EAGLE SCOUT Garrett Moran at his Court of Honor Saturday.

Moran receives Eagle Scout Merit Badge

Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards
Garrett Moran of Big Lake Boy Scout Troop 93 was awarded his Eagle Scout merit badge at a court of honor Saturday. The event was held at Big Lake Town Hall in Lions Park with fellow Scout Ethan Muehlberg calling for the presentation of the colors and leading the pledge of allegiance. 
Scoutmaster Chris VanHofwegen was master of ceremonies, leading a recitation of the Scout law and oath. Scout Joey Lindberg was chaplain of the group, leading in a prayer of invocation.
Garrett began Scouting as a Tiger Cub Scout when he was in first grade. He enjoyed camping, pinewood derby, soapbox derby, swimming, fishing, canoeing and shooting. In school, he played football, baseball and participated in wrestling.
Moran’s Eagle Scout project included building five wood duck houses and a bat house and installing them in River Oaks Park in Big Lake. He also stained 19 picnic tables for use in the new park.
Scoutmaster Dan Weber talked about the trail Scouts follow from tenderfoot to second class, then first class scout. Scoutmaster Joel Muehlberg continued to the next levels, star scout, life scout and finally Eagle Scout, an honor earned by less than two percent of the boys who start out in Scouting.
Scoutmaster Patrick Liebl spoke about the Eagle Challenge as Moran was led to the front of the room by his honor guard, David Gravning, Benjamin Mitchell, Patrick Liebl and Ethan Muehlberg. 
Moran named his long-time friend Steven Lindula, who passed away recently,  an honorary member of his honor guard team in memoriam.
“It was a hard time for all of us,” Garrett said. “I was going to have an open spot in the honor guard for him, wherever he is.”
Garrett’s mom, Mary pinned on his Eagle Badge, as Liebl explained the symbolism of it. Red, white and blue representing courage, honor and loyalty, the scroll of the badge turned upward into a smile representing cheerfulness and service.
“A scout is to be a protector of the weak and helpless,” said Liebl, “Prepared to put forth his best as an example to others.”
“Let the Scout Law be your guide,” Liebl urged Moran. 
Dad Mike Moran dressed Garrett in his neckerchief. Garrett gave his mom and dad pins in exchange as recognition of their efforts in helping him achieve his goal.
State Rep. Nick Zerwas congratulated Garrett on behalf of the state, presenting him with a resolution of congratulations from the House. Mayor Raeanne Danielowski also congratulated Moran on achieving this honor.
“It’s a testament to the Scout Leaders,” she said. Scoutmaster Allan Gravning said it was an honor for him to speak since he had known Garrett since first grade and had taken him on many outings.
Gravning thanked Mike and Mary for allowing him to be part of Garrett’s life.
“He likes eating,” Gravning recalled. “And he was always one of the first to help clean up. He was there when I was sick and he also helps take care of younger scouts.”
Scoutmaster Bill Blackers, who was part of Moran’s Board of Review, said Garrett showed a lot of maturity, helping the Webelows and training new scout leaders. “I am proud of you,” he said. 
Fellow Scout Wesley Halverson noted Garrett made a point of  going out of his way to say hello to others.
“Always with a smile,” Halverson said. 
He recalled someone catching a 15 pound snapping turtle on a fishing trip at Camp Phillips and Moran wanting to make soup out of it.
“It took a good 15 minutes to talk him out of it,” Halverson said.
Scout Skylar VanHofwegen said he had been on plenty of fun adventures with Moran, including trips to New Mexico and Sea Camp in the Bahamas.
“I would want to go back and do it all again with him,” VanHofwegen said.
Moran also received letters of congratulations from the White House, Joe Biden, Al Franken, Michele Bachmann, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Dayton, Mary Kiffmeyer and the City of Big Lake.
Garrett thanked eveyone for attending the ceremony.
“You helped me a lot,” he said to his leaders, teachers and fellow scouts.
“My parents, especially my dad, pushed me to do this and I am glad of that because this is where I met the friends I have now. More kids should join Scouting, it’s that great of a  thing,” Garrett said.


NEW BIG LAKE BOUTIQUE OWNERS are Beth Koch, Shanna Romsdahl and Aadra Mielke.

FROM HOLLYHOCK FARM near Becker, Teresa Kukowski and her alpaca Francine have beautiful eyes and make beautiful garments from alpaca wool.

(L to R) Michelle Garcia and Steve Karel, two of the newest faces at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, are looking forward to the opening of the Oak Savanna Learning Center in October. (Photo by Aleah Stenberg)

VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE Big Lake’s Knowledge Bowl Team made their very first trip to state last week and came home with sixth place medals. Team members are (from the left), Jake Dickinson, Jack Flicker, Peter Wallace, Tim Poffenberger and Jacob Block. The team is coached by Teacher Angela McCormack. (Submitted photo).