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Eagle Scout leads arbor project at Delano Commons
Oct. 17, 2011

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – When Delano Commons residents sit under their new arbor, they’ll likely think of 18-year-old Brennan Gruba.

“It’s awesome,” Delano Commons property manager Carol Plemel said. “It turned out even better than we expected.”

Brennan, a senior at Delano High School, led the arbor construction for his Eagle Scout project, which was completed the end of June.

“We’re going to put plants and a cloth/mesh cover on it next spring,” Plemel said.

Brennan, several volunteers, and residents of Delano Commons senior housing celebrated the arbor’s completion in mid-summer.

“It was a wonderful time,” said Brennan’s father, Geoff Gruba, the assistant scoutmaster for Troop 273 in Delano. “It was such a neat deal to work with Delano Commons. The residents were so appreciative. They’d come out and watch us work and ask us if we needed anything.”

Brennan estimated that about 190 total hours of work went into the project, and that about 30 people helped in some way.

“I called my friends to help, and luckily, a bunch of them did,” Brennan said. “It was very nice of them.”

Volunteers and donors

Team members included Robert Gruba, Anna Wetter, Alec Gruba, Jake Bauer, Colette Bersie, Hans Wamre, Willie Bury, Allen Bawek, Dillon Field, Geoff Gruba, Aaron Jaunich, Brady Nieman, Ben Farniok, Alex Soberg, Alec Steiner, Nick Meyerson, Thomas Schmidt, Cody Bigot, Ethan Gruba, Greta Gruba, Ellie Moonen, Ben Nolan, Maddie Flandrick, Sheldon Way, Evan Lemmerman, Graham Ylitalo, and Vinay Pai.

Brennan got the idea to build an arbor from Mike Bauer, who is part of a community action board at Delano Commons.

“We wanted something to shade the area,” Plemel said. “Our residents are seniors, and for them to sit out in the sun gets to be too much.”

Bauer, owner of Bauer Design Build, assisted Brennan with the arbor’s design.

“He helped me tremendously with the project,” Brennan said.

Several other entities also donated, including Rosenquist Construction, Vickerman Construction, the Delano Lions Club, Fullerton Lumber, and the Delano American Legion.

Brennan said the most challenging part of the project was “trying to figure out how to tackle it.”

“The actual frame went up really fast,” he added. “Without my friends and family, I wouldn’t have been able to get this done.”

A family of Scouts

Brennan has been in Boy Scouts in Delano since he was in first grade.

“My older brother and my dad were in Scouts, and my little brother is in it, too,” he said. “It’s a whole family thing.”

Throughout the years, Brennan enjoyed earning merit badges for things like rope tying, swimming, first aid training, and much more.

“Life saving was enjoyable,” he said. “I also really liked small boat sailing. There are over 100 different merit badges.”

In addition to Scouting, Brennan also runs on the Delano High School cross country team and works at Flippin’ Bills in Delano.

After high school graduation, he plans to study psychology or sociology.

To learn more about becoming an Eagle Scout, follow the link on the Delano Herald Journal website, www.delanoheraldjournal.com.

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