CLARK, NJ – Boy Scout Troop 145 held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor early this fall to recognize two of its members. Matthew Kleczynski and Nicholas Zotos achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. These two young men add to the total of more than 50 scouts from Troop 145 to have reached Eagle Scout status since 1995.
To earn this rank, Kleczynski and Zotos had to meet standards and requirements in subjects such as outdoor skills, service, and leadership. In addition, they were required to earn at least 21 merit badges over their time in scouting.
These badges signify a scout has studied, practiced, researched and mastered a skill in either a subject of personal interest or one of the 12 topics that are required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Kleczynski and Zotos far exceeded this requirement by earning 59 and 57 badges respectively during their time in scouting.
Each candidate for Eagle Scout must also complete an Eagle Scout Leadership Service project in his final level of scouting. According to his parents, Kleczynski has always had an interest in the military which led to the selection of a project.
For his project, The West Point Military Academy gave Kleczynski and his fellow scouts a chance to restore a dry stack stone wall which was originally built in 1779 as part of the Revolutionary War fortification. Kleczynski worked with Archeologists, including Patrick Raley to restore the wall to specification using original maps.
For his project, Zotos chose a landmark closer to home, that needed a complete rebuild after many years in service. His Eagle Scout project was constructing a new sign in front of Valley Road School. Zotos obtained donations of the lumber and monetary contribution to cover the entire cost of the project. Zotos spent over 200 hours combined in getting multiple approvals from the principal. Board of Education, PTA and working through construction with his fellow scouts.
The Troop 145 Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held at the Clark First Aid Squad and attended by scouts, families, town officials and Congressman Tom Malinowski. The ceremony included a review of the scouting careers of both young men, a presentation of the award.
The Boy Scouts of America bestow the rank of Eagle Scout on about only 5 percent of scouts nationally. Achieving the rank is a significant undertaking and requires dedication over many years of scouting. As such, it carries weight in college admissions and on a résumé.
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