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“I think this, along with other experiences, will really shape Karsten’s life and will have a profound impact on him going forward,” she said. “He’ll be very mindful of the gift of life and appreciate what he has.”
A nodding Karsten agreed.
“My dad’s an important person,” he said. “I’m really happy he can still be here.”
Karsten’s great-grandfather had been a Boy Scout in India, Raghav Singh noted, but neither of Karsten’s parents expected the organization to influence their son so significantly.
“It was just an activity to be occupied in and have fun,” Moorhead said.
Raghav Singh said, “We knew it would have very positive impacts. I certainly didn’t think it would be something that would save my life.”
Karsten’s troop leader, Jay Kuivinen, nominated him for the Honor Medal, which is awarded for unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.
Karsten’s actions upheld the goals of the Boy Scouts of America to teach participants to be prepared to take action quickly while remaining calm and reacting to serious challenges, said Ken York, director of marketing and communications for the Northern Star Council regional branch.
“It sums up in a nutshell what we do as an organization,” York said.
Staff Sgt. John Kriesel, a former legislator from Cottage Grove who appeared with Karsten Singh at the Northern Star Council’s “Million Dollar Day for Scouting” ceremony to discuss how he dealt with the loss of his legs in Iraq, marveled at Karsten’s story.
“I think it’s an awesome example of what scouting is all about,” Kriesel said. “I was tremendously proud of that young man. He’s already been through more than people five times his age.”
Seth Rowe is a Twin Cities freelance writer.