Erickson earns Eagle Scout Recognition

September 7, 2012

Local coverage by Rebecca Hudson, courtesy of the Murray County News

Three is a charmed number in many ways. For Ryan Erickson and his family, it represents the ultimate achievement to be had in the Boy Scouts of America: the rank of Eagle Scout. Ryan, along with his two older brothers Jake and Ben, has reached that goal and was officially recognized at a ceremony held Sunday afternoon.

A member of the scouting organization since he was 12 years old, Ryan says that he has worked his way through the various ranks on the way to the top achievement. “It was a lot of work,” he admits. As he worked his way through the requirements, Ryan says he got bogged down for two years working on the life skills badges.

“And I didn’t feel determined to get it [Eagle Scout rank].” But as he progressed and got older, he found scouting to be very rewarding. “I liked it a lot then I was 15 or 16 years old because it was more enjoyable,” he explains. “It’s been a lot of fun doing activities and learning a lot of stuff,” he adds.

Earning the coveted Eagle Scout award is no easy task. Scouts must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout spirit through service and leadership. Planning, organization and management of an extensive service project is the final leg of the journey.

For his project, Ryan singled out a much needed landscaping renovation at the Shetek Lutheran Bible Camp. The perimeter of the main camp building had been overgrown with plants and weeds and posed a definite challenge for him. Undaunted, he went to work at creating a new design to replace the aging rocks and plants that had been there.

Last October Ryan, along with a select group of helpers, moved in bricks and plants and other materials necessary to transform the overgrown landscaping near the camp building into a tastefully updated makeover. In all, Ryan’s project entailed 137 hours of labor. VIP Floral donated all of the plants while the camp paid for the rest of the materials.

Though Ryan’s project work date had to be delayed a week because of some personal health issues, Ryan says that it ended up going much better than he had originally planned. “I got many compliments from people who have seen it and think the job was well done,” he says.

Ryan is now headed off to college at St. Cloud State University to pursue a computer science degree. But he will remain a lifelong Boy Scout, joining the ranks of nine local scouts who have preceding him in achieving the Eagle Scout rank.

Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

The Eagle Scout Service Project is the opportunity for a Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of any religious institution, any school, or his community. The National Eagle Scout Association researched the total volunteer hours of the Eagle service projects ever done and it came a total of more than 100 million hours of service. Each year, new Eagle Scouts are adding more than three million more hours.

Ryan and his brother Jake both did their projects at a local bible camp, near our district Scout Camp on Lake Shetek.

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