Boy Scout Troop 9 in Chester had three scouts, Gregory Bergmann, Michael Esposito and Timothy Prado, earn the rank of Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest rank, on Tues., May 24. Scoutmaster Gregory Burns, held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the newly renovated Highlands Ridge Barn, a day before the Barn’s official ribbon cutting ceremony.
The event was attended by both Chester Township Mayor Bill Cogger and Chester Borough Mayor Janet Hoven who spoke highly of all three Eagle Scouts and what they had accomplished. They commented that all of the service projects were valued improvements to the town, without tax payer money, and were very much appreciated. Boy Scout Troop 9 is proud to have produced more than 60 eagle scouts since first organized in 1917.
Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is of great significance. Less than six percent of all Boy Scouts have been able to attain this rank and since 1912 there have been more than two million Eagle Scouts recognized. This performance-based achievement involves fulfilling requirements in leadership, service, and outdoor skills. It is centered on the goals of scouting: citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness. As the scouts demonstrate proficiency and skills along the way, they are able to advance through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. For Eagle, a scout must earn 21 merit badges, 12 of which are required. These merit badges demonstrate a mastery of certain skills and knowledge and there are more than 120 to choose from.
Service and responsibility are key elements of scouting as the scouts must demonstrate their participation in service projects as they advance. They also learn to become leaders as they begin to take on different positions in the Troop. The final Eagle Scout project is approved by the scout district, local council, and finally National Council.
Being an Eagle has a very special meaning – it comes with great pride and what they have learned, and become, will guide them in higher education, business, and life while giving back to the community at the same time.
Bergmann’s Eagle Scout project involved the restoration of the Jim Seleander Nature Trail in Chester. After obtaining approval from the Chester Board of Education, he contacted the Chester Department of Public Works to donate and deliver 30 yards of woodchips. With the help of 18 volunteers, he cleaned up more than an acre of property with its debris, sticks, and logs; re-aligned the trail with rocks; spread all 30 yards over the entire trail and two picnic areas; and fixed/restored the Jim Seleander Nature Trail sign. Bergmann is a senior at West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham and looks forward to going to the University of Delaware in the fall.
Esposito’s Eagle Scout project involved the refurbishment of the dugouts on the Babe Ruth Baseball Field at Chubb Park in Chester. He chose this project based on his passion for baseball, there being a strong need to improve the dugouts, and wanting to bring his interests of baseball and Boy Scouts together. He was able to enlist several members of his family, friends, and other scouts as volunteers and they put in a total of 160 hours to complete the project. He was also able to get needed supplies with the help of Home Depot employees in Succasunna. Esposito is a senior at West Morris Mendham High School and plans to attned Seton Hall University.
Prado’s Eagle Scout project entailed building a stone fire pit at Tiger Brook Park in Chester where the Boy Scouts have been camping for more than 25 years. He also created log benches to surround the fire pit and made the entire campfire and cooking area safer and more secure. He worked closely with Chester Township to obtain the necessary approvals. Prado recruited several volunteers to help construct and build everything. A graduate of West Morris Mendham High School, Prado recently completed his freshman year at Rutgers University.