MONTVILLE, NJ – In January, Montville Township’s Boy Scout Troop 74 celebrated two additional Scouts attaining their Eagle Scout ranking. Max Kamper, a freshman at Montville Township High School, and Jack Krase, a junior at the school, had their Eagle Courts of Honor on Jan. 19 and 9, respectively.
Towaco resident Max Kamper fulfilled all the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout and passed his board of review in Oct. 2015. His Eagle project was at Holy Spirit Church in Pequannock, NJ where he is a parishioner. Kamper reconfigured the reconciliation area and built a partition wall. Kamper and his team of Scout helpers rearranged the pews, installed new carpeting and painted the area. Seating and a kneeler were put into place, purchased with funds that Kamper raised. He and his team also did some landscaping work outside the convent.
The project took place in August over a three-day period with the assistance of about 25 family members, Scouts and Scout Leaders. Assistant Scoutmaster Michael Bolen stated Kamper had participated in 325 hours of community service in addition to the 148 hours Kamper’s own project had required.
“We have a lot to be thankful for,” said Father Alek Bialas of Holy Spirit at Kamper’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor, held at the Senior House. “Not just the [Eagle] project itself but also that Max has been a faithful altar server for three years. He is also the recipient of the Ad Altare Dei award, so we have a lot to be thankful for.”
The Ad Altare Dei award is a medal given to Roman Catholic Boy Scouts who complete steps in an activity book, followed by acceptance from a board of review.
Kamper is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, which is a Scouting national honor society.
Township Mayor James Sandham and Committee Member Scott Gallopo attended the Court of Honor, and Sandham told the assembly, “I’m tired just reading the list of what he accomplished. And all of it by his freshman year of high school! What are you doing for the next three years of high school? The town has some projects!
“I always say that Eagle and Gold Star Scouts are prepared to be our future leaders – leaders we need in Montville, in New Jersey, and in America. Because of our Eagle Scouts I am confident in our future,” Sandham stated.
“My favorite event to attend is Eagle Scout and Gold and Silver Award ceremonies,” said Gallopo. “The events never cease to amaze me at the quality of the individuals and the quality and commitment level of the Scout masters. Max is another product of that.”
Montville Township Board of Education Member Michael O’Brien gave Kamper a plaque from the board, stating, “These young men have taken an oath to some very serious qualities of character that I believe should be the qualities of every citizen of our country. When these young men follow through with their oaths, we will continue to be the great society that we are.”
VFW Post 5481 Commander Charles Ferry congratulated Kamper, his family and the Scout masters. He also gave recognition to a 92-year-old World War II veteran in attendance who is also Kamper’s great uncle, Bill Trumpf.
“Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout has been my greatest accomplishment,” Kamper said. “It has helped me set goals and achieve them in a timely manner.
“When one of the companies I asked for funding didn’t come through, an employee gave me a donation from his own pocket. Mr. Owens had earned his Eagle Scout 30 years ago, and he told me he just wanted to give back. That’s when I truly understood what it meant to be an Eagle Scout, and what ‘character’ means,” Kamper said.
Scout Master Pat Phalen stated that Kamper is “tough,” and when Kamper was fire warden, “you couldn’t tell which was the wood pile and which was the fire,” he said with a laugh.
“He is one of the youngest in the troop, at age fourteen and eleven months, to earn the rank, and he is the 105th Eagle in Troop 74. At the end of the day this is a program that builds leaders and I’m proud of you,” Phalen stated.
Krase’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held at St. Pius X Church.
Krase’s project was to beautify the front of Cedar Hill Elementary School, involving 22 Scouts and seven leaders. The group installed new landscaping, rain barrels for water collection and irrigation, and an interactive weather station.
Undertaken in conjunction with teacher Dr. Cathy Lundquist and the Tools for Schools Committee, an environmental club in the school, the students painted the barrels and Krase and his team placed them to catch rain water from the roof gutters.
“The project beautifies the front of Cedar Hill and is a learning tool for the students,” said Principal Dr. Michael Raj.
“I’ve been in working in Montville for ten years now, and I’ve watched the Krase children grow from little boys to nice young men.
“Each time we had meetings, he would insist on meeting in person, and changing into uniform first. That speaks a lot to me, that he respects me enough to come in uniform each time, it spoke to me about the respect he had for Scouting as an organization. And third, it told me what he felt about himself, to properly present himself as a Scout,” said Raj.
Krase engaged in 100 hours of community service, in addition to the 141 hours his project took. He is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, he participated in the national Scouting Jamboree in West Virginia, and in 2015 he was awarded the Scout Scholar Athlete award, which is given to recognize Scouts who have “participated in sports, have a good academic record, and follow the Scout Oath and Law daily,” according to the Scouting website.
Gallopo and Sandham also attended the ceremony, and Sandham stated, “Becoming an Eagle Scout has helped prepare you to take on the world. To be a man of action, to live the Scout law, and to make every day count. To paraphrase poet Robert Waldo Emerson, ‘When duty whispers low, thou must, the Eagle Scout replies, I can.’”
Montville Township Board of Education Member Dr. Karen Cortellino stated, “It’s a pleasure to recognize one of our own students. My son is an Eagle Scout and I understand the work that it takes to get to this level.”
Ferry honored Krase with a certificate signed by the VFW state commander, and his wife Mona Berger advised the Scouts to include Eagle Scout ranking status on their résumés when they get older, because it represents a major contribution of community service.
Fellow Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow member, and Pine Brook resident Greg Schmitt stated, “When Jack joined, he was one of my favorite Scouts to order around. He was so helpful. I’m so happy to see him at this level.”
Krase thanked his family and the Scout Masters.
“Being an Eagle isn’t all about outdoor skills. It’s about leadership. My journey has been a long one but I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve made many friends, some which will last a lifetime, and I’ve gained leadership skills that will help me succeed no matter where life takes me,” Krase said.
“It’s been great to see Jack grow through this process into a leader,” stated Phalen. “He’s passionate, he’s smart, and he knows whom to ask to help get things done.”