When you enter into the parking lot here at Holy Cross, there is familiar scenery that often greets you: woods in the back, shed on the east side, and church to the west. If you look closely enough in our south eastern corner, you are able to see our newest addition – a Gaga Pit!
Drew Accola, a student here at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, recently completed the Gaga Pit for his Eagle Scout project. Drew is seventeen years old and is in his senior year at Tartan High School. He started as a Cub Scout in the first grade and continued his journey by joining the Boy Scouts in the fifth grade.
Once Drew started looking into ideas for his Eagle Scout project, he knew he wanted to do his project at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He earned three Scout religious emblems through Holy Cross, and he wanted to support the Church, Youth, and Family (CYF) ministry and give back to the Holy Cross community that encouraged him his whole life. He also reached out to his sisters and other youth to brainstorm ideas. They all thought it would be cool to have a Gaga Pit. “I agreed with them because Gaga was one of my favorite games at Camp Wapo.”
What exactly is a Gaga Pit? Drew explained “it's a large wooden octagon where people play a game called Gaga. Gaga is similar to dodgeball but you hit the ball instead of throwing it and there are no teams.” There are also ledges on the outside for kids who get hit by the ball and are out of the pit to stand on and watch the rest of the game unfold.
Drew worked with several stores in the area to help create the pit. He received discounted and donated supplies from Menards, Patio Town, Oakdale Rental, Lamperts, Synthetic Turf Solutions of MN, and Home Depot. He also received donations from many of the members at Holy Cross, All In Accounting, a Thrivent Action Team Grant, family, friends, and the CYF ministry. A lot of people also donated their time to help in the effort. Drew’s father helped transport the material, and many church members, Boy Scout leaders, friends, and church youth all helped dig the 4 foot holes for the post corners, attached the posts, filled in the holes with concrete and dirt, attached vertical braces, and compacted gravel. He still has to add the turf and finish the opening gate. Drew said that he also needs to submit his Eagle Scout application as well as pass a board of review with the Boy Scout Council. Then (if he passes), he will be honored at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
He hopes that this Gaga Pit will bring the joys of camp to the youth program and that it will be a fun game the church members can play. He believes the addition to the church would further its outreach ministry by bringing people in from the community to play, as well as providing a fun game for the R.O.C.K., confirmation, senior high kids, and maybe even some adults too. “Thank you to everyone that donated towards my project! I couldn't have done it without you. I am also thankful for all of the help and guidance I had designing and building the Gaga Pit.”