Weather Forecast


Eagle has landed for 2 Woodbury scouts

Two Woodbury teenagers recently reached the pinnacle of Boy Scouts.

Chris Kesting, 16, and Max Rombach, 18, were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on June 6 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis — the church that sponsors Troop 871.

For Kesting, who will be entering his junior year at New Life Academy, the award represented the accomplishment of a goal he set after attaining the rank of Star Scout.

Now he’s able to pin the Eagle Scout distinction to his resume, which Kesting figures will help down the road when he goes in search of jobs after college.

“That stands out to people,” he said.

Rombach, a 2013 East Ridge High School graduate, said the Eagle Scout award could open doors for him beyond college. Rombach will be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the fall.

Yet both scouts said that while the award comes with benefits, their biggest takeaway was the overall scouting experience.

“The opportunities in scouting are limitless if you try and find them,” Rombach said.

Kesting concurred, saying the Boys Scouts’ oath — which fosters concepts like loyalty, bravery, trustworthiness and strong morals — has become one central to his own life.

Those principles, he said, apply everywhere he goes, including “all the people around you in your community.”

In order to earn the Eagle Scout badge, scouts must complete a service project that benefits their community. Kesting chose to construct park benches at a park under construction off Manning Avenue in eastern Woodbury.

“It just stood out to me as a unique kind of project,” he said. “I thought it would be a pretty cool experience to try.”

After assembling more than 20 volunteers — many of them fellow Troop 871 scouts — Kesting went to work for about 125 hours constructing five benches for the park, which is under development.

For his project, Rombach chose to construct a fence at the Dale Road dog park in Woodbury. He learned that the lack of fencing there had led to some preventable problems, so he said he took on a project that erected 1,600 feet of fence on the property.

“I thought it’d be nice to do something that was relevant to me and my family and be personal — not just going off and planting trees in some area,” Rombach said.

He called the Eagle Scout badge “a hard-earned achievement” that has already helped pave the way for his involvement in an ROTC program in college.

“It’s a brotherhood and it’s really cool when you get to see it at work,” Rombach said.

While Rombach moves on to college, Kesting will take his most adventurous scouting excursion yet later this month: a 70-mile backpacking hike through New Mexico.

His mother, Nancy Kesting, said she knew the benefits that reaching Eagle Scout can bring; her two brothers also earned the badge.

“There’s this brotherhood of Eagle Scouts,” she said. “We’re glad that he did it.”

Rombach’s mother, Becky Rombach, said Max has much to show from scouting —even beyond the Eagle Scout award.

“How can we go wrong when we raise these boys to become responsible young men?” she said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072