Giving Back

Four Mahopac Scouts Earn Rank of Eagle Scout

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Scoutmaster David Ames, center, congratulates four new Eagle Scouts from Troop 371: Matthew Filardi, Nicholas Granata, Robert Bensburg and Michael Lavin
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MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Scouts Robert Bensburg, Matthew Filardi, Nicholas Granata and Michael Lavin of Mahopac Troop 371 were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor ceremony last year at the Mahopac Firehouse.

The four Scouts began their journey through the scouting program as Cub Scouts. During their years in the program, they learned many important life skills, including: Citizenship, American flag etiquette, camping, cooking and food safety, first aid, land navigation, knot tying, personal fitness, self-reliance and swimming. As they advanced through the ranks, they were required to demonstrate these skills at weekly troop meetings and monthly camp-outs.

Before they could complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements, they had to demonstrate leadership in an assigned troop position, as well as plan, develop and give leadership to a community service project. They also had to earn at least 21 merit badges, including 13 from the required list and demonstrate that they live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.

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Eagle Scout Michael Lavin earned 35 merit badges, the BSA 100th Anniversary Award in 2010, the Ad Altare Dei award; had near-perfect attendance for five years; was the Scout of the Year in 2009; took National Youth Leader Training; hiked the Boston, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Lexington and Valley Forge historical trails; was inducted into the Order of the Arrow; and held the leadership positions of patrol leader, senior patrol leader and junior assistant scoutmaster. He also attended the 2010 and 2013 National Scout Jamborees and went to Scout Camp at Curtis Read Scout Reservation for many summers.

His Eagle Scout community service was the rehabilitation of the Veterans Memorial on East Lake Boulevard. The project consisted of replacing of the old ground cover, installation of permanent benches for older veterans during veterans holiday ceremonies, installation of a permanent podium and cleaning up the shrubbery.

Eagle Scout Nicholas Granata earned 35 merit badges, the BSA 100th Anniversary Award in 2010, the Ad Altare Dei award, the 50 miler award, the World Conservation award; had near-perfect attendance for three years; hiked the Boston, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Valley Forge historical trails; was inducted into the Order of the Arrow; and held leadership positions of scribe, instructor and junior assistant scoutmaster. He attended the 2013 National Scout Jamboree and attended scout summer camp as a camper and staff member at Curtis Read Scout Reservation for many summers.

His Eagle Scout community service was the establishment of a sitting and meditation area across from the 9/11 Memorial and next to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial plaque in front of Town Hall. The Eagle Scout community service project involved clearing the ground cover next to the plaque, replacing it with gravel, installing two permanent stone benches and landscaping the area.

Eagle Scout Matthew Filardi earned 26 merit badges, the World Conservation Award and hiked the Gettysburg historical trail. He participated in the Introduction to Leadership Skills and held leadership positions of assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and instructor. He also attended Scout Camp at Curtis Read Scout Reservation during the summer.

His Eagle Scout community service project was the repair of the storage and utility building next to Michael Geary Memorial Rink on Route 6. The repair included the replacement of the roofing, removal and replacement of some of the siding and trim, cleaning the hardware, and refurbishing of the front sign and staining the entire exterior.

Eagle Scout Robert Bensburg earned 51 merit badges; did the mile swim;  was inducted into the Order of the Arrow; held leadership positions of junior assistant scoutmaster, senior patrol leader, crew chief, patrol leader, den chief; and was an Order of the Arrow representative. He spent many summers at Scout Camp and attended the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

His Eagle Scout community service project was the enhancement and repair of the Military Memorial Area located adjacent to Mahopac American Legion Post 1080 Hall. The project entailed power-washing the retaining walls, replacing rotted railroad ties, removing the cement platform (over 15 tons of cement), putting down a layer of sand dust and installing brick pavers. Some pavers are engraved in memory of military service members. A custom memorial stone was also purchased with a bronze plaque installed to honor the founders of American Legion Post 1080 and veterans of WWI.

David Ames is the Scoutmaster of Troop 371.

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