MARILYN HAGERTY: Eagles show they can finish something they start
What does it mean to be an Eagle Scout? Two years ago, the Boy Scouts marked their 100th birthday. This year, the Eagle Scouts are marking a century for celebration. We talked about that recently when I sat around the dining room table at Bob "Bo...
What does it mean to be an Eagle Scout?
Two years ago, the Boy Scouts marked their 100th birthday. This year, the Eagle Scouts are marking a century for celebration. We talked about that recently when I sat around the dining room table at Bob "Bobby" Dusso's house on 15th Avenue South in Grand Forks.
With him were his two brothers, also Eagle Scouts, and two sons who are Eagles. And his father, Bob Dusso, who was active in Scouting and encouraged his sons along the way.
The elder Dusso never became an Eagle because he couldn't swim. And at the time he was moving up the ranks that was a requirement.
Bobby Dusso believes becoming an Eagle proves you can finish something you started. "And it shows you can be a leader, not a follower.
"I think," he said, "it says something for your character."
His brother, Jimmy, who was visiting here from Lexington, Ky., said he always has been proud of his Eagle Scout status. He treasures the way it fostered his love for the outdoors. And it gave him a sense of accomplishment. He has used his Eagle Scout rank proudly on applications for jobs.
For the third brother, Michael, who now lives in Rochester, Minn., the road to Eagle Scout status was all about camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing. He has felt the benefit of the discipline that came with it.
Sunday, 14 who have earned Eagle Scout status in the past year are being recognized at a dinner at the Ramada Inn.
They will be in good company. There are Eagle Scouts all over. The Eagles quietly point to those who have achieved that status and take note of how many in high places are Eagle Scouts.
Among well known men of Grand Forks, there are Eagle Scouts including UND President Robert Kelley, Mayor Michael Brown, UND Athletic Director Brian Faison, Attorneys Joel Arneson and Jon Jensen and UND Professor Douglas Munski.
The Dusso family is completely committed to Scouting. The elder Dusso was active in Boy Scouts in Grand Forks until he moved back to Minnesota after retirement. He had been at Grand Forks Air Base from 1978 to 1983.
His son Bobby has continued to be active in scouting here in Grand Forks. And grandson Bob is Scoutmaster of Troop 13 at Holy Family Church. Another son, Spencer, is attending Bismarck State College. He also was an adult leader for Troop 13.
For the sons and grandsons of Bob Dusso, there is a feeling of a legacy of Boy Scouting left for them by their father and grandfather. Jimmy Dusso is hoping his son will become an Eagle Scout.
But Scouting takes family involvement. They talk of the need for parents to lead the way.
Nationally, said Bobby Dusso, the Boy Scouts are doing fine. But there are not the numbers there were in the 1950s and 1960s.
Locally, he said, it used to be easier to recruit in the public schools. Now there has been a drop in numbers of Boy Scouts in Grand Forks, he said, but in East Grand Forks the numbers are up.
"There are a lot of distractions for boys," Dusso said. "The problem is getting parents to help out. Cub Scouts is a family-oriented program."
The spirit of Scouting and the projects of Eagle Scouts keep the program alive. There is concrete evidence of Eagle Scouts at work. For instance, the sidewalk and some of the landscaping at Heritage Center in East Grand Forks. It was the project of Spencer Dusso.
The weekend arrives with the city schools in recess and the state high school hockey tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena.... The UND men's hoops team is hosting Houston Baptist Saturday and Texas Pan-America Monday.... The UND women's hockey team has brought playoff games to the Ralph this weekend.... And there's a Grand Forks Men's Show this weekend at the Alerus Center... Where the Feast of Nations is scheduled on Saturday evening with the red carpet in place at 5 p.m.... While the Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon is set for Saturday in the Grand Forks Greenway.... And the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella -- along with Rats this weekend and March 1 to 3 in the Empire Arts Center.... The Blues Brunch with Ironing Board Sam is set for Sunday at North Dakota Museum of Art on the UND campus....
Gail and John
Cheerful persons of the week: Gail Halverson, John Sanderson.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at email@example.com or at (701) 772-1055.