SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Thomas Haverlock of Troop 104 is Scotch Plains-Fanwood's newest Eagle Scout.

"For my Eagle Scout Project, I decided to work at First United Methodist Church. When I was starting out as a Cub Scout, First United sponsored our Cub Pack 98," Haverlock said. "In the back of the church, there used to be a beautiful sitting area. Two church parishioners had built and maintained it for years until they passed away."

"The sitting area became overgrown and unattended," he added. "I restored the space by removing weeds, pruning back shrubs, creating a mulched path, installing two new benches, and planting trees and flowers. Church members were very pleased with the project."

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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 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. 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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