SOUTH PLAINFIELD - Seton Hall Freshman Liam Glynn has become the 50th Eagle Scout of Boy Scout Troop 309. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held at 12p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 1500 Plainfield Avenue, to honor Glynn and officially award him the rank of Eagle Scout.
“Making Eagle Scout for me is the culmination of everything that I’ve learned so far in scouting and it really is the pinnacle of the scout career,” said Glynn. “Eagle Scout shows the friendships and all the hard work that went into this, not only for me, but for my parents, my grandparents, the troop and my friends. It’s a cumulation of living a good, community-oriented life.”
Glynn’s family has been behind him and there to support him on his journey in scouting, which began in first grade.
“This accomplishment is the end of a lot of hard work and effort on Liam’s part with years of camping trips, scouting and merit badges,” said William Glynn, Liam’s father. “He’s made some really awesome friends, and they’re really great kids. It’s great to see all these guys come together and celebrate each other.”
The final requirement for all those bound for Eagle Scout is the Eagle Scout Project. Liam Glynn chose to create a Scout Park for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in South Plainfield. Renovating an unused piece of land located at American Legion Post 243, Glynn assembled a team of scouts to add topsoil, landscape paper and mulch. They also planted brushes and other plants, constructed a footbridge and erected signs with Boy Scout and Girl Scout insignias to be used for ceremonies.
“Liam’s Eagle Scout project was unbelievable,” said Angi Glynn, Liam’s mother. “I don’t think Eagle is a just project or a badge, it’s in your heart. It’s who you come away with as a person. Scouting has helped my son gain confidence. It’s helped him grow as a friend, a son and as a man. It’s so exciting to be here and for Liam to have gotten to this point.”
“From the first conversation I had with Liam about his Eagle Scout project, what struck me was that the project was about everyone other than him,” said Councilman Derryck White. “People talk about his leadership characteristics and to me, that exemplifies is leadership. He wanted it to be inclusive so that Girl Scouts could use the area and Boy Scouts could use it. He wanted it to be in a place where people could see and attend if they wanted to go to events. He had plans drawn up, and he took it very seriously.”
The ceremony opened as the scouts filed in carrying the American Flag.
“On behalf of Troop 309,” said Jeff Pauls, Troop 309 Scoutmaster. “I would like to welcome you this afternoon to this Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Many scouts set out on the trail of Eagle, but few have the perseverance to follow it to the end. William (Liam) Glynn is one of those few, and we are here today to honor his great achievement. The wearer of the Eagle award is the epitome of Scouting’s best efforts and beliefs. William Edward Glynn IV has become the 50th Eagle Scout of Troop 309.”
“At this time, we would like to welcome our 50th Eagle Scout, William Edward Glynn IV, escorted by his parents Angi and William Glynn,” said Pauls.
Senior Patrol Leader, Kyle Griswold, led the Pledge of Allegiance and Boy Scout Oath. And Glynn’s grandmother, Carmela Glynn, opened the service with an invocation.
“Today is a celebration of a journey, a journey full of friendships, challenges, struggles and occasionally a lot of fun,” said Carmela Glynn. “Today we think of all the merit badges earned along the way, the oaths committed to, the character this young man has developed and the service to our community William worked so hard to bring about.”
Pauls highlighted Liam Glynn’s lifetime achievements and journey to Eagle Scout. Glynn began in scouts as a first grader and began with Troop 309 in 2013, making many close friends, learning essential skills, and having incredible experiences along the way. Physical fitness is an important part of Glynn’s life. He excels at running, tennis and weightlifting. He is also trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has earned his black belt in Taekwondo. A graduate of South Plainfield High School, Glynn now attends Seton Hall University and is studying political science as he hopes to pursue a career in politics and one day run for President of the United States of America. His love for music has prompted him to become a staff member of 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio.
Nancy Pauls, Troop 309 Advancement Chair, then verified Glynn’s advancement record while troop members presented flowers to Glynn’s parents for each rank that he achieved. Pauls recounted dates Glynn had attained his ranks as well as when he achieved the merit badges he received while on his way to Eagle Scout. Beginning with the rank of Scout on May 31, 2012, Griswold reached the rank of Tenderfoot on Feb. 17, 2014, Second Class on Feb. 23, 2015, First Class on Feb. 23, 2015, Star on Nov. 30, 2016, Life on Jan. 22, 2018 and Eagle Scout on May 8, 2019. Glynn held several positions of leadership including, Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Patrol Leader.
