Where Eagles Dare: Troop 77 honors 7 Eagle Scouts

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(Seated) Eagle Scouts Brendan McManus, Theodore Bollenbach, Adam Feeney, Matthew Gilmore and Christian Lopes; (standing) Selectman Kevin Feeney, Rep. William Galvin, Eagle Scouts Joshua Lopes and Andrew Salvatori, Senator Walter Timilty, selectmen Mark Porter and Victor Del Vecchio, and Brigadier General (Ret.) Frank LaBollita of the Mass. Army National Guard.

(Seated) Eagle Scouts Brendan McManus, Theodore Bollenbach, Adam Feeney, Matthew Gilmore and Christian Lopes; (standing) Selectman Kevin Feeney, Rep. William Galvin, Eagle Scouts Joshua Lopes and Andrew Salvatori, Senator Walter Timilty, selectmen Mark Porter and Victor Del Vecchio, and Brigadier General (Ret.) Frank LaBollita of the Mass. Army National Guard.

Troop 77 honors 7 Eagle Scouts

At a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony held at St. Gerard Majella Church on Sunday, March 12, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 77 in Canton celebrated the achievements of seven Eagle Scouts who earned scouting’s highest rank between 2015 and 2017. According to the National Eagle Scout Association, only about 5 percent of all scouts ever attain this rank.

The Eagle Scouts honored were Theodore Bollenbach of Canton, 16, a junior at CHS; Adam Feeney of Canton, 18, a senior at CHS; Matthew Gilmore of Canton, 18, a senior at CHS; Christian and Joshua Lopes of Brockton, both 18 and both seniors at Calvary Chapel Academy in Rockland; Brendan McManus of Canton, 19, a graduate of Learning Prep School in West Newton; and Andrew Salvatori of Canton, 17, a junior at CHS. Salvatori was also honored for earning special Eagle Palm awards since he attained his Eagle rank in 2015.

An eighth Eagle Scout, Courtland Priest of Canton, 18, a freshman at Tufts University who earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2016, was also recognized, but was unable to attend the ceremony due to college commitments.

The Eagle Scout rank is the culmination of many years of sustained effort and commitment, including the successful completion of an increasingly more demanding and extensive array of challenges for rank advancement. Along the way, a scout must earn a total of at least 21 Merit Badges in various crafts and skills, at least 13 of which must be earned in required disciplines.

Each Eagle candidate must also plan and supervise a qualifying Eagle Service Project that demonstrates his capacity for leadership and his ability to develop and manage an endeavor of substantial benefit to his community.

The Eagle projects designed and undertaken by these seven Eagle Scouts were diverse, ambitious and significant.

Bollenbach built and installed three 6’x12’ wooden “Welcome to Canton” kiosk-style signs with the crests of local civic organizations and clubs prominently displayed on them. One is located near the B.S.A. Old Colony Council headquarters on Route 138, the second is located near Massasoit Community College on Randolph Street, and the third is located near I-95 on Neponset Street.

Feeney designed and constructed a Nature Play Area for Mass Audubon and its Museum of American Bird Art on Washington Street, featuring an 8’x10’ wooden sandbox, two wooden seating benches, and a 100-foot curved hedge row. He also built a larger-than-life-sized learning station and play structure resembling a woven bird’s nest that is 15 feet in diameter and wheelchair accessible.

Gilmore built a wooden picnic table and assembled two wooden seating benches for the playground area of the Cole-Harrington School-Age Enrichment Center, located behind the Galvin Middle School on Pecunit Street. He also managed the weeding and mulching of the garden and grounds, and the repainting of the front and back doorways.

Christian Lopes managed the assembly and installation of eight memorial benches at the D.W. Fields Park in Brockton, fabricated and installed 56 maintenance-free yardage markers at the D.W. Fields Golf Course, and designed and built three wooden picnic tables for its clubhouse and guests.

Joshua Lopes developed a phone app and database system to identify and record data about veterans interred at the Melrose Cemetery in Brockton, and then led a team to inspect 35,000 headstones and catalog veterans’ information to help the Department of Cemeteries enhance its services to family members.

McManus planned and led the clearing of approximately one-eighth of an acre of land adjacent to St. Mary’s Cemetery near the intersection of Randolph and Washington streets so that more land would be available for further expansion of the cemetery when needed. He also built a portable wooden seating bench for cemetery visitors.

Salvatori designed and built a half-mile-long nature trail through a woodland area managed by the Canton Historical Society, in order to connect Indian Lane to an ancient Native American burial ground. He also cleared and restored the land area within a perimeter of four historic stone pillars and refurbished a large engraved stone marker dating back to 1650.

Several local dignitaries attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor, including retired Brigadier General Frank LaBollita, who delivered the keynote address. After being introduced by Life Scout Charlie Emhardt, LaBollita, who is the grandfather of Eagle Scout Adam Feeney, reviewed the U.S. military’s longstanding principles of leadership and urged the new Eagle Scouts to seek out and embrace opportunities to lead and be of service to others — rather than just being “passengers on the train.” He also shared a personal, 60-year-old, handwritten note from his own grandfather with thoughtful and timeless advice on how each of us can achieve a happy life.

Also in attendance at the Court of Honor were state Senator Walter Timilty, state Representative William Galvin, Canton selectmen Kevin Feeney, Victor Del Vecchio and Mark Porter, former Scoutmaster Steve Likos, District Commissioner and Troop Committee Member Nick Vinke, Peter Czymbor, director of communications for Brockton Mayor William Carpenter, and Timothy Carpenter, superintendent of parks and acting superintendent of cemeteries for the city of Brockton.

Additional special guests included Troop 77 Eagle Scouts from prior years such as Vicente Chappuzeau, James D’Amico, Christian Hobbs, Jonathan Nunes, and Michael Salvatori.

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