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Park High School Eagle Scout’s final project benefits church

Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey honors Park High School senior Eric Konitzer, who recently earned his Eagle Scout award, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts organization. City Council members, including Justin Olsen and Jen Peterson, also extended their congratulations. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

For many summers, Park High School senior Eric Konitzer attended outdoor church services with his family at Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church.

The congregation would often sit on the grass and listen to the pastor’s message. But last summer, while embarking on his Eagle Scout project, the final act of community service needed to attain the Boy Scout’s highest rank, Konitzer came up with the idea to build benches for the church members.

“The church usually asks, ‘What can we do for you?’ But I decided to ask, ‘What can I do for you?’” he said. “I wanted to build nice, sturdy benches for people to use during the outdoor services.”

In June, Konitzer began fundraising, netting more than $1,000 to help purchase the necessary supplies. He said he spent over 100 hours on his project, and with the help of 40 of his troop members he built 13 benches.

“They work really well,” he said. “I thought it would be something nice to do for my church.”

Konitzer was recognized for his work and for obtaining his Eagle Scout designation last week during the Cottage Grove City Council meeting. His name will be placed on a wall of recognition at City Hall, along with dozens of other area students who have obtained the Boy Scout Eagle Scout or Girl Scout Gold awards.