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Sense of accomplishment surrounds Eagle Scout honor

East Ridge High School student Ryan Schiferl received his Eagle Scout ranking last year after completing a community service project at a St. Paul Montessori school. He will attend Quinnipiac University in the fall. (Staff photo by Mike Longaecker)

What started out as a fun activity as a kindergartner evolved into a life changing experience for a Woodbury teenager.

Ryan Schiferl attained Boy Scouting’s highest honor – the Eagle Scout award – last year and in April was awarded a $1,000 Eagle Scout scholarship.

“It was probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” the East Ridge High School senior said.

That’s no small claim, especially since Schiferl swam on the Raptors’ 200-meter medley team that won state over the winter.

Attaining the Eagle Scout honor is “amazing,” his mother, Debbie Schiferl, said noting that scores of children join as Tiger Cubs, but so few continue all the way the top of scouting’s highest echelon.

“It was really cool to see that he was able to follow through with it,” she said. “We’re really proud of him.”

A key element necessary to being awarded the honor requires scouts to complete a community service project.

Schiferl chose to construct planter boxes and a sandbox at Cathedral Hill Montessori in St. Paul for his project.

“The kids there really seemed like they needed it,” he said of the project, which he completed in July 2013.

The project totaled more than 300 work hours, including 150 hours Schiferl spent planning – a process that began in September 2012 – and executing.

After completing the project, Schiferl returned a few months later to check back in. He arrived to find children playing in the sandbox. Meanwhile, the planters boxes were serving their purpose – protecting the plants from playful kids bumping into them.

“It was actually amazing,” Schiferl said, recalling the scene.

As Schiferl maps out his future, he said he’s going to be sure scouting remains a part of it.

He will be studying next year at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, where he will be majoring in athletic training and physical therapy.

Schiferl has his hopes set on being a merit badge counselor once he gets settled in college.

“Scouting has been that much of a part of my life,” he 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

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