Lincroft Presbyterian Church and Sole4Souls, Recipients of Projects

Lincroft, NJ  – Two handcrafted, golden oak-stained, American Craftsman-style fir benches grace the patio of Lincroft Presbyterian Church’s entry; additionally, retaining wall blocks and ornamental plants encircle entry lampposts, thanks to the hard work of Eagle Scout Brian Ellsworth, who selected the beautification of the patio area for his Eagle project.

“It’s more so the experiences than just the Eagle Scout. Attaining Eagle Scout is the apex of your scouting career,” said Brian Ellsworth, a Senior Patrol Leader in Middletown Boy Scout Troop 246, who worked for almost two years from start to finish for this project while taking a full academic course load at Biotechnology High School, writing his International Baccalaureate thesis, maintaining community service hours and above a 92 GPA as a member of the National Honor Society.

Eagle Projects Require Time and Planning



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PHOTO: Lincroft Presbyterian Church, which sponsors Troop 246, honored Brian and his father Ken Ellsworth during National Scout Sunday in February during worship service.

Brian, who began his project in 2011 with a detailed proposal including measurements and drawings for approval by the Boy Scout Monmouth Council, further refined the project, raised funds and obtained physical support from family and Scout friends to execute the work of handcrafting the benches and placing mulch and retaining wall blocks. The project was completed in the fall 2012.

“We’re so grateful that Brian selected this project to help us complete the Church addition project and create a beautiful and peaceful entry to the Narthex,” notes Church Deacon Joanne Irwin, who collaborated with Brian on his project. “We appreciate his work and the efforts of all the Scouts who share their talents and gifts with us.”

While Brian worked on his project, fellow Troop 246 Scout Spencer Mullen, spearheaded a shoe drive in 2012 to support Soles4Souls, which matches unwanted shoes with the needy worldwide.  

A Junior at Middletown High School South, Spencer galvanized his school community through the school’s website and daily public address announcements to drop off unwanted shoes.  He also conducted a community outreach through his church parish and Troop 246 families in May and June of 2012, creating a map of residential areas Nut Swamp School where Troop 246 meets.  He organized scouts and parents to fan out across their designated blocks and put signs on residents’ mailboxes on a Saturday and arranged for the groups to retrace their steps a subsequent Saturday, collecting as many shoes as neighbors would donate. His shoe drive delivered more than 900 pairs of new and gently worn unwanted shoes to Soles4Souls’ warehouse in Edison, NJ. 


PHOTO: Brian and his crew working on the retaining wall blocks and plants

The Eagle Scout Is a Rare Bird Breed

A candidate for Eagle begins his journey to learn the skills of life through merit badges, camping, outdoor recreation and numerous activities. Brian, who earned 52 merit badges of which 21 are required for the Eagle rank in addition to his project, will attend the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences as a physics major in September 2013. 

Spencer with shoes collected for Soles4Souls.

Spencer will spend his summer prior to senior year attending a journalism summer session at Northwestern University in Chicago. Both men exemplify the spirit of scouting through their continued hard work, academic achievements, community service and extracurricular interests. 

When he’s not studying or participating in monthly community service projects with his troop, Brian enjoys sharing his love of physics with friends, runs cross country, and hones his photography and blacksmithing skills.   Spencer, an avid movie enthusiast who writes for the High School South’s newspaper, The Eagle Eye, where he will be the paper’s co-editor in his senior year, is also an accomplished musician and actor playing bass, piano, and guitar and singing.  In addition to appearing in productions for the Middletown High School Drama Club, Count Basie and Two River Theaters in Red Bank, Spencer is a Metro Scholar at Two River Theater and enjoys playing soccer on the High School South team.

In May, a Boy Scouts of the USA Eagle Court of Honor will recognize Brian and Spencer for their achievements, which places them among a rare breed of Scouts, accounting for only three percent of the 1.1 million Boy Scouts nationwide. For more information about the Boy Scouts USA in Monmouth County, please visit:


photo: Brian and his benches in progress.

Lincroft Presbyterian Church (, a family-style congregation, offers a hands-on Children’s Sunday School program, Senior High Youth Group, weekly Adult Discussion series and Women’s Bible Study, a Women’s Weekend Retreat, an active choir and more.  The church is located at the corner of Everett Corner and West Front Street, Lincroft, NJ, 07739, 

Soles4Souls ( is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to the needy in 125 countries.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...