Tetsuia Cox led a team of 10 to 15 boy scouts, their parents and two leaders over the summer who helped him complete his Eagle Scout project. The team constructed a new hiking trail at Bob Botcher Park just 2.5 miles outside of Sheldon, Minn., in Houston County.
Cox has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 53 for five years. He lives and goes to school in La Crescent, Minn.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts. To become an Eagle Scout, the scout must earn a total of 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout Spirit, service and leadership.
Cox emphasized the importance of leadership and said, “It must help the community in same way. Meaning I can’t make anybody mow my lawn or wash my house and stuff. That doesn’t work.”
The first step is to write a proposal and submit it to the Boy Scout council. The proposal includes how many people are going to be involved, what tools are going to be used, a list of perishables and equipment, and what would be the biggest problem you might face. After submitting the proposal, the scout discusses the project with the council including how to be an effective leader.
When asked what problem(s) he thought he would face, Cox quickly answered, “Managing all the little people!”
The scouts completed the trail in one day this summer. It is an impressive feat when you realize that the trail is 2/10 of a mile long and connects to the existing trail that loops around. The trail is wide enough for two people to walk side by side and includes inclines. At a recent Houston County Commission meeting, Commissioner Bob Burns said that it easy to see the new trail thanks to the freshly laid wood chips as compared to the existing trail.
Houston County provided approximately 40 cubic yards of wood chips, the boys and their parents provided the manpower, and the scout master, Byron Frauenkron, provided a 4-wheeler and trailer, brush hog, and Bobcat. The boys used rakes to pull the chips out of the trailer, spread the wood chips, and pack them down.
Cox explained that the path was previously used by the county to haul trash that had accumulated in the park, thus making it easy to transform the path into a walking trail. The boys removed grass, brush, and small trees before laying down the wood chips.
There is still time to get out and enjoy the trails at Bob Botcher Park while it is warm and sunny. If you enjoy being out in the winter, the trails are perfect for snowshoeing.
Houston County Commissioner Bob Schuldt hopes that the new trail will encourage more people to come out and use the park. The two trails are easy to moderate.
The approximately 40-acre park was donated to Houston County by Robert H. Botcher in 2006. It is located at 9497 County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 10. The highway is a paved road making the park easy to access from Houston or Caledonia. No need to drive on any gravel roads.
After your walk there are two picnic tables where you can sit and relax and enjoy a snack or lunch. The tables are located under the trees which provide shade from the sun.
Why spend your time planning and executing an Eagle Scout project? “If you plan on joining the military, your pay grade will be two levels higher,” explained Cox. “Being an Eagle Scout also helps in on your resume. People see that and know what an Eagle Scout is. And they know that I did something to earn it. It shows leadership. And on college applications, it will put me a step ahead of everyone else.”
Cox recommends joining Boy Scouts, “It’s fun! All the camping, all the stuff you get to learn. You won’t learn how to tie knots, how to start a fire, how to do stuff just by sitting in an air conditioned home playing video games, watching a video. It doesn’t help unless you go and do it.”