Free library earns local teen his Eagle Scout Award

Casey Gergen is happy to tell people he needed a little pushing from his parents to continue with his final project to basically complete his requirements in becoming an Eagle Scout.

That they did made Casey a happy camper who will soon be presented the award he earned prior to his 18th birthday.

“I participated in everything from pinewood derbies to camping with the older guys,” Gergen said. “My parents (Heather Reynolds and Jason Gergen) pushed me to do my community project. I’m really happy because I wouldn’t have (the Eagle Scout award).”

His project was a Take a Book, Leave a Book station. It holds 20 books on each of its two sides and is located along the Holy Rosary Healthcare Walk.

“It’s free,” he said, adding that another business in the city has a similar program.

His crowning achievement came after a dozen years in Scouting — from Cub Scouts, which he joined in first grade, to Boy Scouts, which ended at age 18. He has many fond memories of the organization that was a big part of his life. “I loved Boy Scouts,” he said.

Two of his summers at age 14 and 15 were spent working at two camps, the K-M Scout Ranch near Lewistown and the Grizzly Base at Kalispell.

“It was fun being around other Scouts and being looked up to as a teacher,” said Gergen, who will receive his award at an induction ceremony June 24 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 825 Moorehead Avenue in Miles City.

The teaching aspect figures to be a big part of the rest of his life upon graduation, hopefully with a degree in history, from Montana Western in Dillon.

“I like history,” said Gergen, adding that he hopes to become a teacher or professor “wherever the job takes me.”

“I’ve always liked it. I was always reading books about history,” he said.

Well, not always in a literal sense. He also took the time to play football for three years at Custer County District High School. He vividly recalls the enjoyment of the 2015 season when the Cowboys were 11-0 before falling in the State A semifinals to Whitefish.

Now 19 and going into his sophomore year at Western, Gergen has a message to anyone interested in becoming a Boy Scout.

“I would recommend it highly,” he said. “You learn how to be an ethical outdoorsman. It provides you a respect for your community, respect for other people and your country.”

He also offered an opinion on the world and our country as it is today.

“The world is going downhill,” Gergen said, “and I think this country needs more boys to become Boy Scouts and become honorable ...”

As for earning the Eagle Scout award, that also is attainable.

“It’s possible, just keep pushing,” he said. “It’s a great honor.”

(Editor’s Note: See Tuesday’s Miles City Star for the story of another Miles City Scout who recently earned his Eagle Scout award — Lane Colombik. Colombik and two other Scouts who earned their Eagle Scout awards several years ago — Malachi Taylor and Christoper Austin — will also be inducted on June 24 at the LDS Church.)

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)