PARSIPPANY — Jonathan A. Kennett of Troop 72 had his Eagle Court of Honor on April 30, 2017, which completed his long trail to Eagle Scout.
The pathway to Eagle can be described as a steep trail leading up to three peaks, the highest being that of Eagle Scout. Officially, the trail starts with the Tenderfoot rank and continues through Second and First Class ranks. Then, the mountain climbing begins. The path is marked with merit badges, leadership responsibilities, service projects, and the practice of Scouting skills and ideals. The first peak reached is that of Star Scout, the second is Life Scout, and, finally, Eagle Scout.
The Eagle Scout Award is Scouting’s highest rank and among its most familiar icons. Men who have earned it count it among their most treasured possessions. Those who missed it by a whisker remember exactly which requirement they didn’t complete. Americans from all walks of life know that being an Eagle Scout is a great honor. The award is more than a badge. It’s a state of being. The Eagle Scout may have received the badge as a boy, but you earn it every day as a man. In the words of the Eagle Scout Promise, they do your best each day to make their training and example, their rank and their influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in the troop, in their community, and in their contacts with other people. And to this they pledge their sacred honor.
Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men. Only 4% of the Boy Scouts actually earn this rank.
Jonathan designed and with the Troop’s scouts, and several adult volunteers, built a rock garden in which to erect a much needed sign for Hopatcong Township’s Hopatcong Animal Pound.
He raised money to have the sign commercially carved, then painted it himself as part of his Eagle Project, he and his Troop also built three feral cat shelters for the outdoor cats at the Hopatcong Pound.
Jonathan began his scouting life as a Cub Scout and rose to Webelos II. He earned the Arrow of Light Award in 2010, the only Cub Scout award that can be worn as a Boy Scout. As a Boy Scout, he rose through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and finally Life Scout, the last level pre-Eagle Scout. He has served as Den Chief to Cub Scouts, and as Assistant Patrol Leader, then Patrol Leader for his Boy Scout Troop.
Jonathan earned the thirteen required Merit Badges for Eagle Scout as well as seventeen other Merit Badges. The thirteen required badges include Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Family Life, First Aid, Personal Management, Personal Fitness and Swimming.
The seventeen other merit badges included Archery, Aviation, Climbing, Electricity, Fingerprinting, Fishing, Geology, Kayaking, Leatherworking, Metalwork, Railroading, Rifle Shooting, Rowing, Shotgun Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Snow Sports and Woodwork.
His favorites were Climbing, Archery, Rifle Shooting, Skiing and Small Boat Sailing.
Jonathan’s Eagle Scout project generated 170 hours of service that included work on the three feral cat houses for Hopatcong Pound and the garden and sign. The work was done by Jonathan, his fellow scouts of Troop 72, the adult leaders and volunteers. Other service projects Jonathan worked on included repairing camp sites and clearing branches and fallen trees at Camp Allamuchy after superstorm Sandy, helping other Scouts with their Eagle Projects, and helping the town clean up after major flooding and storms. He helped build new tent platforms for camping at Scout Camp. He has also taught topics of Geology and Astronomy to other scout groups.
He was nominated for and inducted into the Order of the Arrow, scouting’s honor society.