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Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle

By Staff | Feb 8, 2010

The three generations of Eagle Scouts are (left to right) David, John and Charles Frundt.

Sitting at a conference table amidst a backdrop of law books, a grinning Charles and David Frundt recite, in unison, the Boy Scout Oath (or Promise) they learned years ago:

On my honor I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times:

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

This Blue Earth father and son have a unique bond. Not only are they attorneys at law, but they are also Eagle Scouts.

But the uniqueness doesn’t stop here. Back in the 1920’s, a third Frundt earned the Eagle Scout award and also became an attorney. His name was John Frundt. The father of Charles and grandfather of David, he began what seems to have become a family tradition…serving others…whether as an Eagle Scout or as an attorney.

This year marks 100 years of Scouting in the United States. The Frundt family has been involved in it for 80 of those years.

According to Charles Frundt, his father, John, was involved early on in the history of the organization. Born in 1911, he became an Eagle Scout on Feb. 6, 1929.

“I remember him telling us he went to an International Jamboree in England,” says Charles. “At that Jamboree, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, was present. He said that trip abroad was more educational than any other experience in his life. He said it was worth far more than a year of college was in the late 1920s and early 1930s.”

In later years, Charles says his father continued his involvement in Scouting by earning the Silver Beaver award, the highest award presented at the Council level. He also served as the Council President. It was during his tenure, the Mankato and Albert Lea Councils were joined.

Charles entered Scouting in the late 1940s and says in those days the Cub Scout dens were all run by mothers.

“Otherwise, I think the Cubs were about the same then as they are now,” says Charles, “but I don’t think we had Webelos when I was in.”

Another difference between he and his son in earning the Eagle Scout honor is the fact Charles cannot recall having to do a special project.

“I think all we had to do to become an Eagle Scout then was to earn so many merit badges, maintain an active membership and be in attendance regularly at the meetings,” says Charles who received the honor on Feb. 12, 1957. Two years earlier, his brother, Henry, received his Eagle Scout recognition on May 28, 1955.

“I followed in my brother’s footsteps, but I didn’t excel beyond Eagle as he did,” says Charles.

“When we were Scouts, we went to summer camp at Cedar Point,” recalls Charles. “My brother, Henry, and I were on the staff there for a couple of years, too. He ended-up with national recognition and attended the National Jamboree. As part of the recognition he had earned, he went to the Philippine Islands on an exchange program. Only about 10 or 12 Scouts were recognized and Henry was one of these. He flew in one of those flying boxcar-type planes that were common in those years. The Air Force paid for the whole trip.”

Charles says Adrian Wrucke and Fred Kraft, Scout Masters, were probably the two most influential people in the organization and in his Scouting life.

“My father was involved at the Council level when I was a kid,” says Charles, “but I don’t remember him ever being a troop leader.”

Charles also recalls a major part of attending camporees, when he was a Scout, was to swap neckerchief slides and patches.

Both Frundts say their favorite Scouting memory involves the week long summer camps which were always a fun time. In recent years, these have all been held at Camp Cayuna near Cross Lake.

“I particularly remember one camping experience at Bass Lake,” recalls a smiling Charles. “It was a gorgeous Fall weekend…”

He also recalls an absolutely miserable camping trip at Daly Park when he was serving as David’s Webelo troop leader.

“It rained constantly,” he says of that memorable May camping event.

David remembers that camping experience as well. He also recalls Judy Cerney and his mother, Rita, as being Cub Scout leaders when he first got into Scouting while a first grader.

“I spent three years with Cub Scout Pack #33 then earned my Eagle Scout award while belonging to Boy Scout Troop #49,” says David.

Other than family members, David says Dr. John Sawyer and Duane Williams, plus a couple of good friends, were instrumental in his achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Dr. Sawyer was involved in the troop because his son, Mark, was in Scouts at the same time as I was,” recalls David. “We went to camps and camp outs together. He also helped teach merit classes for our Merit Awards.”

Duane Williams was the Scout Master at the time and serving as Assistant Scout Master was Norm Duggan.

“Our Scout meetings were held at old Coleman Hall,” recalls David, who liked Scouting because of the friendships he made and the comradery which developed among the members of the troop. Basically, he says he liked Scouting because of the boys themselves.

To read more of this story, see this week’s Register.