Eagle Scout project flies proud in Milaca

Photo by Jeff Hage, Union-Times
Boy Scout Collin Staup, American Legion Commander Larry Macheel and Legion member George Boyer work to raise flags at the site of a new flag pole in Milaca’s Rec Park.

Milaca – Collin Staup had a vision while he was looking for ideas for his Eagle Scout project.
“I was thinking about installing benches around Milaca,” Staup said.
But then he noticed something.

Photo by Jeff Hage, Union-Times
The United States and Minnesota flags now fly proudly in Milaca’s Rec Park.

He had Rec Fest on his mind last year and thought it would be nice to start off Milaca’s three-day July bluegrass festival with the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I looked around Rec Park and saw no flag pole,” he said.
That got Staup thinking. He needed a project to help him earn a designation as an Eagle Scout, and Rec Park had a great new building in the Gorecki Community Center.
“We have lots of events here, and I thought it would be cool to start them with the pledge,” Staup said.
The Gorecki building would be the perfect location to gather around the flag, he thought.
The proposed project would also be a fitting one, he said.
“Rec Park is home to lots of Eagle projects,” Staup said, including a trail system through the park built as an Eagle Scout project by his Scout Master Jason Fullin.
Getting the flag pole in the ground was a lot of work, Staup said. It’s a process that took about 18 months.
What began as a simple idea started to work its way to reality when he presented his idea to the Milaca City Council.
That was about a year and a half ago, said Milaca Mayor Harold “Pete” Pedersen.
After getting approval from the Milaca City Council, Staup had to go before an Eagle Scout council where he was interviewed by three Scout leaders.
“They asked a lot of questions,” Staup said.
After completing lots of paperwork explaining his project, he was given the green light to proceed with the project.
Then came fundraising for the flag pole, which came in at about $2,300 when completed. The Milaca American Legion and Milaca VFW were major donors, along with many Milaca-area businesses.
On Wednesday, May 10, Staup gathered with friends, family members and Tim Coil from St. Cloud-based Coil’s Flags and Flagpoles to install the flagpole.
“Putting in a flag pole is really not that simple,” Staup noted.
A hole had to be dug with an auger provided by Lind Lumber, which anchored the pole. A number of bags of cement were employed to ensure the flag pole stands tall and proud.
With the help of George Boyer and Larry Macheel of the American Legion, an American flag and Minnesota flag were raised.
Staup now has to complete more paperwork and go back before the Scout’s council to get final approval of his project to earn his Eagle Scout honors.