Giving Back

Eagle Scouts Give Back to Governor Livingston’s Theater and Music Programs

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Peter Illis, a junior and Andrew Stecher, a senior at Governor Livingston High School recently completed their Eagle Scout projects with Troop 368.

Peter Illis' Eagle Scout project came from his work in the GL theatre and GLTV.  He designed and built shelves and a workbench in the theatre backstage area prop room. He also designed and funded a dedication plaque to the former technical director, Mr. Kenneth Stiefel, a staple member of the high school theater community who unfortunately passed away due to cancer last year.

Herb Horwath, Peter’s Eagle Advisor said, “It has been my pleasure to work with Peter. He faced a few challenges during his project , some of which were last minute, and was able to come up with great solutions.  I am very impressed by his growth and leadership.”

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Peter is a member of Stage crew and TV crew at the Governor Livingston and has been involved in theatre productions since 6th grade.  He has regularly filmed school events, including concerts, assemblies, and football games and is now working with the Berkeley Heights Township Council to film meetings, and broadcast them on GLTV.  He is also working with TAP into Berkeley Heights to produce videos for their YouTube channel.

He volunteers his time to video Board of Education events. In recognition for all his contribution to the community, Peter was recently awarded the Union County’s “Unsung Hero” award.

Peter has been involved with scouting since he was a Tiger Scout in Pack 468. His High Adventure trips took him to the Bahamas and Philmont.  Peter has worked the last three summers at the Scouting Camp, Sabattis and will return there this year to be on the COPE staff.

Andrew Stecher, baritone player and bagpiper for the Governor Livingston Highlander Marching Band wanted to give back to his school and the band, where he found immense camaraderie and support. In addition to the Marching Band, Andrew plays trombone for the school’s Jazz Band and Concert Band, and he performs with the Concert Choir. He is also a member of the Stage Crew and plays in the pit orchestra for the school's musical productions. Outside of school, Andrew plays bagpipes for the Saint Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band, a competing band dedicated to Gaelic pipe music and culture.

For his Eagle project, Andrew took charge of refurbishing the trophy shelving and 300+ trophies of his award winning school band. His project involved cleaning and fixing all the trophies, then tearing out the old shelves, and then building and installing new decorative shelves for the trophies. As a result of his project, the trophies in the Governor Livingston Band Room are now organized by year on newly constructed display shelves.

Mr. Nicholas O’Sullivan, Band Director at the Governor Livingston High School said, "For the past 55 years, the Highlander Band is a tradition of performance and excellence that the community of Governor Livingston is most proud of. Andrew Stecher's Eagle Scout Project is something that preserves this legacy for years to come.  The new shelves are both sturdier and more visually attractive.  Additionally, all of the trophies were dusted off and organized by year/decade.  The trophies in the Band Room date back to the sixties all the way to today.  I am most pleased with the work Andrew and his team have done and on behalf of the band, the band parents, and the communities Governor Livingston represents, I can say that we are all very grateful."

Andrew has enjoyed the outdoors since he was a Tiger in Cub Scout Pack 368. His Boy Scout High Adventure trips have already included hiking & backpacking at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, sailing & snorkeling in the Bahamas, and whitewater rafting in the Gauley Mountains of West Virginia. He is heading to the Grand Canyon this summer and Philmont again next year as an adult scout advisor. Andrew would like to major in Engineering.

Only 5% of all Boy Scouts make the Eagle rank, the highest rank, a prestigious accomplishment that they can proudly wear as a badge for the rest of their lives. Congratulate these young men for their determination and hard work. For more information about joining Troop 368, please reach out to Scoutmaster Howard Lee at

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