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Rice Lake project brings Matt Glen closer to being Eagle Scout

Matt Glen, left, watches as fellow Boy Scouts Chris Niner, Patrick Vass, Kyle Sagedahl and Tony Sagedahl set planks into a jig as they build a section of a floating boardwalk Thursday morning out into Rice Lake. The construction of the 360-foot boardwalk is Glen's project to earn an Eagle Scout badge. The boardwalk is off the Bear Den Canoe Road, which is a non-motorized access to the lake that the Beltrami County has cleaned up. In the background is John Winter of Beltrami County Natural Resources and T...

Some projects are above and beyond others.

Fourteen-year-old Matt Glen had until he was 18 to figure out and complete a project to earn an Eagle Scout badge. Wait was not in his vocabulary.

With a crew of his friends from St. Philip's Troop 23, troop leader Brian Niner, his father Todd, his grandfathers Don Klobe and Russ Glen, Matt constructed a 360-foot floating boardwalk with a moveable deck out into Rice Lake south of Solway -- a two-day project.

"I was grouse hunting one day and saw a beautiful lookout onto a lake," Matt said. "It was a shame you had to go through a swampy spot to get to it. Building a boardwalk would be a good thing to do."

With some research into the requirements needed to earn an Eagle Scout badge, he discovered this project would definitely work.

Glen's next step was to go to Beltrami County Natural Resources and visit with John Winter. On that visit, he brought with him two boardwalk designs.

"I originally wanted to make it out of tamarack, but Mr. Winter talked me out of that and I'm glad he did." Glen said. "It's really hard to work with."

They ended up using 2-by-12 red pine planks that were treated with an eco-friendly preservative. "Not the green stuff," said Matt.

According to Matt, the county purchased the wood and material for the project.

"I thought I would have to do a lot of fundraising," he said. "I'm really glad I didn't have to do it."

The next hurdle was getting all that lumber down a steep hill. With a zip line, come-along and four hours of work, "it was kind of fun," he said.

With a crew in place, dates were set, June 10 and 11. Some jigs were made to save time. The adults did the heavy cutting of the timber, but the Scouts did all the rest.

"It was important to me to be consistent, keep it straight," said Glen. "I'm really glad we took our time. You stand on the hillside and it looks great. It's level and most of all, it's straight."

Glen is a Life Scout. He will now concentrate on helping his friends with their projects. Once this project is approved he is one merit badge away from an Eagle Scout.

"That won't take me long," he said.