SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Immaculate Conception School students will be treated to a new classroom this year. An outdoor classroom was unveiled last week as the 2018-19 school year got underway. The inviting outside learning environment is the product of an Eagle Scout project completed by Spencer Mochari in conjunction with Boy Scout Troop 35. Mochari began planning his project back in 2017 and knew from the start he wanted to involve his alma mater, the Immaculate Conception School. The Monroe native sought out Immaculate Conception's pastor Monsignor Joseph Curry to discuss his wish to bring something significant to the Immaculate community and the seed for an outdoor classroom was planted.

“I want people to see what you can accomplish through scouting and that with scouting, there are so many opportunities to spend time with your friends while helping your community," Mochari explained.

Mochari is now attending college in Alabama and is in the process of completing the lengthy process to achieve the ranking of Eagle Scout.

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Eagle Scout is the highest rank a scout can achieve within the Boy Scout organization. It's a milestone reached by only a small percentage of Boy Scouts. Since 1912, only five percent of Boy Scouts have been awarded the honor. In order to achieve the ranking of Eagle Scout, scouts must earn 21 badges including camping, cooking, swimming, hiking or cycling, citizenship in the community, citizenship in the nation, citizenship in the world, communications, lifesaving, environmental science, family life, first aid, personal fitness and personal management. Perspective Eagle Scouts must also complete an Eagle Scout Service Project.

Fellow Boy Scout Troop 35 member Matthew Chludzinski earned his Eagle Scout ranking in April of 2017. Chluszinski's Eagle Scout project involved refurbishing the historic Lich Gate to the cemetery of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

"An outdoor classroom provides more than just a bit of fresh air for students," the Immaculate Conception School said via a press release. "It encourages physical activity, social and emotional growth through enhanced peer communication and cognitive development, which will benefit them in future endeavors. As for ICS students and faculty, they couldn't be more excited and ready to use their new classroom!"

The Immaculate Conception School is a co-educational elementary school for grades preschool through eighth.