John Stockelberg, David Held and George Donnelly, members of Verona Boy Scouts of America Troop 2, have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and were honored at a Court of Honor on Saturday, May 7.
The path to Eagle Scout, a level that only 2.5% of Scouts achieve, is a commitment that spans a bulk of the youth’s life, typically starting around kindergarten, and accelerating in junior high and high school. A Scout must complete requirements that demonstrate their mastery of outdoor skills, leadership tasks and community service projects.
The Eagle Scout achievement is an honor Scouts carry for their entire lives.
“Somebody asked me if I was an Eagle Scout, ” said incoming Scoutmaster Craig Hanlon at the Court of Honor, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Verona. “And I thought about it for a moment and said ‘No, I am still an Eagle Scout. You never stop being one.'”
Indeed, Scouting is designed to prepare young boys and girls for whatever career path they choose by teaching collaboration, community activism, leadership and environmental reverence.
Held, a Verona High School senior who is planning on studying nursing at Seton Hall University, has demonstrated a commitment to his community by volunteering at Verona Rescue Squad for several years. His Eagle Scout service project involved the planning and construction of a bird observatory to enhance outdoor experiential learning for children and 10 boardwalks that allow visitors to better access the trails throughout the Essex County Environmental Center.
Donnelly is a junior and a member of the VHS chapter of Model United Nations, the French Club and the History Club. His Eagle project oversaw the building and installation of a miniature library placed at a beach entrance path in Lavallette. The library, dedicated to the memory of his grandmother, Susan P. Donnelly, who was a schoolteacher and librarian, encourages visitors to borrow, lend and share books.
Stockelberg is a remarkably young Eagle Scout, having completed his requirements before he finished his freshman year. He coordinated with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife department to enhance the environmental experience at the Black River Wildlife Area. Stockelberg, who is a member of the varsity wrestling and football teams, built and installed bluebird and wood duck boxes. In addition, he worked on other projects at Black River, such as overseeing the planting of dozens of new trees and removing invasive plant growth. These efforts are part of requirements for the distinguished National Conservation award.
Verona BSA Troop 2 is chartered by the First Congregational Church of Verona. For more information on Troop 2, please contact [email protected]