MONTVILLE, NJ – Troop 74 has one more Eagle Scout in its midst, as it held a Court of Honor for Nicholas Weiss on Sept. 16 at St. Pius X Church.
Weiss’ project was to organize and work on a team that built a prayer patio garden, repaired a fence, and cleaned up around the fence at the church, and was conducted in May of 2016.
“This was very important to me because I have been a part of this parish since I was a baby,” Weiss said.
Officials such as Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Montville Township Mayor James Sandham, Commander Charles Ferry of Montville Township’s VFW Post 5481, and Senior Deacon Ken Hensley of the Masons were present for the ceremony. A congratulatory letter was read from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Gannon said, “I travel to a lot of these [courts of honor] across the county and that gives me a lot of time to reflect on all the good that these young men and women are doing today.”
Gannon said he was a Scout with Troop 69 in Boonton Township but he never got to Eagle.
“I wish I had, so I’m very proud of you accomplishing what I was never able to,” he said.
Sandham said that scouting builds boys and girls for the future.
“In your 10 years of scouting, you have learned and developed so many great characteristics and skills,” Sandham said. “You have been prepared to not only enter the world as a talented young man, but also as a leader.”
Robert Loia, principal at Morris Catholic H.S. where Weiss is a junior, said that Weiss is “genuine and honest, and someone with a very positive attitude.” He said he “trusts Nick to do what is needed for the high school’s community.” Loia said the Morris Catholic High School community is proud of his achievement.
Father Mark Olenowski said Weiss has been attending St. Pius since his baptism, and “Nick was fun to work with.”
“I’m very grateful that the church is the recipient of his hard work. The prayer patio will be very useful to the church. I’m hoping his children’s children will come see his Eagle Scout project,” Olenowski said. “It’s an opportunity for people from the parish and the school to come and prayerfully and quietly reflect; a source of quiet space. It was a lot of hard work that will beautify our area. It will also help the handicapped at our picnics.”
In a speech to the attendees, Weiss talked about his favorite badge and how scouting has shaped his life.
“One of the merit badges I enjoyed earning the most was Disabilities Awareness. I had a lot of fun with a charity called Pathways for Exceptional Children and worked with them for many hours. I had the opportunity to meet and play with inspirational children who may technically have a disability, but I can 100 percent say I never saw a disability in any of them. I learned about compassion through this experience and scouting is what enabled me to do that.
“Scouting has helped shape the young man I am today. The older Scouts and leaders have taught me about values and have demonstrated what it means to be a good citizen. Scouting taught me the obvious skills of camping, cooking, hiking, wilderness survival, and making a fire, all of which I will have for life. But it also taught me so much more about life and problem solving – specifically perseverance, compassion, and leadership.”