June 23, 2014 at 11:07 AM
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - According to Scouting.org, less than 4 percent of all Boy Scouts ascend to achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout, so when a community the size of New Providence of just over 12,000 residents will have 20 among them achieving this honor over the past two years is not unique; it’s truly remarkable.
Since its inception in 1991, New Providence’s Troop 1 will have had 75 achieve scouting’s highest honor of Eagle Scout. While that may appear to be a tremendous feat, it’s the 38 young men who’ve attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor in just the past seven years that is the extraordinary number including nine during the 2013-14 school year.
It has been both the Borough Council’s and my personal honor and privilege to preside over the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremonies the past school year. It is a credit to not only the Scouts themselves, but also to their parents and especially the Scoutmaster Michael Wagner and Eagle Advisor Don Gomber for this remarkable success and achievement.
On June 14th Borough Council proclamations were presented to Matt Pappas, Josh Ornovitz along with Liam Stewart (Summit) while Congressman Leonard Lance presented Congressional Achievement letters. To receive Scouting’s highest honor, these young men each earned over 21 Merit Badges as well as completed a community project each of which encompassed over 175 man hours. It is within their work in completing this project do you comprehend the focus and determination that motivates them.
Josh Ornovitz designed, planned and organized the building of a 200 square foot pavilion structure for the American Legion Post 443. Matt Pappas worked over 250 man hours to build two new walking trails on protected wooded land within New Providence which also involved clean up from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Liam Stewart’s project restored and extended a trail system along the Passaic River to the Summit Transfer Station.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Josh, Matt and Liam expressed their thanks to the families, Scout leaders and fellow Scouts for their support and assistance. In addition they thanked the New Providence Department of Public Works, American Legion Post 443, and the City of Summit and County officials for their assistance with completing their community projects.
Josh, Matt and Liam join Don Gomber, Michael Wolak, John Matsikoudis, Perry Spiegel, Kevin and Brian Urness to achieve Eagle Scout within New Providence Troop 1 during this year.