MIDDLETOWN, NJ – On May 21, Troop 32 honored James C. DeRugeriis Jr, Jake Gizzi, Braedon K. Johnson, Thomas Rasa and Elijah Van Ryck de Groot at an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony at Middletown United Methodist Church before the troop’s leadership, fellow scouts, family friends and area dignitaries including Middletown Mayor Tony Perry.

James C. DeRugeriis Jr is a graduate of Middletown High School South who is currently an Astronomical Engineering major at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and cadet in the Air Force ROTC. His project was designing, building and installing wooden ramps for the Band Room at Middletown South High School.

Jake Gizzi is a senior at Middletown South High School. He plans to study Environmental Sciences in college. In the future, he would like to get a job working with nature and wildlife. For his Eagle Project, he built and installed an Osprey Nest near Pews Creek in Port Monmouth.

Braedon Johnson is a graduate of Middletown High School South who is a General Engineering major at Virginia Tech and a member of the Corps of Cadets. His Eagle Project was an enhancement of the Thompson Middle School courtyard with garden beds and pollinating plants

Thomas Rasa graduated from The Marine Academy of Science and Technology in 2021 and currently studies Electrical and Computer engineering at Rowan University. His Eagle Scout Project was the construction and installation of an Osprey Nest along the Matawan River.

Elijah Van Ryck de Groot also graduated from Marine Academy of Science and Technology and currently studies Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. His Eagle Project was creating 3 combined trash and recycling storage units for Habcore Asbury. HABcore provides homeless families, veterans, and individuals with special needs with housing, meals, and nurturing support.

To become an Eagle Scout, which represents the highest levels of citizenship, leadership and responsibility in Scouting, scouts must earn 21 merit badges: 13 required merit badges and more than eight elective merit badges; serve in troop leadership positions for a minimum of 16 months; and spend at least 112 hours on service projects. Collectively these scouts spent more than 382 nights camping, earned more than 152 merit badges and completed more than 325 different requirements while in Boy Scouts.

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 the Scout Law. Troop 32 believes strongly in giving back to the community, which includes food drives for local pantries, participating in civic events and completing Eagle projects aimed specifically to assist local organizations. For more information about Boy Scout Troop 32 visit https://riverplaza32.mytroop.us/home

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