SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ-- Terence Downey of BSA Troop 104 is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s newest Eagle Scout. Terence started scouting in 2014 and earned First Class Rank within his first year and mainly served as Troop Quartermaster or Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He later went on a 50-mile canoe trek at Sabattis Adventure Camp (Long Lake, NY) in 2016, and a backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch (Cimmaron, NM) in 2017.

Downey’s Eagle Project was done at the Kohler Academy in Mountainside, NJ. The Kohler Academy is a school for students with developmental delays and disabilities, and Terence’s triplet sister, Grace, and brother, Patrick, have attended a summer program over the last few years.

"I decided on this project specifically because the garden area of the school needed work and my dad and I did previous research and thought these garden beds would fit the school perfectly," said Downey. "We asked this school if we could do an Eagle Project there because my brother and sister are both on the autism spectrum and they attended a summer camp at the school for the past couple years so my dad and I were already well acquainted with the school.  I wanted to do a project that meant a lot to me personally so reaching out to the school just felt right."

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Terence designed, raised over $2,300 and gave leadership to 32 volunteers over a 22-month period towards the construction of three wheelchair accessible garden beds and a garden shed. The completion of the Project required a total of nearly 700 hours by all volunteers.      

He also obtained donations of garden tools from Lowe’s, Home Depot and Easi Grip, a UK-based company that builds adaptive tools for the student gardeners.

Eagle is the highest rank in Scouting, requiring the honorees to work their way up through the lower ranks, each one requiring leadership, community service, practical skills and a quota of merit badges. Their final project requires candidates to be project managers covering the planning, fundraising, staffing, execution and documentation of a service project to benefit the community. At each rank advancement they must also show that they live their lives to the Scout Oath and Law, which requires them to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 

To achieve the Eagle Scout rank, a Scout is required to earn at least 21 merit badges, including 13 required merit badges, serve in a position of responsibility for at least 6 months, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or the community, and demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Less than 7% of Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. Famous Eagle Scouts include astronauts Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and James Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former NJ Senator Bill Bradley, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg, and President Gerald R. Ford.

“Kathy and I just wanted to thank family, friends, Scouts and Scout Leaders that helped Terence on his journey that started almost seven years ago,” said his dad, Noel Downey.

BSA Troop 104 serves the Scotch Plains-Fanwood community and is chartered by All Saints' Episcopal Church.  For additional information, please visit http://t104.us.

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