Eagle Scout candidate works on church floor for project
By Erin Gallagher Correspondent July 18, 2014 11:24PM
Shaun Johnson quickly realized that the old floor in the tower back entrance of the 1891 St. Joseph Church in Manhattan needed more work than he expected. He and his crew found rotted wood, which caused more work. Johnson is doing the project to become an Eagle Scout. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 21, 2014 6:56AM
Shaun Johnson has been walking through St. Joseph Church most all his life. That’s where he went to grade school. Now 16 and a soon-to-be junior at Providence Catholic High School, he didn’t have to look far for a project.
Not just any project would do. Johnson needed something worthy of an Eagle Scout.
Last week, the Boy Scout organized a group to replace rotted and worn flooring on three entrance areas of the Manhattan 1891 church. He gathered six of his buddies from Troop 49 in New Lenox in order to achieve the highest rank in the organization.
“I had to walk in the church all the time and I saw it was worn out, and I figured I would replace it,” Johnson said. “The church gets a lot of use. I figured it’s a worthy project.”
With help from Shaun’s dad, Mark Johnson, owner of Homer Glen’s Total Flooring, the high schoolers spent most of Tuesday morning tearing up what they discovered to be rotted wood in some areas. That was more work than they expected. After pizza and cupcakes, they finished the underlayment and moved on to the tile.
Johnson raised more than $400 for materials. Total Flooring donated the underlayment. Southland Flooring Supplies in Oak Forest donated the tile and adhesive. Justin Seever, owner of Kelly’s Flooring Services in Manhattan donated his day of labor.
“It’s supposed to be something where the adults and the kids do it together,” Mark Johnson said. “We’re trying to let them do as much as they can; that’s what the Boy Scouts is all about.”
Some of the guys in Johnson’s troop already earned the highest rank. Others were working on projects to get there. Johnson said the rank is prestigious.
“Only one of every four Boy Scouts becomes an Eagle Scout,” he said. “Most of them quit.”