Gladwyne Troop 181 congratulates four new Eagle Scouts
By: Rose Sutkowski, Publicity Chair, Constellation District
On Sunday, Jan. 27, Gladwyne Troop 181 recognized four young men who earned the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor held at St. Christopher’s Church in Gladwyne. This accomplishment represented many years of hard work, adventure and dedication to the Scouting program. The honorees were Connor Brala, Sam Catania, John Neary and Henry Terry.
Connor, Sam, John and Henry earned their Eagle ranks from September 2017 through October 2018. Instead of having separate Court of Honors, they chose to wait until all completed the requirements to have one special ceremony. The boys have formed close bonds with each other since the time they began their Boy Scouts journey with Cub Scout Pack 110 in Gladwyne. As a group, they were determined to make Eagle all the way together.
The fathers of three of the Scouts – Dr. Bruce Terry, Michael Neary and Patrick Brala – are also Eagle Scouts. They met through the Scouts program and volunteered in both Pack 110 and Troop 181. The fathers were proud to witness their sons complete this accomplishment from beginning to end. In addition to the Scouts and their parents, family, friends, members of the local district council, troop alumni and special guests from the Cradle of Liberty attended the ceremony.
St. Christopher’s Church in Gladwyne is the Troop’s charter organization. The Reverend Dr. Hillary Raining, rector, gave the invocation after Dr. Bruce Terry, Scoutmaster, kicked off the event.
Daniel Templar, Cradle of Liberty Scout Executive and CEO delivered the keynote address. He congratulated Connor, Sam, John and Henry on their amazing achievements and their commitment to crossing the finish line together. He thanked them for embracing the values of Scouting. “More will be expected of you. And I know you will rise to the challenges and meet them,” said Templar.
Mark Chiluti, Cradle of Liberty District Operations Chair, led the recitation of the Eagle Scout Charge. He addressed the Scouts as marked men who can help make the future even greater. “Live and serve so those you know will be inspired,” he said.
Each new Eagle made a presentation. They recalled fun moments and learning experiences with plenty of humor. They expressed deep gratitude to everyone who supported and inspired them to push through the obstacles.
The ceremony also included the presentation of Eagle pins to their parents, distribution of custom walking sticks to the Eagles by Dr. Bruce Terry and a slideshow with pictures of Connor, Sam, John and Henry, as they grew from Tiger Cubs in first grade into accomplished Eagle Scouts.
Only 6 percent of Scouts achieve the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. To attain Eagle Scout, one must earn 21 or more merit badges that cover topics such as camping, first aid, communications and citizenship. Eagle Scout candidates also plan, develop and lead a community service project. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life: Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.
Summaries of their Eagle projects, most rewarding merit badges and plans are highlighted below.
Connor Brala: Under Connor’s direction, a prayer and meditation labyrinth was constructed at St. Christopher’s Church. Connor, friends from the Agnes Irwin School, the Troop and parishioners worked over 300 hours on the construction. The labyrinth is considered a gift to the community and is open to the public. His most rewarding merit badge was Citizenship in the Nation because he learned about our country. When asked how Scouting prepared him for life, he referred to all the lessons he learned along the way. He plans to stay active in Scouting and be a role model to help other Scouts reach their full potential.
Sam Catania: Restoration and improvement of Wynnewood Park was the focus of Sam’s Eagle project. With Sam’s leadership, invasive plants were removed and those areas were reseeded with native meadow plants and benches were added. This project brought about native pollinators and monarch butterflies. His most rewarding merit badge was Citizenship in the Community because it developed his interest in local politics. Scouting gave him ample time to anticipate problems and find resolutions thus preparing him for life. He plans to remain an active participant in Scouts and encourage youth to join the program.
John Neary: For his Eagle project, he partnered with the director at Saint Edmond’s School for Children in Bryn Mawr. John, his family and the Troop built a garden and erected fencing and a gate to protect it to provide the residents with fresh vegetables and fruit and positively impact their diets. The merit badge of Citizenship in the Community was the most rewarding for John. It offered a call to action and effort on his part. While the Eagle designation is what others see, he says life preparation comes from his entire time in the program. His short-term plan is carving out time for Scouting and supporting the Troop. His long-term plan involves advancing to a higher level like Scoutmaster.
Henry Terry: Cedar Hollow Preserve was chosen for Henry’s project because he grew up hiking in Valley Forge Park, whose Valley Creek feeds through Cedar Hollow. The heart of the project revolved around the wooden stream crossings that needed replacement. Cleaning up and trimming back foliage was another segment of the project. Henry, his family and the Scouts were responsible for the much needed improvements. Henry’s most rewarding merit badge was Woodworking and the safety lesson that accompanied it. He credits the full Scouting program for life preparation. When asked about his plans, he’ll continue in a leadership role until he reaches 18 and commented that there’s a lot of time to do more after that.
For more information about Troop 181, visit https://www.troop181gladwyne.org/ or check out the Facebook page of Troop 181 – Gladwyne.