The following was provided by Judy Bass, a communications specialist for Minuteman High School, a regional career and technical high school serving the communities of Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston.
Michael Bowe of Bolton, Anthony Perugini of Carlisle, Kenneth Roith of Maynard and Michael Spaulding of Groton have quite a bit in common.
Not only did they graduate from in Lexington in June, but they all attained the rank of Eagle Scout, an especially remarkable achievement when you consider that the Class of 2012 at Minuteman to which the four young men belong had 108 male students, meaning that an astonishing 3.7 per cent of them were Eagle Scouts.
Attaining that lofty and coveted Scouting designation is arduous. Doing so requires excellent time management, focus, ingenuity, strategizing, leadership ability, maturity, and the mastery of numerous skills to earn 21 required merit badges in areas such as first aid, communications, personal fitness, environmental science, camping, family life, and citizenship in the community, nation and the world.
"The entire Minuteman community could not be prouder of these four young men,” said Ernest Houle, Minuteman’s principal. "The commitment required to achieve this, both on their part and their families’, is truly remarkable. We applaud them."
The key requirement an Eagle Scout candidate must fulfill is completion of a Service Project.
Chief Scout Executive Robert J. Mazzuca writes in his foreword to the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook:
Think of your Eagle Scout service project as the ultimate ‘application phase’ of what you have learned thus far in Scouting: leadership ... responsibility ... managing projects ... applying your Scout Oath—‘to help other people.’ An Eagle Scout project is a crowning achievement following years of fun, adventure, and advancement. In completing it, you provide an example for others that they can do the same thing…Service, impact, and leadership are the objectives and measurements… For most, the Eagle Scout service project becomes a truly defining moment in your quest for excellence. Planning and leadership skills utilized and memories of outcomes achieved will last you a lifetime.
According to the Workbook, an Eagle Scout Service Project can be done for a religious institution, a school or the community. It must demonstrate “planning, development, and leadership.”
That is exactly what these boys did, each in his own way.
For Perugini, who will attend the University of Virginia in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering, “the sense of leadership and the ability to stick with something” were two of the elements involved in doing his Eagle Scout Service Project that stand out in his mind now that it’s completed.
“I really like the things the Boy Scouts teaches,” he said, like leadership, hard work, and respect for people.
For his Service Project, Perugini, who has been involved with Scouting since he was eight, built a walking trail in his hometown around a new residential development called Chestnut Estates.
Measuring 500 feet in length and eight feet wide, Perugini said it can be used for many purposes, such as walking, walking a dog, cross-country skiing or hiking, or just as a “tranquil getaway’ from urban life.
One of the reasons that it turned out so well – and was such a time-consuming endeavor that required some 200 hours – in Perugini’s opinion, was the fact that “a lot of eyes” on town boards had to look at his plans and approve them before anything could get underway.
In fact, Perugini said that his major challenge was getting approval to do the project and readying the necessary paperwork. The reward? Leaving behind something for his community that was uniquely his and will benefit future generations.
Michael Bowe’s Eagle Scout Service Project honored the life and legacy of Philip M. Rosenzweig of Acton, a victim of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Rosenzweig, 47, was a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the WTC. An employee of Sun Microsystems, he was on his way to California on business that fateful day.
A memorial bench dedicated to him was placed on the grounds of Temple Beth Elohim in Acton by Sun Microsystems, but there was one thing still to be done – construction of a walkway to that bench that would make it more comfortable for everyone, such as those wearing high heels, to approach it.
Enter Bowe, who wrote that “With the help of a friend, I came up with the plan [for the walkway] at my sister’s Bat Mitzvah at the end of April .”
That quote is from an article titled “An Eagle and A Walkway” which was published in the February 2012 edition of “The Star,” the newsletter of Congregation Beth Elohim. "The whole project took over 200 hours to complete,” explained Bowe in that story. “I did learn a lot about how walkways are built and worked on my leadership skills.”
The reaction to his efforts was very positive, he said. “People thought it was too nice to walk on,” Bowe mentioned.
Headed for UMass-Lowell to study web design, Bowe said of his project in retrospect, “I feel like it taught me how to accomplish what I want to accomplish. It will help me in accomplishing my goals” because he now knows how to plan a complex, ambitious endeavor.
Michael Spaulding’s Service Project was making two wooden rolling carts for the Groton Senior Center to accommodate potted plants, dirt, and gardening tools. One stands 30 inches tall, the other 40 inches.
Like his fellow Eagle Scouts from Minuteman, Spaulding, who intends to take the upcoming year off, noted that getting it done was “really fun,” especially the engineering and design aspects of creating the carts, and helped him develop skills like how to delegate work, be a leader, and “adapt to changing conditions.”
He observed, “Nothing goes the way you plan,” a truism which applies to life in general that’s best learned early.
(Kenneth Roith could not be reached for comment.)
Although their Service Projects were vastly different from each other, it’s clear that these four exceptional young men genuinely typify the fundamental virtues of Scouting. Their integrity, perseverance, good citizenship and strong work ethic will inspire students at Minuteman High School and residents in their communities for years to come.