MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of Freeholders recently honored seven Eagle Scouts from troops in Parsippany, as well as Denville, Morristown and Roxbury for a series of ambitious scout projects that helped them attain Boy Scouting’s highest honor.
Projects done by the Eagle Scouts included work done at Celebrate the Children, a school in Denville for youths with autism and communications issues; the Stony Brook Community Garden in Hanover Township; the Hearts and Hands Pre-School in Parsippany; St. Peter’s Orphanage in Denville; and the refurbishment of the World War II anti-tank gun at the West Orange National Guard Armory, among others.
The projects required hundreds of hours of volunteer efforts by the scouts and their volunteer teams.
“The Board of Freeholders is privileged to highlight the positive work done in their communities by these seven young men who undertook ambitious projects for the benefit of their respective communities,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “They have set an example for all of us, and we thank them for their hard work,” he added.
The freeholders, at their June 27 meeting in Morristown, awarded county certificates of achievement to:
- David Lewis Dodd, Troop 173, Parsippany
- Joseph Homsi, Troop 118, Denville
- Thomas Guy Paglinco, Troop 118, Denville
- Gregory Alden Elorette, Troop 34, Morristown
- Patrick Joseph Herbert, Troop 34, Morristown
- Stephen Douglas Fowler, Troop 188, Landing
- Christopher Merring Jr., Troop 188, Landing
Each of the scouts who received county certificates have impressive personal resumes, featuring outstanding family, school, scouting, and personal achievements.
David Lewis Dodd is a recent graduate of the Morristown High School class of 2018 and plans to attend Stockton University as a biology major.
For his Eagle Scout Project, David built a pollinator garden to benefit the Hearts and Hands Pre-School at the Parsippany Presbyterian Church. Dave’s garden consists of multiple raised beds in a fenced in, gated area. The preschoolers will be able to use the garden to learn about nature and pollination as they plant wildflowers, care for them, and watch them grow.
Joseph Homsi will be a senior a Morris Knolls High and is currently exploring colleges, with thoughts of majoring in engineering.
For his Eagle Scout project, Joseph did remarkable work at St. Peter’s Orphanage in Denville. After seeing that the pool area’s retaining wall was falling down and needed to be replaced with new railroad ties, and the perimeter of the pool was overgrown with weeds, he took action.
Joe’s project consisted of replacing the three-tier railroad tie retaining wall, weeding the three other sides of the pool area, laying weed paper, planting shrubs and laying river rock. It provided the boys who live at the orphanage a pleasant and safe area to swim and enjoy a meal or snack sitting by the pool.
Thomas Guy Paglinco is a 2018 graduate of Oratory Prep in Summit, where he was a four-year honor student, member of various community service programs, a member of the campus ministry, art club, and two varsity sports, tennis and fencing.
Tom’s Eagle Project focused on Celebrate the Children, a nonprofit school in Denville for youths ages 3 to 21 who have autism and other communications challenges.
Tom cleared and landscaped a wooded area near a pond on the school’s property, removing rocks, leveling the ground, spreading mulch, and building benches made of oak tree stumps and planks. He created outdoor benches that convert easily into picnic tables. For a third classroom. He also built a teepee to act as a safe space for the students to relieve anxiety.
Tom will attend Lehigh University in the fall, and major in finance.
Gregory Elorette is a 2018 graduate of Morris Catholic High School, and will attend County College of Morris in the fall to study computer coding and cyber security.
For his Eagle Scout project, Michael targeted the Stony Brook Community Garden in Hanover Township, and focused on making it easier for disabled or injured residents to participate in gardening.
Greg constructed a handicap accessible raised garden bed planter to allow those who are wheelchair bound or unable to bend over due to back issues, to grow plants along with other, more able-bodied residents. He also constructed a multipurpose worktable that handicapped persons can use to wash and cut plants they have harvested.
Patrick Joseph Herbert will be a second year student at Seton Hall Prep, where he is an honors student, member of the Gaelic Society and Knights of Setonia, and a member of the football and lacrosse teams.
For his Eagle Scout Project, Patrick constructed an 18-foot pedestrian bridge that connects the National 9/11 Memorial Trail that runs through Morris County to Patriot’s Path. In selecting that project, Patrick sought to honor men and women in law enforcement, including his dad, who is a police officer and former PBA President in Livingston.
Patrick hopes to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Stephen Douglas Fowler is a 2018 graduate of Roxbury High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in the wrestling program for all four years.
For his Eagle Scout project, Stephen showed his love of nature and birding and the outdoors. Using donated cedar wood, he constructed 15 nest boxes for endangered Screech Owls and Kestrel Hawks. The boxes were hung in locations that best suited the birds in Stephen’s, Allamuchy and Hopatcong State Parks.
Steve plans to attend the Florida Institute of Technology and major in astronomy.
Christopher Merring Jr. will be a senior at Roxbury High School, where he has participated varsity track, JV football, was captain of the JV hockey team, and is a delegate with the Boys’ State Program.
His Eagle Scout project was unique: refurbishing a World War II 57mm anti-tank gun at the West Orange National Guard Armory. The project involved moving the cannon to the island in front of the armory, then stripping down the original paint to bare metal; and repainting the cannon. He also installed paving stones for the cannon to rest on as a small memorial for those who sacrificed for our nation.