Eagle Scout completes trail along Tungseth Lake [UPDATED]Published 4:03am Monday, November 25, 2013 Updated 6:11am Monday, November 25, 2013
An Eagle Scout’s project, among other things, is meant to demonstrate the scout’s leadership ability. Before starting his final project, Eagle scout Sam Nelson was not very comfortable with his leadership skills.
“It’s helped me get more brave in front of people,” Nelson said of his last project. “I used to be kind of shy, but now I’m more able to talk in front of people.”
But Matt Conner, a visiting services manager at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, would never have known Nelson was shy or reserved.
“It was extremely effortless on my part,” Conner said of the project. “He was very thorough and he knew what he wanted to do.”
This summer, Nelson, with the help of 15 volunteers, built a boardwalk along Tungseth Lake at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. The boardwalk will prevent the seasonal closure of a trail along the lake in high water seasons.
Nelson first approached Conner about potential projects at the PWLC late last year. Nelson wanted to give back to the PWLC because he attended classes there as a fifth grader and always enjoyed it.
The boardwalk project was something Conner had been wanting to do for some time, but other, more immediate concerns prevented anything from getting done.
“In a time of federal government sequestration and budget cuts, it was a project that we honestly never would have done,” he said.
However, the project required more than just Nelson’s passion. He needed to raise thousands of dollars for the materials needed for the boardwalk.
Nelson was able to raise $2,300, and with help from many local businesses, secured all the materials for about $4,500.
He got to work with a few fellow Eagle Scouts and some of his family members, including his father, Chad. Despite working for hours a day in the dog days of summer, the breeze off Tungseth Lake kept the temperatures down and the work manageable.
After a month of work, not to mention the time spent fundraising, Sam Nelson and the rest of the group finished the boardwalk. Included in the project are benches dedicated to Sam Nelson’s uncle, Mark, who died the previous fall.
For Sam Nelson, the project is a lasting legacy of hard work and community support.
“It’s like, ‘Wow, I made that. It’s mine and I can say that I built that,’” he said.
Sam Nelson has a Monday meeting scheduled with his Scout master to go over his final project. After this meeting, and a larger meeting with more Scouts officials, Same Nelson will be officially done with Eagle Scouts.
Chad Nelson, a former Eagle Scout himself, of the work Sam Nelson put into the boardwalk, leading it from beginning to end with conviction and determination.
“He really took this thing and ran with it,” Chad Nelson said. “As a family, we are extremely proud of what he’s done.”Tags: PWLC