MONTVILLE, NJ - Three additional Montville Township Boy Scouts attained the Eagle ranking at a ceremony held May 15. David Eng, Jenks Hehmeyer and Matthew Lehner were awarded the honor after township-wide projects were completed.
Eng’s project involved improvements at Lake Montowac Park on Changebridge Road in Montville. With the help of the Montville Township Department of Public Works and Montville Township’s Boy Scout Troop 74, Eng helped set up a new sign for the lake and stabilized the frame structure for the sign. In addition, he made the lake more accessible for fishing by clearing the banks of vegetation and adding mulch to create more fishing area on the banks. He completed his project in August, 2015.
Hehmeyer’s project improved the trail system located at the edge of Montville Township Community Park. With the support of the Montville Township Department of Public Works and the troop, Hehmeyer re-marked the trails; cleared fallen trees, loose rocks, and overgrown plants from the trails; rerouted a section of trail; removed dirt that previously blocked one of the entrances to the trail system; cleaned up litter and other garbage within the area of the trail system; fixed a broken footbridge; and added a trail map kiosk to one of the trail system entrances. Hehmeyer accomplished his project in September of 2015.
Lehner’s project consisted of furnishing and installing a memorial brick patio and walkway at the Montville Animal Shelter on Church Lane. Some of the bricks were part of a fundraising drive through the Montville Pet Parents. In addition to the memorial patio, landscaped areas were added that created an attractive entrance area. Lehner’s project took place in October, 2013.
Montville Township Mayor Jim Sandham presented the youth with plaques and eagle statues on behalf of the Township Committee. He said attending these Courts of Honor is one of his favorite duties.
“Montville Township appreciates your efforts, but your journey is really just starting. You are on the way to having an impact on our world,” he said. “You are the heroes of tomorrow.”
Board of Education Member Michael Palma called the Scouts “an example for everyone else.” He called the attainment of the Eagle ranking “a great honor, one you will carry throughout your life.”
Sue Goldblatt, President of the Montville Pet Parents, said she had known Lehner for a long time and she “saw a leader” during his project.
Department of Public Works Director John Perry called the focus of Hehmeyer’s and Eng’s projects, the trails in the park and Lake Montowac, “two gems of Montville.” He said he loved working with the youth, not only because of what they’ve learned but also due to their passion for their projects.
Eng said he had “benefited from being a part of Troop 74.”
“Under the guidance of great scoutmasters and with the help of my fellow Scouts, I have become both a leader and a hard worker. I could not have asked for anything more,” he said.
Hehmeyer said his years with the troop have played an important role in shaping who he is today.
“Scouting led to my love of nature and adventure, and certainly played a role in my decisions behind what I want to with the rest of my life, including the field I wish to pursue and the college I wish to attend,” he said.
Lehner said he learned about leadership and what it means to be a leader because of Boy Scouts.
“I became community service-oriented by participating in Earth Day and town cleanups, volunteer work with local organizations, and taking part in many Eagle Scout projects. This gave me a greater sense of community,” Lehner said.
All three Scouts thanked their scoutmasters and family for helping them on the path to Eagle.
Troop 74 Scoutmaster Patrick Phalen said there are 12 Eagle Scouts in the current graduating class at MTHS.
“The Scouts teach the leaders as well,” Phalen said. “I am incredibly proud of these three young men."