Going Gaga: Local scouts build ball pit at Pittsboro’s Scamahorn Park
By Lindsay Doty
This summer, Pittsboro’s Scamahorn Park added a gaga pit thanks to a group of local scouts who enjoy the dodgeball-esque game that involves running and dodging until the last player is standing.
“I thought this would be a great addition to the park because it’s fun for all ages and is a great game to play with a group of friends and family,” explains 16-year-old local scout Nathan Skinner.
“Gaga ball is a popular game among scouts. A lot of camps have these gaga pits and we would always have a big group of people play,” he said of the old-but-new-to-some game of gaga (that has nothing to do with Lady Gaga).
The game is milder than dodgeball (no face hits) and is known as the great playground equalizer that attracts all ages and skill levels.
Skinner enthusiastically pitched the pit project idea to the park board and with some explaining (the board first had to learn what gaga ball was), they gave the project a thumbs up.
Under Skinner’s leadership, scout volunteers with Troop 309 spent 130-plus hours constructing the octagon-shaped wooden pit used for the game.
“We dug 3 inches into the ground and transported about 82 cubic feet of sod to the baseball diamond. We then installed a ground cover. The very next day we attached the boards to the corner brackets, installed the rule sign, and mulched the inside,” explained the Tri-West High School junior.
“My favorite part of the project was seeing it all come together. I am so thankful for everyone that helped. They did a fantastic job!”
To fund the pit, Skinner held a spaghetti dinner back in February at Pittsboro United Methodist Church where he raised $936.
“It was also amazing to see a young person (I am tempted to say future leader but he is a current leader) like Nathan Skinner raise funds, prep the project, and lead all that were involved to the building of a very successful project,” said William Nickrand, who serves on the Pittsboro Parks Department and helped with the project, along with his scout son.
“The Gaga Pit has been up for over a month and members of the community are having a blast with it,” said Nickrand.
Nathan Skinner is hoping the pit project will take him to Eagle Scout status, the highest rank in scouts.