By Ken Turner
I was on a missions trip in July with the youth from my church. We went to Montreal for a week. In all, there were 25 groups that performed work for the people of Montreal. We volunteered our labor for a week as a way to show God's love to other people.
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I was the crew chef for the "pet project" of the week. We were sent to a Senior Citizen's apartment building where we built a Petanque court. I had a crew of ten people which included two adults (over 40) and eight people over 15 and under 21. We built a ten by forty foot court and it took us a full week of hard work. As you can see by the attached pictures, it was hard work. We first had to remove a lot of grass. The language difference made it challenging, and amusing, as I remember the little guy seen in the pictures was not very good at English, and we were not very good at his language either. He asked if we had a hard time removing the turd. He meant turf, but it was funny that he asked what he did.
Anyway, we used two layers of 6x6 pressure-treated lumber for the perimeter. That's 200 linear feet for a 40 x 10 foot court. After we dug out the turf, we had to remove approximately 6 inches of the soil around the edge of the court in order to place the entire first layer of lumber at the same level as the existing lawn. The second layer was set on top and currently sits about six (really 5.5) inches above the surface of the grass. The edge of the court is deeper than the center. We did that to make it better for drainage. We put around two inches of rock under the border lumber.
Once it was all dug out, we put down the cloth you see in the photos. After the cloth was down and cut to size, we placed the edge gravel in before the first layer of lumber. The first layer of wood was put in and squared for a perfect rectangle. The top layer was nailed onto the bottom about every foot along the way. The ends of each of the two layers were offset for strength. There was a lot of measuring and cutting along the way to be sure we would end up with a nicely-shaped court.
Only when the entire supply of lumber was down did we start putting down the rock. We used 5 cubic yards of gravel and six cubic yards of stone dust. There were three wheel barrows used and a lot of shoveling that week, but we ended up completing the court by Lunchtime on Friday and were able to enjoy the game with some of the residents on Friday afternoon.
I have since purchased some Boules and am now a player of the game. We use some courts already existing in Arlington, not far from where we live. Maybe I will build another court some day, perhaps at the church.
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