Earning the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts is an enormous achievement.
Twin brothers Peter and Joseph Conroy of Metuchen doubled that achievement when they became Eagle Scouts a few months apart, then celebrated together on Feb. 5 at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen.
Peter and Joseph, seniors at Metuchen High School and members of Troop 17 of Metuchen-Edison, traveled parallel — and sometimes identical — paths on their road to the highest rank in Scouting. The sons of Nancy and Michael Conroy, they joined Cub Scouts during the first grade in Metuchen. From an early visit to the town fire department, to the Boy Scout World Jamboree in Sweden in 2011, to their Court of Honor, they have enjoyed 12 years of Scouting together on journeys both local and global.
Locally, the twins were regulars in Metuchen Memorial Day parades and helped fellow Scouts with Eagle service projects that included building trails and enhancing area churches, schools, park grounds and historic sites.
They also served as den chiefs, which are Boy Scouts mentoring Cub Scouts, for Pack 69 in Metuchen. On a wider scale, together they attended Scout summer camp in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and, in 2010, the National Jamboree celebrating the 100th anniversary of Scouting at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia; backpacked in the Adirondacks; canoed 75 miles in the wilderness of Manitoba, Canada; and snorkeled and sailed off the Florida Keys at the Sea Base adventure camp.
Joseph, one of the troop buglers and a member of the Metuchen High School band, completed a 70-mile backpacking trip in the mountains of New Mexico at the Philmont Scout reservation. Peter, troop historian, among other jobs, and a member of the MHS Footlighters theater troupe as well as a volunteer at Hands of Hope Food Pantry, St. James Church, was the first to finish his Eagle project.
Each of the Conroys decided to give back to their hometown through their Eagle projects. Peter, a member of local swim teams since fourth grade, the MHS swim team, and the Metuchen Municipal Pool lifeguard crew, met with the Borough Pool Commission and planned the refurbishment of a wide stone walkway in the pool parking lot. With money raised through fundraisers, he organized at Joey D’s Pizzeria and St. Francis, and with sweat equity contributed by Scouts, friends and families, Peter not only created safer access for pool patrons, but also uses the stone walkway himself during the summer when he lifeguards at the pool.
Joseph, a member of the MHS cross-country and track teams, also created a permanent capital improvement for Metuchen that reflects his interest. He planned and installed post markers along two 5K courses certified by USA Track & Field that follow town sidewalks: one created by the Arthritis Foundation for the annual Jingle Bell Run fundraiser and the other for the Fuce 5K benefit for local charities. Joseph, too, spent hours meeting with borough officials — among them the borough administrator, members of the recreation and traffic and transportation committees, the police chief and the director of public works.
Not only did he get approval from residents along each course, but he raised funds for the project from the residents and local businesses. He also designed, constructed and installed a course map on an information panel at the starting line at MHS. The project was ready for the 2015 Jingle Bell Run in December, where Joseph came in third among more than 800 runners.
The boys’ Court of Honor was held in the community room of St. Francis, which holds a special place in their lives. They are longtime members of the youth choir, altar servers and earned all of the Catholic Boy Scout medals. Special guests included Jennifer Maier, Borough Administrator of Metuchen, and Charles Tomaro of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Troop Scoutmaster Allan Krebs and Committee Chair Karen Gough presented the boys’ awards.
The boys plan to attend college in the fall, where Peter plans to pursue his interest in genetics and Joseph hopes to pursue engineering.