An Edgerton teen is going to give back to his town and achieve a lofty goal at the same time.
Boy Scout Eric Gruver is planning to improve the trail through the woods at Miller Park in his bid to become an Eagle Scout. The 15-year-old freshman at Edgerton High School just recently received authorization from the Village Council to proceed with his project.
The achievement is rare among Boy Scouts as only 3 percent ever earn the rank. Eric is a member of Troop 1222 out of Bryan. The troop has 30 youth and overall has had 20 Eagle Scouts.
Scouting has deep roots in the Gruver family as Eric’s paternal grandmother is a Cub Master.
“So she’s in charge of all the Cub Scouts in town and has been involved for a very long time”, Jason Gruver, Eric’s dad, said. “When Eric came home from the hospital, my mother brought him his first Cub Scout outfit.”
“It was a big motivation,” Eric said of his grandmother’s participation in Scouts.
It has been the bonds with leaders and other Scouts who have kept him involved for the last nine years, Eric said.
“It’s a very nice group,” Eric said. “They help the community. They do a lot of fun, interesting and rewarding activities. It involves me with a lot of people I would not have met otherwise.”
One of those activities was whitewater rafting in Pennsylvania, Eric said. Another was a hike by Lake Superior in the U.P., he said.
“It was cold, but beautiful,” Jason said.
Eric has a sash with many medals he has earned.
Dad is very proud of his son. Jason said he never advanced beyond Cub Scouts.
“He’s worked really hard to do this,” Jason said. “I have actually enjoyed him being in Scouting as much as he has. I’ve gotten to enjoy many of the same things he has and met a lot of good people. It’s been good for both of us.”
Besides his dad, Eric’s family includes Mom, Alicia, and sister Autumn. Eric plays baseball, track and cross country. The latter sport was the inspiration for his project.
Eric will clear the dead trees from the path and then cover it with mulch. He will also lengthen the trail in the woods to make it more interesting by spending more time in the woods, he said.
“A lot more,” Eric said.
The village will supply the mulch and Jason Gruver’s employer will donate sawdust to the project.
“We are going to use a combination of the two of those,” Jason Gruver said. “We are probably going to make (the trail) twice as long as it already is.”
The trail will be dedicated to a former village employee, Keith Brown, who died this winter in a traffic accident. The project has been approved by his Scoutmaster, the Unit Commissioner and the Scout Council. Eric went to the village first, since that was the most important step, Jason said.
With most of the materials being donated, the hardest thing to come by will be the labor.
Fellow Scouts and family friends will be called on to help with raking, shoveling and sawing. The village will come out and remove any large trees, Eric said. Eric sees the project taking a couple of weekends in the summer.