David Bailey's Boy Scout project allowed him to bond with his father, use his writing skills to raise money and, most important, create two new places for residents to relax at Laguna Beach's Glennwood House.
The 17-year-old Laguna Niguel resident designed and built two wooden benches for the recently renovated home, which houses 50 developmentally disabled young adults.
The benches hang from a patio cover in the courtyard, near the residents' vegetable garden.
David, a Dana Hills High School student, had an in with Glennwood — his father, David Bailey Sr., was one of two architects, along with Morris Skenderian, who worked on the renovation. Glennwood opened last summer, replacing a vacant assisted-living facility.
David, who has been a Boy Scout for four years, is part of the 80-member Troop 773, which camps monthly and spent two weeks on a 71-mile backpack trip in New Mexico.
For the Glenwood project, David raised $1,300 by participating in garage sales and putting pen to paper.
David won $300 for the Road to Eagle Scholarship essay contest by describing the bench project and how it would benefit Glennwood residents, and was recognized at the 32nd annual Construction Industry Good Scout Award Luncheon in Irvine in November.
Emile Haddad, president and chief executive of FivePoint Communities, a real estate development and management company, donated an additional $500 to David after hearing him speak about the project.
The family garage provided the space to build the benches, and David got to spend quality time with his father, occasionally tapping into dad's architectural background and using his tools.
"I learned the price of wood was expensive, and it takes lots of time," David said.
David bought the wood Jan. 6 and finished March 29. The benches, made of both redwood and alder, hang by steel cables from overhead wooden beams, which the Baileys installed.
David sanded the wood, added four layers of varnish and used a band saw to shape the armrests.
The most challenging part was ensuring that the chains were aligned and sturdy, said the elder Bailey.
On a recent afternoon, one of the benches was already proving its worth as it supported a woman, who was gently rocking.
David is close to becoming an Eagle Scout. He will submit paperwork to the Boy Scouts of America Orange County Council, and then several Scout leaders will review his project and interview him.