By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Trevor Petersen and his family regularly camp along Coralville Lake. A major convenience of camping there is the option to purchase on-site wood for campfires. Wood sheds/bins are scattered throughout the Coralville Lake campgrounds and campers can purchase the wood via the “honor system,” said Trevor, a member of St. Thomas More Parish and Scouts BSA Troop 2000, both in Coralville. “Our family appreciates the (woodshed) system’s ease of use, relaxed rules and the abundant supply of wood.”
Proceeds from campers’ purchase of wood from the wood sheds benefit Friends of Coralville Lake (FOCL), a nonprofit partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local organizations interested in the well-being of the lake. Coralville Lake has more than 500 campsites that the Corps of Engineers manages.
One of the sheds at the Sugar Bottom Campground was beginning to deteriorate, so Trevor, 14, decided to build a new one for his Eagle Scout project. He began researching the project in January and raised money for it by doing chores and working odd jobs around his neighborhood. He received a 50% discount on materials from Lowes “because I was a Scout.” He said the process of construction was smooth and easy, thanks to a design he purchased online. Family members and fellow scouts helped Trevor build the shed.
Trevor’s shed can hold about 2,200 pounds of wood and has two doors and a plastic roof to keep the wood dry for campers. It stands next to the old shed at present, said Derrick Parker, FOCL treasurer. Campers “like to burn” wood and can clear a shed in a single weekend, so having two sheds in one location helps to ensure the wood supply does not run out. The old shed will be removed when it becomes unusable.
Trevor hopes to become an Eagle Scout in 2023. He earned the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) emblem in 2019 and serves as a den chief to fifth-grade Scouts in Pack 275 of North Liberty. He believes scouting is a good way to express his Catholic faith. “We strive to be kind, helpful, friendly, loyal and all-around good people.”
Parker said the FOCL greatly appreciates Trevor for building a wood shed. The sheds provide a majority of FOCL’s yearly revenue. “It keeps our cash flow coming in and helps us work on projects around the lake.”