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Local students give back through Eagle Scout Projects

The Eagle Scout Service Project is one of the final steps in reaching the Eagle Scout rank, which only 5% of scouts achieve.

Matthew Mangan
Eagle Scout Matthew Mangan of Troop 171 in Cloquet stands in front of his completed pollinator rain garden at Washington Elementary School.
Contributed / Jason Mangan
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CLOQUET — Local Scout Troop 171 in Cloquet saw three of its members reach a pivotal milestone towards becoming Eagle Scouts after completing their Eagle Service Projects earlier this summer.

Troop members Matthew Mangan, 13, Nathaniel Robinson, 18, and Chase Lauder, 18, spent months planning, organizing and eventually executing their projects to benefit members of the Cloquet and Carlton communities.

The Eagle Service Project is one of the final steps towards becoming an Eagle Scout, a rank only 5% of scouts attain, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

Mangan became one of those select few after overseeing and helping to construct a pollinator rain garden at his former school, Washington Elementary. His inspiration for the project came after a trip to the Carlton County Sewer and Water Conservation District where conservation technician Alyssa Alness hosted a rain garden workshop.

Knowing that Washington Elementary would benefit from the addition of a rain garden, Mangan began the planning phase of his project in December.

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“It doesn't really have much greenery, which would make the rain garden a great idea to give it some flowers,” Mangan said of his thought process for the garden.

After receiving approval from school leaders and the Troop Committee, along with help in funding through a grant offered by Alness via Lake Country Power, Mangan began construction. The project was completed months in June with the help of three fellow scouts and five scout leaders.

Pollinator rain garden
Pictured is the pollinator rain garden at Washington Elementary School in Cloquet.
Contributed photo (Photo courtesy of Jason Mangan)

The project not only satisfied the requirements of the Eagle Service Project, but also one half of the requirements for the Distinguished Conservation Award, which needs two conservation projects for completion.

According to Mangan, seeing the impact of the garden has been the most rewarding part of the project.

“I really enjoyed my Eagle Project, especially after finishing and being able to see the results,” Mangan said. “The garden has really flourished since it was planted, which is really nice to see.”

An outdoor gathering space

Citing a need for a new spot to gather outdoors at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Cloquet, senior Nathaniel Robinson of Cloquet High School elected to build a fire ring for his Eagle Service Project.

“It was just in need of an outdoor meeting place, so a nice fire ring was a nice little addition to give us a place to meet instead of having to travel to a secondary location for outdoor meetings, outdoor gatherings and stuff like that,” Robinson said.

The fire ring was unveiled June 25 after a long construction process involving volunteers from the church, fellow scouts and their family members.

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With the completion of the project, Robinson will take the final step of achieving the Eagle Scout rank by taking part in the Board of Review, which is similar to an interview.

The Board of Review is made up of community members and seeks, "to determine the quality of the Scout's experience and decide whether the requirements for the rank have been fulfilled," according to the Boy Scouts of America.

Honoring two communities

Carlton High School senior Chase Lauder drew on his passion for reading when he set out to construct two little libraries for the Cloquet and Carlton communities at Our Savior’s Lutheran and St. Francis churches.

Chase Lauder
Eagle Scout Chase Lauder stands in front of a little library, constructed as part of his Eagle Service Project, at St. Francis Church in Carlton.
Contributed / Jason Mangan

Lauder began planning for the two libraries in January, and later received assistance from the local carpenter’s union for use of power tools and general expertise before the seven-hour construction process began in March.

“We wouldn’t have had it done as fast if it wasn’t for the carpenter’s union, because they had the tools and expertise and volunteers. So we owe a lot to them for getting this done,” Lauder said.

Once the snow was melted in the beginning of May, Lauder, with the help of members of the carpenter’s union and others, installed the two little libraries in high-traffic areas to ensure they would be put to good use.

Lauder chose to build two libraries instead of one in order to serve both communities in which he shares a connection.

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“I started scouting in Carlton at Troop 177. Then, once I became an Arrow of Light, I went to Cloquet and joined Troop 171,” Lauder said. “I wanted to give back to both communities and say I’ve been part of both Troops and to honor both communities in that way.”

In the time since completing his project, Lauder officially became an Eagle Scout after passing his Board of Review.

Related Topics: CLOQUETCLOQUET SCHOOLSEDUCATIONCARLTONCARLTON SCHOOLS
Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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