Middletown, New Jersey – Eagle Scout rank represents the highest levels of citizenship, leadership, and responsibility in Scouting, and earlier this month Joshua DeShong, Thomas Luby, and Thomas Mannarino from Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 32, River Plaza, were honored for achieving this position in an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony before Troop 32’s leadership, scouts, friends, and family, and BSA Monmouth Council’s Scout Executive/CEO Lee Marconi and District Executive Stacey Ehling.
Held at the Middletown United Methodist Church, these young men, who began their journey to Eagle as Cub Scouts in elementary school, earned the 12 required merit badges and many elective merit badges, served in troop leadership positions, spent at least 12 hours on service projects, not including their individual Eagle Scout service projects benefitting the local community. Collectively, these Scouts spent more than 390 nights camping, earned 99 badges, and completed more than 325 requirements.
“We recognize and honor Troop 32’s newest Eagle Scouts, acknowledging the years of hard work, drive, and determination to achieve this goal as well as commending the support of our Troop members and their families and friends,” said Troop 32 Scoutmaster Ron Grippo. “While the path to Eagle was different for each Scout, each was tested along their eight-year Boy Scout career, facing character challenges and mental toughness, and learning about themselves and their own perseverance. There is no doubt these fine young men will fulfill the Eagle Scout charge and continue to serve their communities and families with honor, loyalty, courage, and cheerfulness.”
Josh DeShong, River Plaza area of Middletown, is a graduate of Mater Dei Prep, Middletown, and a freshman at Brookdale Community College, pursuing a political science degree. He is the son of Brian DeShong, Troop 32’s Scoutmaster Emeritus. Josh’s Eagle project involved building and mounting 32 tree swallow birdhouses on the grounds of Mater Dei Prep to help control the insect population near the athletic fields and improve field conditions for school events.
Tom Mannarino, also of River Plaza, is a graduate of Middletown High School South and a freshman at University of Scranton. Tom’s Eagle Project comprised of refurbishing the food and music booth at his high school’s outdoor sporting area. This endeavor involved painting, landscaping, and assembling benches and stainless steel prep tables.
Tom Luby, of Nut Swamp area of Middletown, is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, and a freshman at American University, Washington, D.C., majoring in business. Tom’s Eagle project entailed building two bridges and a model colonial well at the historic Murray Farmhouse, Poricy Park in Middletown. This included installing concrete footings with ramps and steps to account for the differences in grade; the well was built with cedar and painted to match the farmhouse.
Founded in 1956, the leadership of BSA Troop 32 believes teaching a boy outdoor skills, self reliance, respect for nature, and respect for others, while promoting community service increases his ability to give back to his family, his country, and himself. Troop 32 provides an active outdoor program and reinforces the ideals put forth by the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Troop 32 believes strongly in giving back to the community, which includes conducting food drives for local pantries, participating in civic events, and completing Eagle Projects aimed specifically to assist local organizations.