DENVER — A Greenwood Village Boy Scout honored his grandparents as he delivered a wheelchair-accessible picnic table to a Denver medical office on Tuesday.
Andre Champeau with BSA Troop 435 began brainstorming ideas for his Eagle Scout project in May 2020 when he was a Life Scout, which is one rank below Eagle. As a jumping off point, he went to Google and typed in "Eagle Scout project ideas." And building a picnic table popped up.
But he wanted to go one step further.
His grandparents have spent time in a wheelchair and Champeau decided to build a picnic table that had a bench on one side and was open on the other, allowing people in wheelchairs to have a seat at the table.
“It was always difficult to find a place to sit with them (my grandparents) with a wheelchair," he said. "I thought it would be nice to actually have a bench here.”
He called Saint Joseph Hospital at 1960 N. Ogden Street in Denver, where his grandparents have been treated previously, and began planning with hospital officials. He also built the same sort of picnic table for Children's Hospital as part of the Eagle Scouts project.
On Tuesday, after three years of planning amid a pandemic and a few long days of painting and assembly, Champeau was able to make the delivery to Saint Joseph Hospital.
Tim Keenan, director of facilities at St. Joseph Hospital, and Pete Schaad, vice president of operations at SCL Health, thanked him for the table at a small ceremony.
“We have a lot of patients in wheelchairs and a lot of folks who want to sit out here in the courtyard and eat, so this is a perfect addition," Schaad said.
He said he plans to put a plaque on the table so visitors can know where it came from.
“I want to say on behalf of the hospital, thank you for doing this," he told Champeau. "I think this was a great idea and including your grandparents in the story I think is amazing. And I want to say on behalf of Tim and I — we’re both Eagle Scouts. And I want to congratulate you on your journey. It’s not a short one. You have a lot of merit badges. A lot of action from however many years you’ve been a Boy Scout.”
“Through my personal life and my professional life, scouting has served me well," he continued. "From a leadership perspective, from a skills perspective — it is a worthwhile and lifelong kind of journey."
Champeau, who has participated in Boy Scouts since he was 6, said he is the first Eagle Scout on his father's side and the third on his mother's side.