PHOTO: Little Silver resident and recent RBR graduate Carey Neff stands in the beautiful garden he transformed for his Eagle Scout project. The garden adorns the Little Silver Memorial Park that honors the town’s veterans and those who perished on 9/11. Carey, an exceptional student, athlete and citizen heads to the University of Michigan in September where he will study sport management.

Little Silver:  This past June, Carey Neff of Little Silver achieved two important milestones, graduation from Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) with a multitude of honors and achieving his Eagle Scout rank, the highest level of Boy Scouts. Carey is a member of Boy Scout Troop 126 in Little Silver. He earned 22 merit badges during his long career in Boy Scouts.

For his Eagle Scout project Carey designed and coordinated the planting of a garden in Memorial Park in Little Silver which is dedicated to the town’s war veterans and residents who perished on 9/11.  With the aid of professional landscaper Mark Butler, a beautiful design was developed to incorporate perennials, shrubs and other plants. Carey then sought approval for the plan from the Little Silver Town Council and Shade Tree Commission. He fundraised to cover the cost of topsoil, mulch, moss stone and the plant materials.  With the help of 30 volunteers, which included his fellow scouts, family and friends, the garden was transformed in one Saturday afternoon utilizing 150 man hours.

Carey states, “I really wanted to find a way to give back to my community, and thought this would be a great way to also honor the memories of those who served and died for our country.”        

Carey also excelled in high school as a scholar, athlete and leader. He gained acceptance to the English, Spanish, Tri-M Music and National Honor Societies. He earned the coveted International Baccalaureate diploma as a student in the school’s Academy of Social Justice and International Studies. He represented RBR at the prestigious Boys State Conference and was also selected as a peer tutor and officer in the Student-to-Student Peer Leadership program mentoring freshmen. He also represented RBR in the Model UN program. As an athlete, he played football and lacrosse.  His musical talents found an outlet as a four-year band section leader playing the baritone horn, and member of the school jazz band. He represented RBR for three years as a member of the honor All Shore Band and played for the shore community as a volunteer in the New Jersey Adult Musicians Mentoring (NJAAMS) organization. He also served an internship as a sports reporter for the Two River Times.

Carey now heads off to the University of Michigan where he intends to study sport management for a possible career as a sports agent someday. Law school may also factor into his future plans.

He claims that much of his accomplishments relate to the lessons he learned in Boy Scouts, stating, “Scouting taught me how to be a leader and a responsible member of my community. It has influenced my life and pointed me in the right direction to success.”