Recent Isle grad earns Boy Scout accolades and helps local snowmobile club
Trails for outdoor recreation, whether it be ATV riding, snowmobiling or otherwise, abound in the wilderness around Mille Lacs. For travelers along such trails, shelter for the elements can be a valuable commodity. One such structure, a warming house, is located off the Red Top trails northeast of Isle. It’s the handiwork of recent Isle graduate Macen Haggberg. Through the construction of this structure, Haggberg earned his status as an Eagle Scout last summer.
Haggberg said he started in the scouts back in first or second grade, as early as he was able. The local boy scout leaders had come to the school and presented to his class. “They talked about what it all entailed,” he said, “the different projects and the things we’d do.” As it all sounded exciting to Haggberg, he went to the first meeting to check it out and has stuck with the program ever since.
While considering options to pursue for his Eagle Scout project, Haggberg had approached a chair member of the Mille Lacs Drift Skippers Snowmobile Club, another local organization to which he belongs. He had been informed there was a need for a new warming shack out on the local trails.
Before he could bring his project to the Eagle Scout Board of Review, Haggberg first had to draw up blueprints for the shack. He explained there had been a number of specifications he needed to meet. The shack was to be 12 by 14 feet, on skids and with a tin roof, overhanging on the back and sides. Haggberg’s blueprint had to show design for the framework and floor, how the skids would connect and how the shack would be braced for pulling it through the swamp. Once these designs were complete, he submitted it to the Eagle Board for approval.
Once approved, Haggberg then got a quote for all the materials. Construction materials were funded by the Drift Skippers and purchased from Isle Building Supply (now known as the Red Beard Lumber Company). The Drift Skippers had reviewed the quote to make sure it was in their price range, then giving Haggberg the OK.
The work of assembling the shack began at the barn of Haggberg’s house, where he built the floor. Once the floor frame was complete, he jacked it up and attached the skids. The project was then moved to the Drift Skippers building in Isle, where Haggberg worked on building the wall frames. Once the wall frames were up, plywood and half log siding followed. The roof frame was constructed atop the frames, and tin was installed to finish the roof. Windows were put in, and the structure was stained, “To make it look pretty,” Haggberg said, “and that was the process.”
Haggberg noted that this was not the first construction project he had undertaken. On his own time, he had built structures including deer stands and trailer boxes. With assistance from his dad, he had at one point constructed an enclosed trailer. “There’s been many building projects,” he said, “so I didn’t figure this would be any different than past projects.” His construction experience also included work with the Boy Scouts, where he had built donation boxes, picnic tables and street benches, among other projects.
The warming house is located out on trails off of the Red Top trails. While it had previously only been reachable by snowmobile during the winter months, it has since been moved to a new position accessible year round. This past year, the warming house was a stop along the Drift Skippers’ Vintage Snowmobile Ride.
He added that it was nice to hear from the local snowmobile riders who used and appreciated the warming house. “This is definitely something that could have been misused and taken away,” he said, “or brought into town, not on the trails.”
The project was completed on Feb. 1, 2018. The process of getting paperwork completed and reviewed was not completed for Eagle Scout status until Aug. 7, 2018, just under a month before Haggberg’s 18th birthday.
Having graduated this spring, Haggberg plans to attend Bemidji State University this fall, studying wildlife biology. Haggberg explained that outdoor recreation is important to him, and that was a factor both in his Eagle Scout project and his pursuit of post-secondary education. Snowmobiling is a hobby of his, as is hunting and fishing. He reflected that his experiences with the scouts would stick with him as he pursues his degree. “I have a lot of nature merit badges,” he said. “The last time I went to camp, I actually only took merit badge classes for wildlife and nature.” He named a few, including environmental science and environmental sustainability, as well as work in tree identification, soil rock and plant studies and geography.
Young and industrious, Haggberg has his path set ahead of him. Both an Eagle Scout and high school graduate, he’s proven himself capable, with a work ethic to face the endeavors ahead. The warming house northeast of Isle is a boon to local trail riders, standing as proof of his efforts.