Years ago, three little boys made three big promises – pledging duty to God and country, to other people and to themselves. Vowing to keep those promises and working diligently to demonstrate those duties, those three little boys grew up to earn the highest honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America: Eagle Scout.
Coon Rapids High School senior Jared Dahl, Blaine High School senior Ben Ziebol and Legacy Christian Academy sophomore Jayden Johnson are all members of Coon Rapids Boy Scout Troop 415, and all three of them achieved Eagle status during the past year – the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout award.
“This is a remarkable group of Scouts and we’re all very proud of them,” said Lois Ziebol, Ben’s mother.
Ben, Jared and Jayden each proclaim loyalty to their troop. Each vow to continue keeping their pledge “To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Jared said what makes Scouting so valuable to him is that “Scouting has a lot to offer that football and basketball don’t,” he said, naming leadership, knot tying and wilderness survival training among them.
“And Scouting teaches you life skills… to be loyal and trustworthy, just to name a couple,” he said.
Jayden, the youngest of Troop 415’s three dozen Eagle Scouts in its 50-year history, joined as a Tiger Cub Scout when he was in first grade. His dad, Eric, made it to Life Scout (the rank just below Eagle) and his uncle was also in Scouts, but only until he reached Tenderfoot.
“I stuck with it because I really appreciate Scouts. I’ve learned so much and I really enjoy the friends, really enjoy the adventures. It’s been great. It’s had a huge impact on my life,” said Jayden, whose dad serves as Troop 415 assistant scoutmaster under Scoutmaster Mike Dischinger.
For Ben, while he enjoys camp outs and other Scouting adventures, he stuck with Scouts “because I wanted to beat my brother,” he said, referring to his older brother’s Scouting career which ended before he achieved Eagle Scout status.
Each of Troop 415’s new Eagle Scouts followed their own path to achieve that status.
Jared began Scouting as a first-grade Tiger Cub and has earned 43 merit badges since then, his favorite being the Wilderness Survival merit badge.
During his Scouting career, Jared has served as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, troop guide, assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader.
He also earned the Wilderness Conservation Award, the 50-Mile Award for Hiking and for Biking, the Order of the Arrow and the Arrow of Light.
Jared currently serves as adult leader for Troop 415.
His Eagle Scout project involved planning, designing and completing a courtyard restoration at Sand Creek Elementary School, his alma mater.
Following his graduation from Coon Rapids High School later this spring, Jared plans to attend Anoka-Ramsey Community College for general studies before transferring to Vermilion Community College in Ely, where he plans to get a degree in natural resources.
Ben began Scouting as a third-grade Wolf Cub and has earned some three dozen merit badges since then. His favorites were the Climbing Merit Badge and Wilderness Survival, he said.
During his Scouting career, Ben has served as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, troop guide, assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader.
He also earned the Mile Climb Award, the 50-Mile Award for Hiking and for Biking, the Ironman Award, the Order of the Arrow, the Arrow of Light and many fishing awards.
Ben’s Eagle Scout project involved replacing damaged concrete and adding a new sidewalk at the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department Station #3 on Ulysses Street in Blaine.
Following his graduation from Blaine High School later this spring, Ben plans to attend North Dakota State University to study mechanical engineering.
Jayden began scouting as a first-grade Tiger Cub and has earned 35 merit badges, his favorite being the Lifesaving Merit Badge, he said.
During his Scouting career, Jayden has served as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and scribe.
He has won Scouting’s Fear Factor, he’s earned the Mile Swim Award, he won a fishing contest and he’s been awarded the 50-Mile Award for Hiking, the Order of the Arrow and the Arrow of Light.
Jayden’s Eagle Scout project involved adjusting the water drainage system at Grace Lutheran Church in Andover and then placing edging and mulch and planting shrubs and other greenery in the garden there.
This summer, Jayden will work as an aquatic specialist at the Navajo Camp for Webelos at Tomahawk Camp near Rice Lake, Wis.
Next year, he will continue his high school career at Legacy Christian Academy, but after graduation Jayden plans to enroll at the University of Minnesota to study biochemistry or epidemiology.
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org