Keith J. Hawkins, Jr. honored at Eagle Court of Honor

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Keith stands proud at the entrance of the Lego Room

PARSIPPANY — Today is another proud day in Parsippany as Keith J. Hawkins, Jr., received Eagle Scout during his Eagle Scout Court of Honor held at Celebrate the Children’s School in Denville.

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 5% of the Boy Scouts actually earn this rank.

Troop 72 was founded in 1954, and has been serving the boys of the Parsippany area ever since. They have scouts from all parts of Parsippany and beyond. They are sponsored by St. Peter the Apostle Church and All Saints Academy.

Ms. Brenda Sonzogni, Troop 72 Advancement Committee Chair, certified to the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America that Keith J. Hawkins, Jr., met the requirements for the rank of Eagle.

Keith earned 29 merit badges, 13 of these are required merit badges to earn Eagle. The required badges are:

  1. Camping
  2. Citizenship in the Community
  3. Citizenship in the Nation
  4. Citizenship in the World
  5. Communications
  6. Cooking
  7. Emergency Preparedness
  8. Environmental Science
  9. Family Life
  10. First Aid
  11. Personal Management
  12. Personal Fitness
  13. Swimming

Keith earned the following elective merit badges:

  1. Archery
  2. Chess
  3. Electricity
  4. Energy
  5. Fingerprinting
  6. Geology
  7. Home Repairs
  8. Indian Lore
  9. Leatherwork
  10. Metalwork
  11. Pioneering
  12. Railroading
  13. Rifle Shooting
  14. Robotics
  15. Shotgun Shooting
  16. Wood Carving

Keith also earned the following Recognitions or Trainings:
1. Den Chief Training
2. Den Chief Service Award
3. NRA Rifle Pro-Marksman
4. NRA Rifle Marksman
5. NRA Rifle Marksman First Class
6. NRA Rifle Sharpshooter
7. NRA Shotgun Pro-Marksman
8. NOA Camping Award
9. National Youth Leadership Training
10. Woodsman’s Thong

Keith had to serve actively in a troop position for a period of six months after becoming a Life Scout. He served as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster after earning Life Scout.

Keith had to plan, develop and carry out a service project worthy of an Eagle Scout. Keith took on the challenge of creating a Lego Therapy room for the Celebrate the Children School in Denville. The project started with painting the room and outside hallway arch. Keith organized a Lego collection effort by using communication skills learned as a scout, and by social media outreach. This led to donations by friends, neighbors and members of Troop 72. Keith also made a presentation of his project to Troop 8 in Chatham, garnering more donations. In conjunction with the sponsor, Keith helped design the room, and compiled a list of materials. These materials allowed for two large “building tables”, a set of portable tray “building tables”, and two large building areas on the wall. These are all covered with lego base plates. For storage, donated shelving was assembled, and storage cabinet refinished to a brighter color. While supervising the construction, Keith also provided direction to volunteers sorting, cleaning and drying the donated Legos. To make the room truly unique, Keith contacted an amateur artist to provide a Lego themed portrait on the back wall.

After completing this Eagle Scout Project he had to appear before a Board of Review of prominent persons and satisfy them that he had done his best to understand and live up to the Scout Oath and Law, and in all ways, qualify for the Eagle Scout Award.

Keith received special acknowledgements from Councilman Michael dePierro on behalf of the Township Council, Parsippany Rotary Club, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, Assemblyman Jay Webber and Senator Joe Pennacchio; Frank Cahill, President and Karen DeChristopher, Vice President, Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany; Richard Kunz on behalf of Parsippany VFW Post 10184, Marilyn Marion from Parsippany Women’s Club, Lauren Blaszak, Executive Directors of Celebrate the Children School and Executive Board Member Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce Frank Cahill.

Keith is a 2017 alumni of Parsippany Hills High School and currently is attending Morris County Community College.

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Copyright 2017 Parsippany Focus

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