WATCHUNG, NJ- On June 17, Watchung Boy Scout Troop 32 held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony honoring Thomas Fiorilla of Watchung and Richard J. Pease of Scotch Plains. Family, friends and community leaders along with Scouts past and present attended the ceremony, which was held at Wilson Memorial Church and also included the awarding of merit badges and rank advancement of the troop’s younger members.
“It is our honor and pleasure to recognize the award of Eagle Scout,” said Sue Tucker, master of ceremonies and committee chair of Troop 32. “The parents and Scout leaders of Troop 32 have labored long and faithfully to help these young men toward responsible citizen through the Boy Scout program. Their efforts now culminate in the presentation of the Eagle Award.”
Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. Since 1912, more than 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank and over 100 currently hail from the Watchung-based Troop 32. “Once you’re an Eagle Scout, you’re always an Eagle Scout,” said Tucker.
Achieving this high honor requires years of dedicated involvement in the troop and to achieve the Eagle Scout honor one must progress through the ranks as well as earn 21 merit badges; serve six months in a troop leadership position; take part in a Scoutmaster conference; and plan, develop and successfully fulfill an extensive community service leadership project benefiting a religious organization or any school or community.
For his Eagle Scout project, Fiorilla, after learning about the need to protect the bat community, built and installed bat habitats around the Watchung community and Best Lakes; Pease, working with the Salvation Army, chose to mark, blaze and mapping trails for Camp Tecumseh trail system near Pittstown, NJ.
As is the tradition of the Eagle Scout ceremony, Fiorilla and Pease also selected one person who had a significant impact on his journey as a Scout to receive a ‘mentor’ pin and also presented their parents with pins to signify their gratitude for all the support and assistance provided over the years.
Fiorilla and Pease, who are both members of the Class of 2015 at their respective public high schools, also had the opportunity to share their thoughts on Scouting.
“When my dad first introduced me to Scouting I didn’t think much of it; I thought it was just a thing to get me out of the house. After quite a few years, I finally understand. Scouting has been an adventure and I will gladly do it all again,” said Pease, reminding his fellow Scouts not to forget these years. “They are some of the most memorable ones you will ever have,” he said.
Fiorilla added, “I met some very good leaders who have all been very instrumental in my path through Scouting. I am very glad and I could not be more happy with how these years have gone in this Troop.”
Both eagle Scouts received congratulatory letters from an array of political and community leaders, including Governor Chris Christie and the head of Boy Scouts of America.
Troop 32 of Watchung is chartered by Wilson Memorial Church through the Boy Scouts of America. The Troop was founded in 1937 and has been operating continuously since then, offering Scouts the opportunity to advance through the ranks and grow in a myriad of ways.