May 21, 2015 at 2:38 p.m.
Noah Erickson, Delevan Holt, Colby Weber, and Dylan Zollinger received their Eagle Scout awards at an Eagle Court of Honor Sunday, May 17. The young men are members of Troop 962, sponsored by the North Branch Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America. It is earned as a number of merit badges are completed and as leadership is demonstrated through an extensive community service project. The project is planned, led and managed by the scout. ‘Four new Eagle Scouts’ means that four young men led service projects to benefit our community.
Dylan Zollinger worked with North Branch City Councilwoman, Theresa Furman, and the North Branch Water and Light Commission to plan washing, de-rusting, priming, and painting of make fire hydrants in downtown North Branch. The objective was to fire hydrants more visible for firefighters during an emergency. Zollinger organized 30 volunteers and they completed 32 fire hydrants. He was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Mayor of North Branch.
Colby Weber led a group of volunteers replacing old steps connecting a campsite to the St. Croix River in Wild River State Park. The steps had heaved and become completely unusable. Weber said, “My volunteers and I cleared a wider path, tore out the old steps, and replaced them with new stairs. The new stairs are twice as wide as the old ones, sturdy, and will last a lot longer.”
Delevan Holt and his team beautified Kahbakong Cemetery in Taylors Falls. Old, mostly buried and almost forgotten headstones were repositioned and cleaned. The results were amazing. Delevan said “Eagle Scouts [are never] satisfied by a job half done. They need to be the ones to push forward and make the job the best that they can!”
Noah Erickson organized volunteers to construct a compost bin for Interstate State Park, St. Croix Falls. The bin provides a place for boaters to discard plants and other organic debris. The bin, a sign next to the bin, and a large stenciled symbol painted on the pavement near the bin, remind boaters to be vigilant. Zebra mussels and other invaders are infesting our lakes and disrupting healthy lake ecology. Erickson said, we must do all we can, “to prevent aquatic invasive species from spreading to other lakes and rivers.”
Encouragement from engaged parents, supportive Scout leaders, camaraderie with fellow Scouts, and personal sacrifice contribute to the boys’ experience. Scoutmaster Eric Erickson said “It is very rewarding to see these young boys grow and develop, and [through experience and effort] become Eagle Scouts. These are exemplary young men!” Over 100 people attended the Eagle Court of Honor ceremony at the North Branch chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Andrew Johnson, Troop 159
Andrew Johnson, of Chisago City, has achieved the highest rank in Boy Scouts the Eagle Scout Award. Only two percent of boys who start Boy Scouts accomplish this feat. In order to achieve the Eagle Scout rank, they must complete at least 21 merit badges and complete a service project for a community, church or other non-profit organization. Johnson earned 39 merit badges; his favorites being the Canoeing merit badge and earning his World Conservation Award. Johnson is a member of Troop 159 in Lindstrom. His Eagle project was building a number of Benches in Allemansratt Park in Lindstrom. He has been a active member of Boy Scouts since joining as a Kindergartner Tiger Cub. Since then he has held numerous Leadership positions in the troop and also been a Order of the Arrow member.
Johnson is a junior at Chisago Lakes High School who enjoys hunting and fishing, and is on the Chisago Lakes trap shooting league, he is also a student mentor with Link Crew. He plans to pursue a degree in Natural Resources Law Enforcement.
He will be celebrating his achievement with fellow Eagle Scout Eli Klatt, from Troop 159 on May 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Parents Kevin and Mary Johnson wish Andrew a “Congratulations, all your hard work paid off!”