Newel Hirst, of Troop 44, Brainerd, earned the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America and received the Eagle Scout award at a special Court of Honor on Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition, State Representative John Ward presented Newel with a House resolution congratulating him for receiving the award.
Clifford Carlson, a silver beaver recipient and a registered scouter for 57 years, spoke about the important values in the scout oath and scout law that bring integrity, honor and respect into the lives of scouts like Newel.
To earn the Eagle, the highest rank in scouting, Newel completed 23 merit badges, two more than the required 21 merit badges, and led volunteers in more than 125 service hours for a project to re-landscape the front of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brainerd.
Newel, 15, said that “persistence, patience and time,” were his keys to achieving the rank, especially through his community service project.
He sought donations for materials and organized help from other scouts in Troop 44 of the Central Minnesota Council, Pine Tree District. He learned to communicate with adults he didn’t know and to lead others when a project didn’t go as expected.
“It was a challenge, and it’s supposed to be,” he said. Only 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2011, according to BSA.
Newel is a student at Brainerd High School and the son of Paul and Teresa Hirst. He has volunteered for two summers at the Senior Center Donut Days and participates in BHS band and on the robotics team. Newel is an active member of his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors his troop.