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2016 Eagle Scouts Celebrated at Recognition Dinner

Written By Editor on 1/10/17 | 1/10/17

Utica, NY – On January 9th, the Leatherstocking Council celebrated the lifelong achievements of 77 young men who attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 2016. Thirty-four of those Scouts and their families attended the recognition dinner at Harts Hill Inn in Whitesboro, NY.

The Leatherstocking Council celebrated its class of eagle scouts for 2016 at Harts Hill Inn.  Pictured are 36 of those scouts being recognized from left to right:

1st row:  Dauda Knapp of Little Falls, NY; Griffin Darrow of Chittenango, NY; Emmanuel Esparza of Oneida, NY; James Lee of Rome, NY; Brandon Parry of Lake Delta; Matthew Collandra of Washington Mills, NY; Robert Gustke of Chittenango, NY; Alex Teeter of Chittenango, NY; and Jimi Wadnola of New Hartford, NY.2nd row:  Colton Fox of Utica, NY; Paul White of Clark Mills, NY; Ben Kilian of New Hartford, NY; Ethan Bailer of Lee Center, NY; Cooper Humpf of Rome, NY; Christopher Salamone of Frankfort, NY; Brandon Schuster of Rome, NY; and William Hilts of Verona, NY.3rd row:  Jonathan Perry of Chittenango, NY; Christopher Hanrahan of Clark Mills, NY; Kyle Tessier of Chittenango, NY; Dan Knauth of Sauquoit, NY; Jonah Capella of Chittenango, NY; James Aaserud of Canastota, NY; Will Harloff of Cooperstown, NY; and Zack Aaserud of Canastota, NY.4th row:  Ryan Pitt of Chittenango, NY; Iain Herring of Sauqoit, NY; Kory Pollicove of Marcy, NY; Kegan Kleeschulte of Unadilla, NY; Joe Rowlands of Rome, NY; Michael Vecchio of Clark Mills, NY; Anthony Birch of Fly Creek, NY; Ryan Auger of West Winfield, NY; and Joseph Taylor of Rome, NY.

To achieve the rank of Eagle, Scouts must progress through a series of advancements that become increasingly more difficult and complex, requiring mastery of outdoor skills, citizenship, leadership and community service. Only 2% of approximately 100,000,000 Scouts across the United States have reached the rank of Eagle since 1910. Within the Leatherstocking Council, that number is closer to 6%.

These young men personify the Scout mission to grow young leaders as expressed by the event’s keynote speaker Peter D. Lopez, 102nd New York State Assembly District, an Eagle Scout from Schoharie County.  Assemblyman Lopez shared several lessons he learned as a young man that continue to play out in his professional career.

The culmination of the Trail to Eagle, is the Eagle Scout project. This service project must benefit the community and require the Scout to lead a team of volunteers to complete the project on time and to the satisfaction of the beneficiary. In 2016 the 77 Eagle Scouts from the Leatherstocking Council contributed more than 1,540 combined Eagle project service hours to the community.

Service is not new to these Scouts and the Leatherstocking Council. A recent analysis of service hours submitted by units in the Leatherstocking Council shows that a record number of community service hours have been recorded in 2016.

“If you combine all the service hours given by the units in our Council in 2016 you get a staggering number.” Said Steve McEwan, Scout Executive for the Leatherstocking Council “In 2016 there were 11,676 hours completed. As a point of reference, there are only 8,760 hours in one calendar year. Think about that, and what Scouting provides not just to our communities, but to the character building of the youth performing that service as well. It is a win-win.”

Eagle Scout, Peter D. Lopez, 102nd New York State Assembly District was the evening’s keynote speaker

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