SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Derek Porter is Scotch Plains-Fanwood's newest Eagle Scout from BSA Troop 104.

His Eagle project was refurbishing the exterior of a five-bedroom home owned by Children's Specialized Hospital of Mountainside. Porter created a sitting area in the backyard with a cozy and inviting feel, including a picnic table along with Adirondack chairs. Additionally, he created an area where multiple interns can sit and relax after a busy day. He also planted perennials and bushes that would not require constant care and built a border around the flower beds with block pavers to make a nice looking front yard.

Porter chose Children's Specialized Hospital because it was where he recovered after 17 days in ICU when he was 5 months old due to Infant Botulism.

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"There was no better place to do my project to give back," said Porter, a freshman at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. "I want to thank the Home Depot of Watchung, Griffith Painting, Lowes of Union, True Value of Westfield, for donations and of course my friends, family, and fellow Scouts who assisted me the whole way." 

"Congratulations to Derek on reaching Eagle," Troop 104 advancement chairperson Susan Bonnell said. “Derek is the epitome of a good Scout and has demonstrated maturity beyond his years as a leader of Troop 104.”

Eagle status is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. To earn the rank, a Scout must progress through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life Scout and earn 21 merit badges or more.

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.

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