Troop 309 has several assistant scoutmasters who contribute to the troop and experience the transformation as the scouts mature.
“I’ve known Liam since he started in Boy Scouts and it has really been a pleasure watching him grown and turn into a leader,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Reeve Hastings. “Even when he is not in a leadership position, he leads by example. He was really turned out to be a great scout and a great man.”
“On behalf of Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America and with the high hope that you will always represent the finest of character and citizenship, we welcome you to the Eagle Rank and congratulate you, your parents and your troop leaders,” said Pauls.
The moment that all had been waiting for arrived when Pauls presented Glynn with the Eagle badge, asking his mother to pin the badge to his chest, a longstanding tradition. Glynn’s mother and father were then given pins by their son.
“Liam, place this mother’s pin over your mother’s heart in recognition of the love, encouragement, faith and trust in your future,” said Pauls as Glynn pinned the emblem on his mother’s shirt.
“Liam, in recognition of the wisdom and guidance given to you by your father, you present him with the father’s pin, which he will be proud to wear in your honor,” said Pauls as Glynn placed the pin on his father’s shirt.
Pauls congratulated Glynn for his accomplishment of Eagle Scout and asked Glynn to choose someone to present the Mentorship Pin as someone who has made an impact on his trail to Eagle. Glynn, in turn, chose is grandfather.
“I was totally surprised when Liam presented the mentorship award,” Frank Cocilovo later said. “I was so proud that he did that for me. Liam and I have had a bond ever since he was born…I’ve been his cheerleader along with everyone else.”
Eagle Scout Ron Schroeder and the 49th Eagle Scout in the troop, Kyle Griswold, presented the Troop 309 badge.
“The first man to receive this patch was Rob Price back in 1976,” said Schroeder. “It has been handed down scout to scout, year after year. Liam, this day is a day of great achievement. It is acknowledgement of what you have done. There were forty-nine men who came before you and you are the 50th. That’s a great achievement.”
Assistant Scoutmaster Scott Waters introduced special guests who attended the Court of Honoe to present Glynn with certificates and awards. Robert Bengivenga from the American Legion gave Glynn with good citizen citation and $100 check.
“I like to see a project that’s not only being looked at, but it’s being utilized,” said Bengivenga. “And that’s what’s great about it. When he first came to me, I wondered what we were going to do. It made me feel good to see it being done and it’s being used. We thank you for that.”
Waters introduced Mayor Mathew Anesh and White.
“Today we celebrate you being an Eagle Scout, but we know there’s much more,” said Anesh. “Your passion has gotten you through to the rank of Eagle Scout…We get thrown curve balls all the time. But it’s the passion and perseverance that gets you to achieve your goals. Beyond that, could you do it by yourself? Through this journey it’s been Troop 309, so find that Troop 309 in whatever you do and find those to support you. Beyond the project that you accomplished today, understand the most important thing is what you learned along the way, those skills that you now own.”
Anesh read a special proclamation to commend Glynn for his accomplishments while wishing him continued success in the future.
“…Whereas, as a result of Liam’s confidence and dedication to excellence, Liam has brought honor and pride to his family, his community and scouting,” said Anesh.
White then presented Glynn with a South Plainfield lapel pin, noting that the pin of South Plainfield represents a strength and recognition, serving as a reminder that the South Plainfield governing body and community stands with him where ever he goes.
“We wear this pin where ever we go,” said White. “We want people to know the community that we come from and the community that we’re so proud to represent. It signifies that you don’t stand alone. You have your troop, family members, friends, but also behind you, you have the governing body and the community at large who are very proud of you. As far as politics, I would just say to you, be a servant leader. Get your hands dirty first and people will follow you. You have the character, you have the continuity, you have the mentality. Serve first, lead and people will follow you.”
Representing the Flint and Steel Association, Tony Sarao presented Glynn with a certificate.
“I’ve been doing scout training of boys for years,” said Sarao. “I represent the Flint and Steel, an association of men that started back in 1923, who wanted to do something for the boys in town, and they created the Flint and Steel for service to boys.”
Elks Lodge 2298 Dan Uken, presented Glynn with a certificate and the American Flag.
“You only pass this way but once and you cannot repeat this time,” said Uken. “On behalf of the Elks we present you with this American Flag and proclamation. Keep up the good work!”
Speaking on behalf of Knights of Columbus Council 6203 was Pauls, a member of the order, who presented Glynn with a certificate from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council.
