SOMERS, N.Y. - Local Boy Scout Kristoffer Swee of Somers Troop 376 earned the rank of Eagle Scout at a morning ceremony held Saturday, March 19, at Church of the Good Shepherd.
The title of Eagle Scout is earned after the completion of a project that demonstrates leadership and benefits the community. Swee chose to landscape the front of the Somers State Trooper barracks and a few troopers attended the ceremony, which was officiated by Max Freebern.
Swee is the 40th member of the troop to become an Eagle Scout in its 21-year history. Others in this year’s graduating class are: Billy Barlow, David Kessler, Christopher Tuosto and Philip McDermott.
Under Swee’s direction, Scouts cleared weeds and wild plants from the front of the barracks. New flower beds were planted on both sides of the entrance. The new flowers are hardy and deer-resistant, according to Swee’s ceremony program, and the colors were chosen to represent the state trooper colors of purple and white. The color choice reflects the thoughtfulness put into the project, said Ann Westerman, assistant Scoutmaster, during her speech.
Additionally, the Scouts utilized unused dirt from the project to fill a hole that was endangering wildlife around the barracks.
Swee led a Scout-run car wash and proceeds were used to cover the cost of plants and materials for the project.
“My path to Eagle has been filled with obstacles and experiences that I will never forget,” Swee said during his speech. “Many of these experiences have pushed my limits as a leader and as a person.”
One of the biggest challenges for him was presenting his project proposal to the Eagle Scout Committee, he said. However, once he passed that hurdle, the rest seemed less difficult.
“The project as a whole pushed my limits to the extremes,” he said. “But now I’ve learned that the only way to expand your limits is to break them and to be uncomfortable for a little while. After the first few times of being uncomfortable I started to feel very comfortable in the position I was in and I am very glad that my project was a success.”
Swee was presented his award and gave his parents honorary Eagle pins and presented the Award of Mentor pin to his mother, although there were an “uncountable number” of people throughout his Scouting career that he said pushed him toward his earning Eagle Scout designation and made his experience enjoyable.
“She wasn’t exactly the one on the camp outs with me, but she was always the one who was most excited to hear about my trips and adventures,” he said of his mother. “Not to mention, she was the one who cleaned up my cuts and scrapes and bug bites.” She also supported his academic and athletic career, he added.
Guests at the ceremony included County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, who declared March 20, 2016, “Kristoffer Swee Day” in Westchester County. Somers Councilman Tom Garrity also gave a short speech and declared March 19, 2016, “Kristoffer Swee Day” in the town of Somers.
“As a representative of the town, we always appreciate when a Scout does something that helps beautify an area of the town and he’s done a phenomenal job,” said Garrity. “He’s one of those triple threats: a Scout, an athlete and a student. When you see a lot of the things going on in the world today, when you look at young men like Kristoffer, you know that there’s hope for the future and that we’re going to have good leaders down the road.”