The Boy Scouts of America Leatherstocking Council recognized 63 new Eagle Scouts on Jan. 4, at a recognition dinner in Whitesboro. Of the 63, 13 of them were from the local Deerslayer and Foothills regions, including Cooperstown’s Blake Guzy and Milford’s Keenan Holliday.
To become an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and plan, organize and complete a community-service project before their 18th birthday. According to statistics provided by the Boy Scouts of America, just 2 percent of the 100 million Boy Scouts since 1910 have become Eagle Scouts. The Leatherstocking Council has a higher rate of Eagle Scouts, at 6 percent.
“It’s hard in this day and age for boys to achieve that, between school and sports, and life,” said John Padovani, Scoutmaster of Troop 33 in Delhi. “It’s a lot of work and dedication.”
Padovani’s son, Alexander J. Padovani from Troop 33, was one of the Eagle Scouts recognized. For his project, he worked with former Delaware Country Sheriff Thomas Mills and the SUNY Delhi service fraternity Tri-Atelier to construct an information kiosk for a potter’s field that had no formal headstones.
Peter Miller, senior district executive of the Deerslayer District, said that the 63 boys donated 8,550 hours of community service completing their projects.
“Besides working on merit badges, they are learning how to become leaders,” Miller said.
Guzy, a Scout from Troop 1254 in Cooperstown, is another new Eagle Scout. He built a training apparatus for the Cooperstown Fire Department to help firefighters safely exit buildings, Scoutmaster Doug Bush said.
Bush said Guzy, 17, was very focused and a “great leader” who helps the other scouts with whatever they need.
“It shows a dedication to leadership in the community in this area,” Bush said.
In addition to Padovani and Guzy, this year’s crop of Eagles also includes Brandon R. Goodell, from Troop 41 of Margaretville; Devyn D. Guy, from Troop 2, Middleburgh; Holliday from Troop 31, Milford; Thomas J. Snyder and Zachary Schallert from Troop 18, Schenevus; Patrick Zuk from Troop 99, Sidney; Ryan P. Arnold from Troop 88, Sidney; Jeremy R. Luce, Troop 50, Stamford; Zachary Keil, Troop 1, Unadilla; Gabriel G. Warner, Troop 15, Richmondville; and Deegan R. Chase, Troop 44, New Berlin.
Whitney Bashaw, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 441-7218.