When Betsy Benz became the activities director at The Rosemount Memory Care in fall of 2022, its garden was in disarray.
“One of the first times I was out there with a lady who had had a big garden, she said, ‘Doesn’t anybody take care of this?’” Betsy recalls. “I said, ‘By next fall, I hope it looks completely different.’”
That vision became a reality June 10, thanks to Boy Scout Jacob Sampers, 27 other volunteers and financial support from two local organizations.
In Route to Eagle Scout
Jacob coordinated and completed the project as he works toward his Eagle Scout rank. The incoming sophomore is the youngest of nine children and six of his seven brothers earned the Eagle Scout rank.
“I’m hoping to follow in their footsteps by getting my Eagle,” Jacob says.
He joined Cub Scouts when he was 6 or 7 and became a Boy Scout when he was 10.
One by one, he earned merit badges and worked toward his Eagle rank. His project at The Rosemount was his next step. He says he chose the project in part because he has a relative with Alzheimer’s.
From Planning to Completion
Jacob began planning the project in the spring, having conversations with Betsy, taking measurements, etc.
Plans called for weeding, laying mulch, installing pavers to create a path and relocating some existing plants.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles and Rosemount VFW Post 9433 each contributed $250.
Altogether, volunteers spent about 130 hours improving the space.
Jacob says he enjoyed working with The Rosemount staff.
“Every time I had a meeting with them, they worked with my plan and what I had in mind,” he says.
When the volunteers started working, the residents started watching.
“They were all right by the window wondering what was going on,” Betsy says. “I think they enjoyed it. They don’t miss too much around here.”
“I was excited because I saw it made them happy,” Jacob says.
The Impact of the Project
Having a sensory garden for residents to enjoy improves their quality of life.
“It’s a game changer for them,” Betsy says. “Most of them had gardens. Just getting them outside and seeing something alive is refreshing for them: smelling the smells and feeling the sunshine and wind, they have to engage their other senses because their mind isn’t working the way it used to.”
Betsy says without Jacob’s effort, coordination and fundraising, the project would not have happened. She understands what it took to complete the project, having watched her son become an Eagle Scout.
“It really brings joy to me,” she says. “ … I know what it’s like for a teen to get a project together, plan and get approvals. It gives them a chance to step up. For me, it’s neat for the staff here to see the support of the community.”
“It turned out really well,” Betsy concludes. “I was really impressed.”
To learn more about The Rosemount, email Tina.Wollmuth@CassiaLife.org or call 651-322-4222.