UNION, NJ – Boy Scout Troop 68 held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the Union Elks Lodge on Sunday to honor Eric Kapner, the troop's latest scout to achieve scouting's highest rank.     

To earn the Eagle rank, young men must meet standards and requirements in subjects such as outdoor skills, service, and leadership.  In addition, they must earn at least 21 merit badges over their time in scouting.

Kapner’s Eagle Scout project was the new Children’s Lab at the Union Public Library.  Kapner handled fundraising, painting of the lab area, moving furniture, and assembling the new desks for the lab.

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“This computer lab not only gives our children access to up-to-date computers and software, it also provides a space for them to work collaboratively,” said Union Public Library Director Karen O’Malley.  “We are very pleased and proud to have this new resource available to the children in our community,”

Kapner, a scout for seven years, said, “what’s important to me about being a scout is improving myself and my skills and being a teacher to the younger scouts.”

Scoutmaster Carlos Nunes said, “Eric is a great leader.  Many times over the years he has taken on leadership responsibilities within the troop.”

“We are very proud of Eric,” said David Kapner, Eric’s dad.  “He worked on the project for a long time and he spent his high school years doing something positive”

O’Malley said the new computers also provide an opportunity for children to participate in coding and gaming workshops.  “We’ve already offered one coding workshop for tweens,” said O’Malley, “and we’re looking forward this summer to offering coding camps.”

The computers were purchased with funds provided by a Union County Freeholder Children’s Grant.  O’Malley said the library was awarded over $7,700 last August.  A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Children’s Lab took place on April 4.

“I’m just glad that together we could make something to help people,” said Kapner at the ribbon cutting.  He said he selected this undertaking for his Eagle Scout project because “I always went to the library when I was a kid, and I wanted to give back to a place that’s given to me.”