task.

Throw in potholes and mud holes after a rain and the drive got worse.

“It got to be a nightmare,” Mrs. Blais said.

Martin approached Assistant Scout Master Donnie Hult about the idea and soon Kenneth Blais was onboard.

“I was tired of the potholes and looking for a (Eagle Scout) project,” Blais added.

With approval from the Izaak Walton League and the Croatan Trails District of the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts, Blais and Martin got to work.

Martin took on the first 450 feet of the road from the Izaak Walton League clubhouse toward the access road and Blais tackled the road from the access road to where Martin’s work ended.

They cleared out overgrown trees and shrubs, widened the roadway, and dug drainage channels into the side of the road to empty rain runoff into the ditches. Debris from the clearing was turned into a natural area for wildlife.

And then came the 250 tons of rock to cover the newly cleared and graded path.

Martin and Blais thank the fellow scouts, family and friends who helped work on the project, which began around the spring of 2015.

While they had help along the way, the project belonged to the two scouts and each one was responsible for supervising work on their sections of roadway.

For each, the project has been a lesson in leadership.

“I’ve learned that if you are going to do something, you have to have some kind of order. If you are not organized, it might not get done,” Blais said.

And leading others is not always easy.

“You have to communicate properly and effectively,” he added.

Martin said the length of the project required a lot of leadership and patience. Supervising others, he said, isn’t just about telling them what to do; it’s about working together to be as efficient as possible.

But they did learn a few tricks to help.

“Sometimes you’d have to motivate people and I found giving pizza at lunch is very helpful,” Martin said.

The two scouts also proved to be a good team, even with their different outlooks.

When asked if the size of the project had intimidated them at all, Blais admitted he was a bit hesitant at times.

“I was a little bit intimidated and sometimes would ask, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ But it has been worth it,” he said.

Martin was a little more laid back about taking on the project.

“I just knew it was something we were going to do. It has been worth it and I’m glad we did it,” he said.

The scouts hosted a reception Jan. 23 for Izaak Walton League members and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the project.

Hult, who is also first vice president with the Izaak Walton League, said the road was more of a cart path before the scouts completed the project and the improvements will have lasting impact.

“This is something that will make a difference years from now, and not just today,” he said. “This will never be a cart path again.”

Martin and Blais thanked the many people who volunteered their time and services to help, including Martin Marietta, which provided the 250 tons of rock; Bogue Septic for the loan of a dump truck and driver; and Walston’s Hardware for providing survey tape.

Bogue Septic delivered the donated road material and Hult helped to spread and grade the material.