BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Boy Scout Troop 368 of Berkeley Heights is celebrating the award of nine Eagle Scouts of 2017, with eight more in the works so far in 2018.

Aside from being the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn, Eagle Scout confers many advantages in life. College admissions recognize the award, giving students an advantage. Eagles are also eligible for scholarships open only to Eagle Scouts, and it gives them an edge in leadership scholarships. The US military places the rank of Eagle in such high regard that it admits Eagles at higher rank and pay than non-Eagles. It is also often the only high school accomplishment that persists on a resume well into a career. Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout, as they say.

To earn Eagle, Scouts must demonstrate leadership and earn several prescribed Merit Badges, and they must also head-up a project that benefits the community. Eagle Scout projects must be designed, developed, planned, led and documented by Scouts – giving young men hands-on experience of project management and working for a client. Troop 368’s 2017 Eagle projects, representing 1,223 hours of community service were:

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Jimmy Pitingolo

Created a 75th Anniversary Commemorative Park with a new tree, plant beds and straightened the flagpole for the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad

Louis Pitingolo

Created a patio picnic area by the basketball courts at Lower Columbia Field, Berkeley Hts

Austin Wang

Made a rest area with picnic bench and bat houses, by the basketball courts at Lower Columbia Field, Berkeley Hts.

Matt Sylvester

Built a Butterfly Garden with a paved walkway and butterfly houses for the Shadowlawn Pocket Garden of Westfield

Arun Chundru

Converted an old Lab of the Union County Academy for Information Technology into the school's "HackShack" technology teaching space and Coding Club home.

Sailesh Prasad

Excavated, documented and marked the corners of the historic Feltville Mill in the Watchung Reservation

Alec Duswalt

Built a new fence and 4 exercise stations at Eliza’s Crossing Trail, Mountainside

Joey Rosenkrantz

Built a mobile locker unit for the Governor Livingston HS soccer team

Chris Friedlander

Restored cannons, installed benches, flowerbeds and solar spotlights on the front lawn of VFW Post 6259 in Berkeley Heights

Boy Scout Troop 368 has produced 123 Eagle Scouts since it began in January 29, 1961 and more are on the way! The troop sent three crews backpacking in New Mexico last year, and in prior years has rafted the Grand Canyon, twice, SCUBA dived in the Bahamas, crewed a sailing ship in the Bahamas, rafted and ziplined in Costa Rica, and much more. In 2014 Troop 368 even made the news for rescuing NBC journalist Ann Curry!

If you are interested in finding out more about Troop 368 or Boy Scouts in general, come to our open house meeting, Tuesday March 20, 7:30 PM Mountain Park School.