“It’s been a pleasure to be around Liam,” said Waters. “I didn’t get to know him very well because he was a very quiet reserved young man, He was full of confidence and it shows. He was always very respectful to everyone, including the younger scouts. You never had to worry about Liam, you give him any task it was done. He enjoyed leading the kids…It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and it’s been a pleasure getting to know your family. It’s been a really nice journey. I appreciate it. Congratulations!”
During the ceremony, all Eagle Scouts were asked to come and say something about Glynn.
“Our friendship goes far beyond just scouting,” said Devin Hastings, Troop 309 Eagle Scout. “Whether it was in school, working for our unofficial landscaping business, throughout all of that, I’ve always felt that Liam has been the guy to push me to work harder and push me to do more. I want to thank you for being in my life and being such a great influence on me. I’m very proud of you to see you achieve this and I’m excited to see you do great things.”
“I’ve known Liam for many years,” said Wyatt Gerber. “He was in my English Class Senior year and Liam always made it an interesting time. I’m glad that we got to hang out as much as we did. He really is an amazing person. He’s helped me become a better leader and I know that he’s had an huge impression on the other people he’s been around. I’m really happy and so proud to see him up here right now. I really hope that in 20 years, I want to see his name up on the ballet for President of the United States because I know that he can do it.”
“I’m so proud of you,” said Ryan Carey. “Liam has a strong drive. Whenever he has a dream and says he wants to do something, he will do it and I really hope the dream to being the President of the United States and me being your propaganda master comes true.”
“Liam has always been a role model to me,” said Kyle Griswold. “I’ve always looked up to him throughout the troop. He’s a great role model to have and I bet he’s going to do great things leading other people and possibly even leading our country at some point in time. He’s always been a great person.”
“I have to thank Liam, he’s been a huge help to me,” said Drew Rachwal. “Liam has been a fantastic person. I’m going to have to challenge Ryan for propaganda master, but you got my vote, man!”
Glynn’s parents took a moment to speak, recounting how their son has matured over the years and thanking everyone in the room for their part in his life.
“Liam has come a long, long way from the beginning until know,” said William Glynn. “Angi and I are very proud of him. I just want to give a big thank you to everyone here, parents, family friends, leaders, the kids in the room, scouts. Liam has changed so much and I think scouting has been a huge part of that. Since the moment he joined Cub Scouts until now. The friendships he’s made here. The guys are just incredible guys. It really means a lot to us.”
“Liam is phenomenal, but I think he is phenomenal because of every single person in this room,” said Angi. “Our entire family could share stories, but to see him now and his friendships are so close. I’ve never seen boys who are so open with their emotions and can talk about things. It makes life easier when they have each other. And I think so much of that comes from scouts. I can’t express the transformation that we have watched in our son and the fact that he is so responsible and a good leader and comfortable around people. We really want to thank everyone for that. There is not one person who should not be thanked.”
Glynn thanked his fellow troop members as his role models in scouting and for becoming great friends. He thanked the leaders, his parents, friends and family for being there for him along the way. He also offered advice to those who are following in his footsteps.
“To all the younger scouts, just keep up with it,” said Glynn. “If you really don’t want to make Eagle Scout, the most important thing is just to learn. When I joined scouts, I didn’t think I would make Eagle Scout. I just was in here to learn skills and make some friends and by doing that, I realized that I might as well make the final push. You’ll find that at the end of the journey, when you’re seventeen years old, you will have learned so much. It’s really an honor to be standing up here as part of the 4% of scouts that become Eagle Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America.”
As the ceremony came to a close with the benediction prayer by Glynn’s grandmother, the celebration continued with dessert.
“I was so proud to hear all of these people talking about Liam with such kind words and admiration,” said Cocilovo. “He’s a great kid. I look forward to being on his band wagon even more as he goes through Seton Hall University.”
“I can’t thank scouts enough,” said Angi Glynn. “We celebrate him today, but I also feel like we’re celebrating everyone in this room. Every family member, every neighbor, every person in the community all helps in making a scout who they are and I think it’s the most wonderful organization.”
“You get out of Boy Scouts what you get into it, so if you want to have a fun time and learn a couple of skills, that’s what you’re going to get, but if you really want Eagle Scout, you can,” said Liam Glynn. “It’s within everyone’s grasp, you just have to put in the work and put in the time. It took a lot for me to get to actual Eagle Scout, but it’s made the transition to college easier. I’m able to work through problems because I had to work through problems getting to Eagle Scout. I’m really excited about the future.”