Frazee-Vergas student becomes Eagle Scout
Jacob Lormis’ introduction to scouting was his first Tiger meeting when he was a first grader at the age of 7 at the Frazee Elementary Gym.
Over the next years he achieved as many awards and recognitions he could in Cub scouting, he attended every council event in Fargo he could and as many camps as were available.
Ask him and he will show you every pine wood derby car he has built over them years. He may have not built the winning car but the pride in taking a block of wood and designing something he thought was cool you will feel.
In 6th grade he bridged from cub scouting to boy scouting with Troop 322 from Vergas, along with Ryan Tollefson, Taylor Armstrong, Brice Korf, Tucker Nundahl and Roger & Martin Thorp.
Under the supervision of their Scout Master Dean Haarstick, Jacob has taken trips to Camp Wilderness in Park Rapids, Gooseberry Falls in Duluth, Medora, S.D., Valley Fair, Camp Ripley, Glendalough State Park and Itasca State Park. He has helped with community service projects in Vergas and Frazee, helping with such things as ditch cleanup’s, Octoberfest, Santa Days, Frazee sportsman’s club fundraiser, Maple Fest, Halloween Night and the flag dedication at the new Hobart town hall.
In scouting you move from the ranks of Tenderfoot to 2nd Class to 1st Class to Star to Life Scout then to Eagle Scout, all before you reach your 18th birthday. It is a commitment that only a few complete, as each rank you must maintain for 4 to 6 months. In that time you have so many regular badges you must earn along with so many Eagle badges as well.
To date Jacob has earned 12 eagle badges, 31 regular badges and 4 gold badges that Boy Scouting of America brought back for its 100th year anniversary in 2010.
Once a scout earns their Life rank they can plan, if they so wish, on an approved Eagle project and discuss with their scout master and attain approval from an Eagle Scout advisor.
The Eagle project should be something that is helpful to others and also makes the scout become a leader by getting them involved with other’s and directing people on how they can help the scout and puts them in charge of the project.
Jacob sat down and thought of things that he felt would be something worthy of being called an Eagle project. After some deliberation he decided on helping foster children.
What influenced him the most was seeing children being brought to the home of his grandmother Mary Knopf, a foster parent, without anything except the clothes on their backs.
Jacob contacted Joni Wohlwend with Family Foster Care of Becker County and expressed his idea, and asked if it would be something that was needed. Joni gave her approval and as did the Eagle Scout advisor where by giving Jacob his Eagle scout project the go ahead.
Jacob set off on contacting many local and non-local businesses to see how they could help him. He met with the Frazee Sportsman’s Club, he talked with Lakeshirts of Detroit Lakes, Dr. Harvey, orthodontist, West River Dental of Detroit Lakes, Shooting Star Casino, Amie Erickson, Susan Jaroszewski, Dan Benscooter, DL Mahube, Arvig Communication, KLN of Perham, Curleys on Cotton Lake, Ottertail power, ShopKo, Wal-Mart and Frazee Community Bank. All were such great contacts and helped Jacob so much.
Jacob used the power of the Internet to reach out to other businesses as well. He was amazed at the responses he got and the people that came to him saying, ‘how can we help.’ North East Fleece of Maine donated 40 fleece blankets, Dollar Days of Arizona donated 24 duffle bags, 4 Imprint donated 20 draw string bags and Central Osh Kosh B’Gosh with stuffed animals.
With all this support for his project grew from making only 20 bags to making 44 duffle bags that had a blanket, one outfit, a zip up sweatshirt, pajama’s, underwear, socks, hair brush, tooth brush, tooth paste, book and a toy inside.
Arranging a time that would work with others he met with fellow scouters Ryan Tollefson and Taylor Armstrong to shop and buy supplies he needed. After inventorying and making sure they had all things ready for the bags they arranged another night to meet up and put the bags together.
Jacob invited them to his house and set up tables in his garage to make an assembly line process. With the help of his aunt, Cindy Sandberg, Scout parents Nicky Swenson, Michelle and Robert Tollefson and his sister Brittany Lormis they proceeded to pack and organize all the bags.
Jacob arranged a day and time to meet with Joni to show her what he had accomplished; when he opened the back of his van to show her she could not believe her eyes.
Joni’s comment was, “You will not realize what this will mean to the kids.” She thanked Jacob for fulfilling this need, for now, as she told Jacob, “Kids will have something of their own when they have to be placed in a foster home.”
As an added bonus Jacob handed her 16 pairs of shoes that he was able to purchase with his Eagle project money. The shoes ranged in sizes and Jacob asked her to give to whoever needed them most.
Jacob’s journey is not done yet. Even though his project is completed he must still have an Eagle Scout board of review, conducted by four adult’s. In that board they analyze, question and discuss with the scout many things than if they feel he is worthy than he is given the Eagle Scout rank.
His project made us proud of him and showed us that he truly does understand and lives by the Scout promise, which reads: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law: To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”