by Dennis Dalman
There’s more than one way to beat Covid-19’s repercussions, and it took Lucas Hintgen a long time to do, but he did it.
Lucas, 15, a member of Sartell Boy Scout Troop 211, had planned an Eagle Scout project for May, but complications caused indirectly by the vicious virus threat kept jeopardizing the project.
Lucas’s plan was to construct a storage shed at the Sartell Community Garden near Oak Ridge Elementary School. Many city residents have plots there where they plant and harvest vegetables. Lucas noted the equipment storage shed at that site, used by all the gardeners, was small, aging fast, decrepit. He decided to build a new one to fulfill a requirement for his Eagle Scout merit status.
Last early spring, after presenting his idea to the city council and obtaining its members grateful permission, Lucas began a fundraising effort – about $3,000 for materials the shed construction would require.
That’s when Covid-19 raised its ugly head. Suddenly, societal forces, including businesses, were plunged into a roiling sea of uncertainties. Fundraising became very difficult, although Lucas kept trying. The need for social distancing also complicated his efforts. He persisted through the better part of six months.
Fundraising efforts were further complicated because the cost of lumber had increased – again because of pandemic-related pressures.
Lucas forged ahead – determined, persistent.
Two weeks ago, just before a mid-October blast of snow, he won the battle. With the help of others, he completed construction of the storage shed just before the snow began to fall.
“We finished it in about two weeks,” Lucas said. “It felt great to get that shed done. Finally. It took a lot of effort because of the pandemic. Lots of interruptions and uncertainties.”
The final cost of the shed was $4,000, about $1,000 more than estimated.
“We still have some money left so we plan to donate it to a good cause,” he said.
Lucas said he appreciates all the help he received: individuals and organizations making donations, as well as adults with carpentry skills helping build the shed. A plaque to be installed on the shed will honor those who helped out. The shed will be painted, weather permitting.
A 10th-grader at Sartell High School, Lucas is the son of David and Julie Hintgen.
Lucas said he still has some paperwork to fill out but that he expects he’ll receive his Eagle Scout honor sometime this next spring.