Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scouts band together to help in service project

Scouts band together to help comrade gain Eagle award

During a meeting of the Atlantic Highlands Borough Council, held on May 23, local elected officials congratulated several Boy Scouts helping a fellow scout.

"I want to recognize some special young men in attendance tonight, who cleared a trail over at the Lenape Woods as part of a scouting project," Councilman Jack Archibald said.

Several scouts from Atlantic Highlands Troop No. 97 assisted a fellow scout, John Archibald, the councilman's son, with his Eagle Scout project. The scouts at the meeting, Mark Niederberger, Scott Monahan, Tony Carestia, Austin Daust and Pierce Osborn completed clearing a new trail in Lenape Woods as part of the project.

"We've been working on the trail since October or November," Niederberger said. "It's a lot of work but it was fun."

Osborn said the scouts have been together as a group since preschool at St. Agnes School. Currently, the group of boys range in age from 14-16 years old. While they may attend different school now, scouting has remained a common bond.

Carestia said camaraderie in the troop is strong and noted that the troop is behind their fellow scout working toward the organization's highest award.

The entrance for Lenape Woods is located in the vicinity of the former Hoffbrau House in the borough.

Notably, the scouts' preschool teacher at St. Agnes was Kimberly Spatola, who is currently a sitting councilwoman on the governing body.

Making the grade as an Eagle Scout

According to the U.S. Scouting Service project's Web site, candidates for the Eagle Scout Award have a wide range of criteria they have to satisfy before earning scouting's highest award.

Scouts must attain the senior rank of life scout, and demonstrate a positive example on an every day basis. Then the scout-candidate has to earn 21 merit badges, in areas that include: first aid; citizenship in the community, nation and world; communications; personal fitness; lifesaving; environmental science; personal management; swimming, hiking or cycling; camping; and family life.

Scouts must also serve in a number of positions within their troop, from patrol leader to venture patrol leader, and several between. In addition, scouts seeking to become Eagle Scouts must also conduct a community service project and take part in a scoutmaster conference before they appear before an Eagle Scout Board of Review.

For more information about scouting in Monmouth County, call (732) 536-2347, or go to:

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