Andrew Borash receives his Eagle Scout award

His project has beautified three local cemeteries

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Fourteen-year-old Randall resident Andrew Borash recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest attainable rank in the Boy Scouts. He was presented with the award during a Dec. 1 ceremony at Mary of Lourdes Middle School.

Borash has been in Scouting for eight years. He is a member of Little Falls Boy Scout Troop 51, which has produced 42 Eagle Scouts over the years. Prior to that, Borash was with Pack 44 during his Cub Scout years.

Andrew Borash, Randall, earned his Eagle Scout ranking by doing extensive work at three cemeteries near Little Falls. His project began with just taking care of the Veterans’ stones, but grew to include all the foot stones which were sinking or needed edging. Pictured during the Eagle Scout ceremony at Mary of Lourdes Middle School were (from left): Borash’s mother, Brenda; Borash; and his father Jason. Both Borash’s parents are leaders for Troop 51.

To achieve the Eagle Scout rank, Borash was active in his troop and was in positions of leadership for a minimum of six months. He also earned the required minimum 21 merit badges and accomplish an extensive service project.

The idea for Borash’s project came from a family friend, Bill Osberg. He mentioned in passing the local cemeteries needed work; they were in disrepair. The grounds were overgrown and many of the foot stones were no longer visible; they had sunk below the surface of the ground over the years.  It was a perfect project for the Scout.

At first, Borash thought he would clean around the veterans’ stones. But when he visited the cemeteries and saw that every stone needed help, he changed his plan to improving the area around every foot stone that needed it.

“I started to count the number of veterans’ stones I would have to do and never finished,” said Borash. “I just decided to clean and raise them all.”

Part of the requirements for Borash’s Eagle Scout project was to recruit others and oversee the project, not just accomplish it. He had help from about 24 others.

Pictured are two of the foot stones Andrew Borash worked on. At the top of the picture is the stone before it was raised. The stone at the bottom is the finished product.

Some of the foot stones needed edging to bring them back to life. Others needed the dirt and some grass removed off the top. But many had sunk up to 18 inches below the surface of the cemetery grounds. Borash needed to remove the stones, fill in the space with the dirt and sand donated by Knife River, then replace the foot stone so it was level with the ground.

He also cleaned and edged the concrete rows for the headstones.

Borash said he was thanked from many of the families who saw what he was doing. Even when he was around town, people would stop and thank him.

“I thought it would take two days to accomplish my project,” said Borash. “It took three weeks all together.”

Three cemeteries benefited by Borash’s project. They were Our Lady of Lourdes west of Little Falls, Holy Family in Belle Prairie and Holy Trinity in Royalton.

Borash and his crew worked mostly in the cooler mornings for the weather during the July 14 – Aug. 2 project was extremely hot and humid.

“I am glad I did it. It helped so many people,” he said.

When the project was completed, Borash and the others had cleaned and raised 1,255 stones and 25 cement rows. It took 680.5 man hours.

Borash plans to stay in Scouting and continue earning badges. He will also help others with their badges and Eagle Scout projects.

An Eagle Scout may continue to earn merit badges and with every five beyond the required amount to become an Eagle Scout, a bronze, gold then silver palm leaf is earned.

So far, Borash has earned 29 merit badges of the possible 136 available.

Borash’s parents, Brenda and Jason, are Boy Scout Troop 51’s troop leaders and Jason was also an Eagle Scout.

His sister Breanna plans to join the Venturing program in Swanville, an off-shoot of the Boy Scouts, when she turns 14. It is for both young men and women and provides positive experiences to help them grow into responsible adults.

Borash said he thanks all of his family, friends and the scouts who helped him with his project. He appreciates everything that was done to help him, especially the loaned shovels and the hours people worked.