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Twin Eagles take wing together

David and Robert Susterick do almost everything together. But when it came to completing their Eagle Scout projects the 15-year-old twin brothers had to separate.

The two completed their individual projects last spring. And while they supported each other by helping when they could, it was up to each of them individually to complete their projects.

The story of how the brothers received Boy Scouts' highest honor is much like their life in general. They accomplished it at the same time but had to do it on their own.

The Rosemount High School sophomores joined Boy Scouts in 2007. David said their grandfather, Phil Susterick, influenced them to get involved.

"He said (Boy Scouting) was a great experience and he wished he would have attained his Eagle Scout," said David.

With their grandfather's words and a little challenge from their dad, Matt, the brothers decided to join Troop 270 and go for Scouting's highest honor. Only about 2 percent of Boy Scouts reach the rank of Eagle Scout.

Since joining the boys have worked hard to get the 21 required merit badges. Last spring the boys began their Eagle Scout projects.

To attain the Eagle rank a Scout must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to another organization besides Boy Scouts, such as a religious institution or school.

On a beautiful, sunny June day, Robert, who is 44 minutes older than his brother, helped the city of Rosemount establish an oak savannah in Meadows Park off of Connemara Trail. The project included cutting down more than 30 invasive trees and planting oak trees and native prairie plants.

On a dark, rainy day in May, David built a reflection garden at Rosemount Cemetery. The work included planting shrubs and flowers, installing a couple of benches and putting stepping-stones, engraved with scriptures, into the ground.

While doing the projects was physically challenging both boys said writing the project was the hardest part. To complete an Eagle Scout project, each of the boys had to write and submit a detailed plan on how to complete a community service project. The goal of the written plan is to make it so thorough, Matt said, that the document could be handed to someone on the street and that person could complete the project.

"It's a lot of work," said Robert.

On Feb. 16, the Rosemount City Council awarded the Susterick's and four other young men their Eagle Scout commendations. The other four young men were Tyler Ausen, Joshua Billings, Jeremy Hoffman and Jesse Web.

"It took them two years and 11 months to get their Eagle Scout," said Matt Susterick.

Although difficult the boys said completing their Eagle Scout was worth the effort.

"It will look good on a resume and it was fun," said David.

While they acknowledge some may perceive their involvement in Boy Scouts as dorky, neither Robert nor David cares. They have enjoyed doing all the activities that go along with scouting such as camping and learning about different things such as horses. Scouting led to both boys wanting to become geologist as adults.

Now as Eagle Scouts both boys said they will stay active with Troop 270. The boys said they will serve as mentors for the younger members of the troop and help teach.

"It's the best Troop in America," said Robert.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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