ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Justin J. Thomas has become the 70th Eagle Scout produced by Boy Scout Troop 22. He was presented Scouting's highest honor Saturday, June 5 during a ceremony at the Shore Casino.


Justin Thomas is flanked by his parents, Gerald and Jackie Thomas, after receiving his Eagle School award at a Shore Casino ceremony.  PHOTO by Peter E. Donoghue

He is the son of Gerald and Jackie Thomas, here.

Justin is a senior at Henry Hudson Regional School, Highlands, and will be attending Rutgers University in the fall to pursue a career in criminal justice. During high school, he played on the Keyport High School football team and was a team captain for the past two years.

Scoutmaster Allen Resch (right) stands with active Troop 22 Eagle Scouts including the newest, Justin Thomas (center). The Eagles (from left) are Dan Chadwick, R.J. Zeller, Thomas and Ronald Passaro. PHOTO by Nicole Kangos

He was presented his Eagle award by Allen P. Resch, who has been the Troop 22 scoutmaster for 20 years.

Among those on hand to recognize Justin's accomplishment were borough Mayor Frederick J. Rast III, Police Chief Jerry Vasto, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, and representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Grand Masonic Lodge of New Jersey.

Justin's attainment of Eagle rank, the highest in Scouting, comes as the Boy Scouts of America celebrate its 100th anniversary. Requirements for Eagle rank include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit, service and leadership. This also includes an extensive service project which the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.


This is a view of the stretching station built in the Atlantic Highlands Marina as Justin Thomas' Eagle project. PHOTO by Jackie Thomas

Justin's Eagle project was the creation of a stretching area in the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Yacht Harbor at the beginning of the Bayshore Trail. The station consists of five locations for people to warm up and stretch before they run, jog or walk.

He initiated the project because of his devotion to physical fitness.

Justin researched his idea, raised the funds from private donations, obtained necessary approvals and permits, ordered the equipment, and managed the project. He recruited, worked with and led volunteers, Scouts and non-Scouts including his father, in leveling the area, digging holes, mixing cement, installing the equipment, spreading mulch and building a perimeter.

The Fit-Trail-built stretching equipment is located in an area of 22 by 22 feet near the bandstand and children's playground.

Troop 22 is sponsored by the United Methodist Church of Atlantic Highlands.