MONTVILLE, NJ – Three Boy Scouts from Montville Township’s Troop 74 attained their Eagle Scout ranking at their Court of Honor, held on May 5 at the Senior House.
Keith Lo, Harish Rajagopal and Charles J. Roy all completed tasks around the township, which combined with the projects of other Eagle Scouts, have saved tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, Township Administrator Victor Canning told the assembled families and guests that day. He also called it a “privilege to know these three fine young men.”
Lo’s project was at the Montville Township Public Library, where he had been volunteering during the past school year, he said. He discussed ideas with Young Adult/Community Services Librarian Jeff Cupo and Director Allan Kleiman – a former Scout himself – and they decided that a beneficial project would be two picnic benches to be placed on the back patio of the library, and landscaping around the library marquis sign. Lo fundraised for the project and the library added to the budget.
On the day of the project, Lo supervised the Scouts in building and painting the picnic benches. The area around the sign was dug out, and 12 shrubs and tree were planted in the area.
Rajagopal’s project involved installing gravel paths and a bench at the Montville Township High School tennis courts. Rajagopal is on the tennis team, and said that drainage is poor around the courts, making access difficult. He said the project exceeded expectations since there has been no obstruction to access even after the most severe of storms.
Roy said that he noticed many fire hydrants in need of repair around the township, and he found out that the Kiwanis Club of Montville Township had a program in conjunction with the township’s water and sewer department to restore them, so he contacted the Kiwanis president about a large-scale project. With the help of other Scouts, 70 Montville and Pine Brook fire hydrants were cleaned and repainted as part of Roy’s project.
Township officials and dignitaries applauded the young men’s hard work and dedication.
Frank Warholic of VFW Post 5481 joked he never made it past Tenderfoot, but got serious in his message to the youths.
“You, by achieving Eagle Scout awards, have become leaders in our nation,” he told the three. “People will look up to you. So make the right decisions all the way along in your life.
“I’d like to thank the parents for bringing up the children you see before you today. You did a magnificent job.”
Cupo said, “Thanks to all three of you. I appreciate someone who puts so much effort into helping the community. Keith’s project involved a lot of leadership and a lot of hard work. The library is up on the hill, and the sign is the first thing people see and it makes a nice impression. The picnic tables on the patio expanded the footprint of the library and people are using them on nice days.”
Lo said that Charlie and Harish pushed him to get his Eagle as they did theirs too, and they gave him constant reminders. He thanked the assistant scout masters for their help in getting behind him and encouraging him to finish.
Rajagopal said, “This is not an award for me, it’s shared with everyone who has stood by me in the whole process of Scouting from day one to now because it could not have been done without any of them. It’s like a second family that you can go to that you trust. I can’t thank my parents and all the leaders enough.”
Roy said Cub Scouts was really fun, but he struggled to get through the Eagle process. His friends and the assistant scout masters helped motivate him, he said.
“The ASMs, my father and my friends would tell me, ‘don’t quit – you can get it done.’ This has boosted my self confidence a lot, and all this hard work and effort that I’ve done through the years have boosted my self confidence a lot. All the hard work I’ve put in – this is where it’s led up to. I’m proud to be here.”
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