Burke Boy Scout Bryan DeRosa devised a system last fall for painting the curbside addresses for all the houses in 2nd Cherry Run housing development off Old Keene Mill Road in Burke.
"White, lunch, black," was the schedule, he said.
Painting every address number was part of the requirements for his Eagle Scout badge. He planned the job, got the materials, courtesy of the Woodbridge Home Depot who donated everything, followed the regulations, contacted the homeowners association, enlisted help and completed the job. Michael and Sandra DeRosa, his parents, left him to supervise the other scouts who helped cover the 250-house community. Some houses did it while a few others declined to have theirs done so he figured he did about 225 in the end.
"The adults were there mainly for safety. The boys did all the work," said his father, who was also a scout as a teenager but didn't make it as far as Eagle Scout.
"My mom and dad, one of them would be patrolling with water," Bryan said.
Bryan was then required to do a write-up of the project, which goes to Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Texas for approval.
"He has turned in his book," his father said.
Besides getting the supplies and manpower, which was about 25 other scouts from troop 1100 in Burke, Bryan researched the paint type, got safety vests from the Virginia Department of Transportation and demonstrated the use of the stencils for the numbers. Each group was armed with a walkie-talkie to communicate the whole time.
"I demonstrated on our back steps," he said.
Bryan had to watch the temperature as well because the paint would not dry properly if the temperature fell below a certain point. That fall day, it hovered right around that point.
"That was cutting it close," he said.
On May 14, the homeowners association recognized Bryan for his efforts with a plaque. Supervisor Elaine McConnell attended the meeting as well. The plaque read: "Your efforts resulted in improved curb-side identification of homes in our community for fire, rescue and other individuals — which will assist our residents in the event of an emergency. Your efforts are greatly appreciated." It was signed by HOA president Larry Jurica and former president Michael Cohen.