In 2017, 42 young men overcome all hurdles and complete all requirements for Eagle Scout status, the highest rank in Scouting, surpassing 2016’s total of 37. Together those 42 Eagle Scout hopefuls led service projects to benefit their communities totaling more than 5,700 hours, according to a news release from Advancement Chair Chuck Mahaleris.

The Eagle Scout Service Project is the opportunity for a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or qualified Venturer in the Boy Scouts of America to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a significant and necessary project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a tremendous effort on his part. The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America such as a school or church or local charity, and it cannot be performed for an individual or a business or be commercial in nature, according to the release.

Kennebec Valley District of Pine Tree Council, BSA delivers Scouting programs to towns and cities in Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, Somerset and Franklin counties. “We have strong Troops in Kennebec Valley District,” said Mahaleris in the release. “Those very active Troops are building tomorrow’s leaders as evidenced by the large number of Eagles we are seeing come forward. These young men are not just earning awards. They are getting things done in their community to help other people.”

Here are some examples from the 42 Eagles in 2017:

Aiden Pettengill, a member of Troop 479 in China, described his project according to the release. “My project was to create an outdoor reading area for the South China Public Library at their new location. It entailed reclaiming an overgrown wooded area, spreading gravel, having two benches made out of pallets, and creating two large flower beds. This will allow people to enjoy reading in the outdoors and have access to the library’s public Wi-Fi during both open and closed hours. A walkway was also created which will connect the historic Jones House to the outdoor reading area.”

Vassalboro Eagle Scout Stephen Csengery, of Troop 410, built benches, removed trash, rebuilt a trail and set up erosion control bars at the Seward Mills Stream Conservation Trail. His project consisted of 242 hours of service to the community, according to the release.

“My Eagle Scout Service Project was a habitat improvement project for Pomerlow Park in Madison,” said Shay Cyrway of Troop 419 of Embden, according to the release. “I built and placed 12 blue bird houses along a nature tail in the park and five wood duck boxes in a bog that the nature trail passes.” Shay plans to attend MIT and become an aeorospace engineer, according to the release.

Kevin Collins II, of Winslow, wants to become a game warden after serving in the U.S. Marine Corp. His project saw improvements to Pal Pond area in Fairfield including building new picnic tables, installing trash cans, and cleaning up the brush and shore, according to the release.

Ben Bernier, of Waterville Troop 436, took a different approach towards his project. “I raised funds to purchase six Dutch Elm-disease resistant Princeton Elms and we planted the aforementioned elms in Veterans Park in Waterville,” Bernier said, according to the release.

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