Oddly enough, none of the members of Boy Scout Troop 276 had ever played disc golf before they decided to build a course in Brooklyn Park as their Eagle Scout project.
But during a round on the newly completed nine-hole course last week, they joked about joining the pro circuit.
The winding, wooded course was built on land owned by Brooklyn Park Evangelical Free Church, and the idea to pursue it came from the disc golf-mad youth group there. Brothers David and Matthew Hubert, ages 14 and 16, of Brooklyn Park, belong to the church, and when a youth leader suggested the project early last spring, David's first reaction was, "I don't know. That sounds big," he recalled last week. "I thought it would be way too big to do by yourself."
His brother and his troopmates, Drew Johnson, 15, of Dayton, Bradey Sullivan, 13, of Champlin, and Danny Faulds, 15, of Dayton, recall similar reactions, but also a sense that this was an opportunity to make their contribution to something different, meaningful and fun. They committed to the project in July and got down to work.
Normally, Eagle Scout projects are solo endeavors. For this one to qualify, the boys had to break the job into key duties:
• David Hubert worked with professional disc golf course designer Mike Snelson, of Fairway Flyerz in Little Canada, to design and mark the course. (Snelson, an Eagle Scout himself, offered his services at a deep discount.)
• Matthew Hubert was in charge of building bridges over two drainage ditches on the course.
• Danny Faulds constructed the concrete tee boxes.
• Drew Johnson was in charge of signage, including granite hole markers, hole numbers and the main sign at the first tee.
• Bradey Sullivan oversaw construction, including clearing trees along the courseway and leveling the ground. Eventually, he'll also be the one who oversees landscaping and grass and clover seeding at the tees.
In addition, there were shared duties, including rustling up volunteers, completing paperwork, budgeting and fundraising. All together, the boys raised $9,300. In the end, they came in $500 under budget; they donated the excess to the church.
Delegation and coordination of duties were among the most difficult parts of the job, the boys said -- or in Bradey's words, just "trying to figure out how to do it."
On construction weekend in late August, 42 volunteers showed up with two Bobcats, a couple of brush hogs, several chainsaws and lots of energy. In about 16 hours over two days, they had cleared and graded a 10-foot-wide path through the woods.
Last Tuesday was the ribbon-cutting and dedication by Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde, but the Hubert brothers already had played the course, aiming for board-covered holes where the cages will go. They knew that other disc golfers also had already hit the course, in one case just a day after they poured the cement. Already, someone had marked a cage to memorialize a hole-in-one.
One afternoon last week, the boys gathered to show off their completed course, which they named Eagle's Edge, in honor of their project. There are several distinctive tees: one that requires players to throw over (sometimes into) a grassy slough; one that starts out on a platform, several feet above grade; and one that requires a toss between trees in a glade of birches.
There are still some paperwork and final approvals needed before the boys can earn their Eagle Scout designations.
Despite the hard work, they said they're glad they didn't choose something mundane and easy. That's "not something you want to show off to your kids," Matthew Hubert said.
Instead, they've built something they're proud of, and they've found a fun new pastime.
"We're still not very good at it," admitted David Hubert.
His brother agreed: "We still get above par -- on our own course."
Maria Elena Baca • 612-673-4409