Caen Skogerson’s Eagle Scout project benefits Sandquist Park in Cambridge

Caen Skogerson, who just graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School, stands on the berm that holds the pine trees planted as part of his Eagle Scout project. The trees will create a nice windbreak for ball games at Sandquist Park, since they are situated on the west side of the fields. Photo by Greg Hunt

Caen Skogerson, who just graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School, stands on the berm that holds the pine trees planted as part of his Eagle Scout project. The trees will create a nice windbreak for ball games at Sandquist Park, since they are situated on the west side of the fields. Photo by Greg Hunt

Caen Skogerson got his hands dirty for an Eagle Scout project that will benefit Sandquist Family Park for years.

Skogerson is a senior patrol leader of the revived Cambridge Boy Scout Troop 417. He was kicking around ideas for his Eagle Scout project when a tree planting project at Sandquist fell into his lap.

“My fellow Scout, George’s, father, Mr. Grandgennet — who lives right next to Sandquist Park — called me up and said, ‘Tom Smith has an Eagle project for you,’” Skogerson began. “So I called him up, and he said they were looking for someone to plant more trees. We went over the planning, which included a dirt berm for the planting area. We had to make sure of the spacing so the water runoff wouldn’t kick up the roots.”

Skogerson’s preparatory layout for the pines on the west side of Sandquist had the trees interlocked with a 2012 Eagle Scout project by Grant Fauver on the same site to create a stronger wind break for the ball fields.

The original planning was done with a couple feet of snow on the ground. The trees were then purchased through funds from the Cambridge-Isanti Softball Association, along with small donations Skogerson received. The planting day was originally set for May 11, but the weather didn’t cooperate that Saturday. The group returned Sunday, May 12, to get back into the dirt.

“We had about half the workers the next day because some of the other guys’ morale was broken by the cold weather,” Skogerson said, laughing. “But the guys who showed up brought their own shovels, and we got the job done. It feels good, in the sense that it felt good to reach out to people I didn’t even know. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but it was great to do this. It kind of inspired me to get other people more involved in community projects.”

The 2013 Cambridge-Isanti graduate is waiting for his Eagle Scout paperwork to get through the channels, and he will also organize a clean-up crew for Sandquist Park as Phase II of his community project.

Asked for favorite Scouting memories, Skogerson responded, “Well, my all-time favorite was a buddy and I went to Tomahawk Scout Camp, and he wouldn’t wake up to get the day going. A neighboring camp heard about the problem, so they wrapped him up in his sleeping bag, trapping him in it, then just tossed him into the lake. He woke up 10 minutes early the rest of the week.

“On the not-quite-so-legal side, at another Scout camp we decided we were going to make fire arrows. We made bows and arrows out of willows, then dipped the arrows in kerosene and lit that. We ended up scorching a guy’s tent, so he had to bunk with us. So we learned fire and tents were not the best combination.”

This summer, Skogerson has plans to take a friend up to the Boundary Waters for a “roughing it” week in the woods, looking forward to transferring all the skills he learned in Scouts. Hopefully, his friend is a natural early riser.

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