By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN With four Eagle Scout brothers, Winsted’s Jared Schmieg can safely say the desire to achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouts runs in the family.
“I started in Cub Scouts when I was about 7,” Jared said. “It was a family tradition.”
In early September, Jared took part in his own Eagle Scout ceremony, an achievement fewer than 5 percent of Boy Scouts will share.
Jared, a member of Winsted Boy Scout Troop 399, is the son of Heidi and Delbert Schmieg,
His Eagle Scout leadership project involved building two wheelchair accessible mobile bookshelves for the Adult Training and Habilitation Center (ATHC) in Winsted.
“We asked for donations, and I raised $540,” Jared said. More than 76 hours went into the project.
“I think the bulk of the time was deciding which project I was going to do,” Jared joked, explaining that his brothers had already done projects for several places in town when they became Eagle Scouts.
The first of the Schmieg boys to obtain Eagle Scout status was Kyle, a 2004 graduate of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School (HLWW). For his Eagle Scout project, Kyle constructed benches for Holy Trinity School.
The second oldest brother, Russell, graduated from HLWW in 2008. His project was a conservation effort that involved lake, trail, and park cleanup.
“Matthew did landscaping at the local parks in town,” Jared said, adding that Matthew graduated a year later, in 2009.
The fourth brother, Alex, graduated in 2011. For his project, he made two wheelchair accessible tables for St. Mary’s Care Center.
Since none of his brothers worked on projects for the ATHC, Jared decided that was a good place to start. He talked with ATHC Program Manager Kate Benson, and the idea for mobile bookshelves was developed.
“One of them is 36 inches wide, and the other is double that,” Jared said. “The first bookshelf is being used for papers in the office area, and the other one is being used for books.”
Jared completed his project in June, shortly after his graduation from HLWW. Currently, he is a freshman at St. Cloud State University.
Boy Scouts is only open to boys under age 18, and Jared said he’ll miss being part of it.
“I always loved camping and catching dinner,” he said. “I was also the senior patrol leader, and the assistant patrol leader for a year.”
Fortunately, Jared can continue his involvement through the Venturing program until he turns 21.
“This summer, we’ll be going scuba diving in the Florida Keys,” he said. “About two years ago, we went canoeing up in Canada.”