Cambridge boy achieves rank of Eagle Scout

When Alex Smith joined the Cub Scouts seven years ago, he never imagined he’d achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Joining in the Eagle Scout Oath with Alex Smith at his Court of Honor are Mark Bingham, Scoutmaster Tim Wuestenhagen and Matt Derby, with Smith second from the left. Photos submitted

Joining in the Eagle Scout Oath with Alex Smith at his Court of Honor are Mark Bingham, Scoutmaster Tim Wuestenhagen and Matt Derby, with Smith second from the left. Photos submitted

But that became a reality when the 17-year-old from Cambridge attended his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Nov. 17 at Faith Lutheran Church in Isanti.

His parents Duane and Kathy Smith were in attendance, as well as his mentor, Scoutmaster of Troop 417 Tim Wuestenhagen.

“I was extremely happy,” Alex said. “Seeing the proud looks on my parents’ faces, I just couldn’t help but smile.”

For his Eagle Scout project, Alex planned and organized the building of nine outdoor planters to enhance the landscaping at Faith Lutheran Church.

He found the plans online and downsized them to fit his needs for the project, then organized family members to buy cedar wood and hardware.

Following the ceremony, Alex Smith is surrounded by leaders of Cambridge Troop 417. From left, Fred Miller, Darrin Pokela, Scoutmaster Tim Wuestenhagen, Mark Bingham, Alex Smith, Rick Brown and Steve Grandgenett.

Following the ceremony, Alex Smith is surrounded by leaders of Cambridge Troop 417. From left, Fred Miller, Darrin Pokela, Scoutmaster Tim Wuestenhagen, Mark Bingham, Alex Smith, Rick Brown and Steve Grandgenett.

Alex and a group of family members cut the wood down to size and together built the planters, finishing the project in June when they were placed along the entrance walkway outside the church.

Scoutmaster Wuestenhagen said becoming an Eagle Scout is a tremendous achievement.

“All of the leaders of the troops are proud of Alex,” he said. “He’s grown a lot since he joined Boy Scouts, and the Eagle award is a culmination of that.”

At the Court of Honor, Alex said Scoutmaster Wuestenhagen and some boys from the troop explained the six ranks that come before Eagle Scout.

The Eagle Charge and Oath were given before the presentation of the award. Finally, Alex presented a pin to his mother, father and his scoutmaster.

“When I joined Scouts, I never imaged I’d become an Eagle Scout because less than 2 percent of boys who join Scouting ever become Eagle Scouts,” he said. “You never expect to get that far, but I did.”

Outside Faith Lutheran Church in Isanti, Alex Smith stands next to the completed planters he helped build for his Eagle Scout project.

Outside Faith Lutheran Church in Isanti, Alex Smith stands next to the completed planters he helped build for his Eagle Scout project.

A junior at Cambridge-Isanti High School, Alex said he’s considering applying for colleges in Minnesota or a bordering state with plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Until then, he’ll continue to attend troop meetings throughout high school and help other boys advance. One of his favorite parts about being involved in Boy Scouts has been helping other boys in the troop.

“I love being able to help these younger boys learn things,” Alex said. “When you see it click and they just get it, it’s really satisfying.”

During and after college, he said he’ll probably seek out local troops and take on leadership roles.

“Scouting has been a really good experience for me,” he said. “It taught me a bunch of life skills and helped me make some friends.”

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