Boy Scouts Troop 1254 of Cooperstown recently announced the promotion of Chris Harloff to the rank of Eagle Scout.
Harloff’s leadership project, completed earlier this year, made major improvements to the grounds of the Fly Creek Valley Cemetery, according to a media release from the troop. His plan included removing shrubbery that had grown over the terraced steps, cleaning the steps, and installing handrails. Some of the stairs were damaged, so they were removed and those areas had top soil put down and were reseeded. A total of 28 sets of stairs were cleaned, repaired or removed. He also leveled, raked and reseeded the area in front of the vault.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout was by far one of the greatest moments of my life,” Harloff said in the release. “It was not an easy accomplishment. The most difficult part was organizing my project at the cemetery. It was a very big project, but it was also one of the most worthwhile experiences of my work to become an Eagle.”
He said that coordinating a large group to get the job done fairly quickly was a challenge, but that it was fun to have the Scouts from his troop, along with his family and friends, help out to improve the cemetery.
“It was a special project for me because many members of my family going back five generations are buried there,” he said.
Harloff, a 17-year-old senior at Cooperstown Central School, is a vigil member of the Order of the Arrow and current chief of the Onteroraus Lodge.
Nationally, only two percent of all Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle, although Troop 1254’s average is closer to 10 percent, according to Scoutmaster Mike Miller.
The troop was chartered in the early 1970s, combining Troops 12 and 54, which dated back to the 1920s. Harloff is the 101st Scout to achieve the rank of Eagle in the history of the Troop.