MONTVILLE, NJ – Daniel Bordonaro and Andrew Rycharski were awarded their Eagle Scout rankings at their Courts of Honor on Nov. 14 and Nov. 22, respectively.
Bordonaro’s project was at the Montville Community Gardens, where he and his team of 25 scouts removed more than two dozen broken garden lane sign posts and replaced them with new pressure-treated posts. Each sign post also received a new plot number and lane sign, making it easier for gardeners to find their plots this spring. Bordonaro executed his project in the fall of 2014. The project, which took two days on a weekend that featured pouring rain and 40 mph winds, took 100 scout labor hours and more than 50 hours of Bordonaro’s time planning and preparing.
While planning the project, Bordonaro faced several challenges, including figuring out how to remove the old posts efficiently. He did some research and consulted with some engineers, and then tested several removal methods before settling on one that did not require any power tools, nor any digging, just pure physics.
Using wooden wedges, chains and some pre-World War II industrial jacks, it took less than 10 minutes to jack each post out of the ground.
Montville Township Mayor Scott Gallopo presented a town proclamation and Eagle statue to Bordonaro and spoke at the Court of Honor. “In light of the events in Paris, coming to events like this and seeing young men developing leadership skills and being active members of our community gives me hope for the future,” he said.
Montville Township Board of Education Member Michael Palma read a proclamation from the BOE and talked about how he’s known Bordonaro since elementary school because of lacrosse, “Daniel shows the same dedication to sports that he shows to scouts,” he said.
Bordonaro’s grandfathers presented him with a flag that was flown over the Pentagon in honor of his earning the rank of Eagle Scout.
“Perhaps the greatest motivation for me to finish this rank came from my Grandpa LaScala. Every time we saw each other for over a year, he would ask if I was any closer to Eagle than I was the previous time we met. My grandfather believed in me when I started to doubt myself, and for that I am extremely grateful,” Bordonaro said.
Rycharski’s project involved improvements at the Montville Township First Aid Squad. He supervised the construction of a 255-square-foot patio behind the building. Six inches of dirt were dug out, stone dust was laid and leveled, and paver bricks were laid. The group supervised by Rycharski also removed a tree from the front of the building and renovated the First Aid sign and planted ornamental grass and mulch.
Gallopo presented Rycharski with a plaque and statue and said he congratulated Rycharski and Rycharski’s parents, because parents play a role too in the Eagle process. He said the troop is being trained and receiving the guidance it needs to become leaders today, and that “This is not the end of the journey, it’s the beginning.” He also thanked Rycharski for making the lives of volunteers easier.
Montville Township Board of Education Member Michael Johnson presented Rycharski with a plaque from the Board and stated, “I’m told community service is on the down-swing, because it’s not glamorous, it’s arduous. We turn to Scouts to remind us we need to be ready to answer the call, which is stronger than ever.”
First Aid Squad Crew Chief Dennis Dudley thanked Rycharski for his project, and said, “He has made the First Aid Squad very proud of our building and grounds.”
Rycharski told the assembled guests he was sorry that his grandfather had passed away the preceding month because he shared his scouting with him. He thanked the other Scouts and leaders for their help with his project.
Badges and Achievements – By the Numbers
Both Bordonaro and Rycharski earned the Scout badge and the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and finally, Eagle. Along the way, Bordonaro earned 13 required merit badges, 8 elective merit badges and 5 additional merit badges. He served in troop leadership positions for a total of 36 months and devoted more than 100 hours to various service projects, not including the 54 hours he spent on his own Eagle Scout service project. Bordonaro also earned the Boy Scout National Award for Camping. In all, he has completed over 325 different requirements.
Rycharski also earned 13 required merit badges, and 8 elective merit badges for a total of 21. Beyond those Eagle required badges, Rycharski earned an additional 29 merit badges, for a grand total of 50 badges. He served in troop leadership positions for a total of 15 months and also devoted more than 100 hours to service projects, not including the 195 hours he spent on his own Eagle Scout service project. In all, he also completed over 325 different requirements.
Rycharski successfully completed The National Youth Leadership Training course and was inducted into The Order of the Arrow, which is the National Honor Society of Scouting. He demonstrated his leadership skills as a Camp Counselor for 2 summers at No-Be-Bosco Boy Scout Camp.
Bordonaro received more than a dozen letters of recognition for achieving the Eagle rank including letters from Secretary of State John Kerry, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. USMC, and the Administrator of NASA, Charles F. Bolden, Jr. He is a senior at Montville Township High School and plans to major in international relations.
Rycharski received about 10 letters and certificates, from President and Mrs. Obama, United States Senator Cory Booker, United States Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Governor Christie, and several Order of the Arrow Executives. Rycharski is a sophomore at MTHS.
Scouts’ Contribution to Society
For every 100 boys who join Scouting, Boy Scouts of America states that:
- 2 will become Eagle Scouts
- 1 will use his scouting skills to save his own life
- 1 will use his scouting skills to save the life of another person
- 18 will develop a hobby that will last through their adult life
- 8 will enter a vocation that was learned through the merit badge system
Scouts also account for:
- 64% of Air Force Academy graduates
- 68% of West Point graduates
- 70% of Annapolis graduates
- 72% of Rhodes Scholars
- 85% of F.B.I. agents
- 26 of the first 29 astronauts