Teen neighbor renders summer service

Scott Furman graduated Princeton High School this year and starts college this month after a busy summer.

Scott Furman graduated Princeton High School this spring, spent the summer working full time and departs for college in a few weeks.
He said, “I’m going to St. Cloud State for mechanical engineering.”
One highlight of Furman’s summer was working in Ohio under a national organization named TeenServe with 11 other young people in grades seven through 12 from the Princeton Evangelical Free Church. He said youth leader Tommy Case, who had done a TeenServe project before, arranged for the mission trip.
Groups sign up for mission work, pay for their travel and meals and report to different locations in which TeenServe works. Furman and his group traveled to Carol, Ohio, and completed home repair and improvement projects for various people July 8-15. Furman said several of the people they helped were military veterans, while others were elderly.
“Just about every project was painting,” Furman said. “I was one of the lucky ones to get a construction project.”
He said the main portion of the project was to tear off a dilapidated porch and replace it with a bigger deck structure. Furman said at the house, he heard that a mail carrier fell through the rotting porch boards. The screws on the porch were so badly corroded they couldn’t be pulled. He said the crew did the whole structure, including foundation footings and deck lumber.
“We built a new deck about one and a half times the size,” he said.
Among the TeenServe teams’ work was redoing stairs to go at a more gradual grade to accommodate a homeowner with back problems. He said many of the projects involved removal of lead paint that had to be scraped off the old-fashioned way – manually. The teens also built one person a 10-by-16 shed.
Furman said the group probably did about 25-30 projects during its time in Ohio. The groups of four to six teens camped at a local school, where they gathered at night for meals, free time and entertainment such as live, big-name music. He was excited to see Phil Joel play, a big-name singer who used to be with the Newsboys but has started a band called Zealand Worship.
Furman said he’s been on several other mission trips with church, but in the past they’ve gone to a Bible camp in Big Sky, Montana, to do light construction and maintenance projects.
Asked how he acquired construction skills, Furman said he took a building construction class in high school with teacher Leif Storbakken and learned basic skills such as framing, roofing and flooring. He also works full-time at JBerd Mechanical Contractors in St. Cloud doing a variety of prefabrication work.
Furman said he’s been working full-time this summer in order to save tuition money because he intends to pay for school as he goes along instead of incurring a huge debt.
In high school, he shot trap, participated in swimming and belonged to 4-H, where he said he remembers other kinds of small construction projects.
Another of Furman’s interests is motorcycles, which he says get better gas mileage than his truck. Last fall he bought a 2004 KLR 250, which he said is basically a street-legal dirt bike. Furman said he worked at Princeton Rental for awhile, and the bike was perfect for getting to there and around town. Next he bought a 2007 CBR 600 sport bike and drove that until late July when he got a 2008 Yamaha FZ-1. He said he just likes motorcycles and appreciates the technology that goes into making them perform.