Jared Dineen knows what he’s talking about when he says he tends to bite off more than he can chew.
The 17-year-old senior at Lewis and Clark High School is a Boy Scout in Troop 304, and when he sat out searching for an Eagle Scout project he picked one located six miles up a mountainside.
“My troop has camped a lot out at Liberty Lake County Park and we noticed that the cabin needed a lot of repair,” said Dineen, who’s also the drum major for LC’s marching band. “So I thought why not? I did the restoration of the cabin as my Eagle Scout project and also as my culminating project at LC – I got two birds with one stone.”
Hughes Cabin, as it is known, is located six miles up the trails at Liberty Lake County Park.
Dineen said that he couldn’t use the front trails to access the cabin because they tend to back flood.
“There are beavers building dams there and the rangers said we had to go up the back trails instead,” said Dineen. He took ATVs on a test run up the back of the mountain and up until two weeks before the restoration work began, that was the way he’d get to the cabin.
“It wasn’t easy finding that road, and then, two weeks before we started building, the rangers said we could use the front path,” said Dineen.
The cabin was built as an Eagle Scout project in 1987.
Dineen said the cabin now has new flooring, new metal siding on three sides and a new metal roof.
“We had to find a way to get all the materials up there,” said Dineen. “We could have used actual animal mules but we ended up with ATVs.”
His dad, Jim Dineen, helped him out a lot, and so did other Scouts, leaders and parents in the troop, but Dineen coordinated the effort. He also solicited donations of building materials from local businesses.
“I decided to do it in June of 2009,” said Dineen. “Most of the work was done this summer and I’m almost done now. I just need the rangers to sign off on it.”
Dineen said he hopes to become a paramedic or a firefighter after high school.
“This was great for some father-son bonding time and it was a good leadership experience,” said Dineen. “I realized I couldn’t do it all by myself. I had to let people who knew what they were doing teach me how to do things.”