SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Boy Scout Troop 33’s, Conor Feeney, recently completed his eagle project with a revitalization of a part of the Brookside Nature Trail in Scotch Plains. Before the project, parts of the trail eroded on the stream bank making it dangerous for people to use the path. To make the trail safer for all, Feeney cleared a new 150 ft. path around the eroded section.
For the education part of the project, trail signs identifying the local birds such as the American Goldfinch or Dark-Eyed Junco, and trees like the Norway Maple have been placed on the trail.
Feeney says he chose this activity for his Eagle project because he grew up close to Brookside Park and frequently used the trail to walk his dog or ride bikes with friends. He saw this as a good opportunity to improve his community and keep the trail safe for others to enjoy.
The new trail addition has come at a great time as more people are using the trail to find a reprieve from being home.
"If you’re looking for a way to get out of the house and experience nature close to home, a trip to the Brookside Nature Trail may be exactly what you’re looking for," Feeney said.
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.
Eagle status is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. To earn it, a Scout must progress through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life Scout and earn 21 merit badges or more. Only about 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.
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