The ‘fantastic four’

Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki, left, offers remarks during an Aug. 15 Eagle Award ceremony for Boy Scouts Troop 114 members Brady Tynen, Jonathan Osifuye, Steven Nelson and Andrew Tomten. The four scouts have been members of the same troop since first grade at Oak Park Elementary School. (submitted photo)

Boy Scout Troop 114 quartet cap scouting careers with Eagle awards

Four members of the same local Boy Scouts of America troop who started in Scouts in first grade all recently earned their Eagle rank.

Brady Tynen, Jonathan Osifuye, Steven Nelson and Andrew Tomten of Troop 114 have been in the Boy Scouts since they were Tiger Scouts at Oak Park Elementery School. On Aug. 15, the four joined their fellow member of the “Pedro Patrol,” Ben Scheel, in the Eagle rank. Scheel earned his Eagle Award earlier in the school year.

Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki declared Aug. 15 “Brady Tynen, Jonathan Osifuye, Steven Nelson and Andrew Tomten Day”  in honor of the four scouts. Harycki noted how rare it is for any Boy Scout to earn the Eagle rank, let alone four from the same patrol. Only about two percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle award.

During the Eagle ceremony, Tynen, Osifuye, Nelson and Tomten all thanked several adult leaders inspired them and kept their group intact for so many years. They expressed gratitude to Jean Tynen, their first Den Mother, who opened her family’s home to “a bunch of crazy first graders;” Jim Kimbllin, Jean Tynen’s assistant, also stayed with the scouts from the start, and stayed an active mentor to the troop throughout. Also credited were Bob Jordan, Pat Tynen and Todd Scheel, fathers who were actively involved in troop activities and escapades.

Roger Tomten, the Troop 114 Scoutmaster for the bulk of the four Eagles’ time as Boy Scouts, received recognition for his contributions. After “retiring” as scoutmaster, Tomten stayed on to mentor the four scouts through their individual Eagle projects.
The Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouting. To earn this designation, a Boy Scout must earn at least 21 Merit Badges and design a service project that demonstrates the individual’s commitment to leadership, community and a number of other criteria. Once the project is approved, the scout fundraises and seeks donated materials, and manages the labor provided by his fellow scouts.

  • Nelson, son of Scott and Sandy Nelson of Oak Park Heights, constructed benches for an outdoor classroom at Stillwater Area High School’s Environmental Learning Center. In his short speech, Nelson described his feelings of pride and accomplishment as he saw his outdoor classroom area put to use during the spring of last school year.
  •  Osifuye, son of Ometress White of Woodbury, designed and constructed a public canoe rack at Lily Lake. His project reflected his fond memories of the many outdoor adventures scouting offered him. Interestingly, Jonathan moved away from Stillwater in elementary school, but was motivated to give back to this community.
  •  Tomten, son of Roger and Elizabeth Tomten of Stillwater, created a wooden message board for the trail around Lake McKusick, and provided trail markers along the path. Andrew is the third in his family to receive the Eagle Scout rank, following his older brother Michael, and his dad.
  •  Tynen, son of Pat and Jean Tynen of Stillwater, designed and built an innovative and organized lost-and-found system for Stillwater Junior High School. His work included three wooden bins with removable inserts that can be wheeled and stowed under countertops. Parents and students looking for their lost items have been grateful and impressed by the clever system.

The four scouting friends and the other patrol members are headed off to different colleges this fall, but they’ll surely stay in touch. They are planning on more adventures and nature-oriented trips together during breaks and summers to maintain the friendships established years ago at Oak Park School. Although they’ll be separated by state borders, they’ll have the experiences and memories that make them part of Troop 114.