Growing up in Redwood Falls, Easton Quast spent a lot of time at the Redwood Falls Public Library.
The Redwood Valley High school student also spent quite a bit of his time outside of the classroom involved in a program that has had a significant impact on his life.
Quast joined the Boy Scouts when he was in Kindergarten. He got involved with the organization because both of his brothers were in it, and his parents believed in the values and life lessons that Boy Scouts offer.
Continuing in the Boy Scouts into his high-school years, Quast has now achieved the highest rank – the Eagle Scout.
Early on in his Boy Scout experience, Quast determined that he wanted to become an Eagle Scout, and when the time came for him to do his community service project, there was one place he had on his mind where he wanted to do it – the local library.
So, he paid a visit to Teri Smith, director of the library.
“I went to Teri Smith, the Redwood Falls head librarian, for an idea so I could give back to something that gave my family and me so much enjoyment as a child,” explained Quast. “My Eagle Scout project is a story trail at the library. The trail goes along the backside of the library and current activity area and shelter. Along the trail, kids can read a children’s book.”
According to Smith, the story trail will combine nature, reading and movement into one creative activity for families.
“The Redwood Falls Public library hopes to engage families in reading even when the library is not open, and this story trail will be accessible at all times and in all kinds of weather,” explained Smith. “It will be fun to add physical activity and movements that go along with the story. The story trail will be a great addition to our outdoor area, and we hope to engage children and families with literacy in any way we can.
“Each story will be up for several months before being changed out for a new one, so families can participate with a beloved story several times before it is gone. We all know how children love repetition.”
According to Smith, the library staff had been thinking about doing a project like this, and when Quast came to them wanting to do an Eagle Scout project for the library, it seemed like a perfect fit.
Quast joined Boy Scout Troop 97, but over time the troop number changed to 42. There were two troops in Redwood Falls, and they combined into one.
According to Quast, the process he had to follow to earn his Eagle Scout award included fundraising, gathering help, detailed planning, gathering materials, ordering and installing posts and frames, and along the way, he had to keep detailed project notes for his final Eagle Scout report.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, each Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges. Quast has earned about 40 badges.
“I personally enjoyed cooking the most, because I earned it at a Scout camp which made it an even more memorable badge to earn,” explained Quast. “The hardest one for me was environmental science. This was hard for me, because it was a new concept for me so that made it difficult to really know all about the badge.”
As Quast continued as a Scout, more and more younger Scouts joined.
“As a Scout, I had to be a leader and example towards the younger Scouts,” Quast added. “This included many things from setting an example, helping the younger Scouts or assuming leadership positions within the troop.”
According to Quast, the main thing that kept him in Scouts was seeing other Scouts earn their Eagle Scout award. This motivated him to stay in it and know what he was working for. He also had some friends in Boy Scouts.
Quast enjoyed a lot of things in Scouts, but the thing he enjoyed the most was that it offers so many fun experiences and trips in which he could partake.
“Scouts isn't just about earning merit badges, it also gives you the opportunity to visit places that you’ve never seen before, try new activities, learn new skills and meet new people,” Quast explained.
Quast indicated he earned the Eagle Scout through years of work, adding it gives him a sense of accomplishment and was a way he could put into practice things he has learned as a Scout.
Scouting has given Quast so much in life, and someday he hopes to return that to others.
Quast wanted to thank his parents, Michele and Charlie Quast, most of all, for supporting and guiding him through the ranks of Cub and Boy Scouts.
He also wanted to express his appreciation to Patrick and Kathleen Rohland, Jim Pingel, Dale Neeley and Rene Lindo who have all been instrumental in his journey from a Cub Scout to the Eagle Scout award, as leaders.
“I would also like to thank my fellow troop members who made Scouts an even better experience,” Quast added. “Finally, I would like to thank Teri Smith and the Redwood Falls library for providing me the opportunity to install the story trail at the library and give back to my community, for my Eagle Scout project.
“Scouts has and will always have a positive impact on my life, and the experiences and life lessons I learned are unforgettable.”