HILLSBOROUGH: Trio reach apex of Boy Scout achievement

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Newly-minted Eagle Scouts (from left) Thomas Vlattas

By Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
Three local teens recently reached the top of their Boy Scout careers while juggling school, college preparations and their social lives., Hillsborough High School seniors Thomas Vlattas, Ryan Lipper and Alex Dimitrov-Kuhl achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as members of the township’s Troop 489 during their Eagle Court of Honor on Saturday, April 22., Troop officials said the Eagle Scout Court of Honor proceedings began at the request of Senior Patrol Leader Alex Fung., All three teens were also recently recognized by the Hillsborough Township Committee with proclamations marking their achievement., In order to become an Eagle Scout, a prospective member must complete a number of requirements for consideration. One of the main components is the completion of an Eagle Scout Project., According to officials, Alex’s project was the construction of three bat houses and four birdhouses at St. Joseph Parish. Along with his efforts as a scout, he is a previous member of the HHS RoboRaiders team and plays guitar in a band named Under Orion. HIs summer, he plans to return to Camp Ockanickon as the assistant director of maintenance and trades. He will attend college in the fall as a civil engineering major., Ryan’s project consisted of constructing two handicap accessible fire pits at Oak Springs Girl Scout Camp, which replaced dilapidated fire pits that were inaccessible to disabled individuals. In order to organize his project, the teen held a car wash to raise funds for the materials. While working on his project, he held a management position on the RoboRaiders team and mentored the Hillsborough Middle School Robotics team., This fall, Ryan will be attending Florida Institute of Technology as a mechanical engineering major., Thomas’ project consisted of installing 17 cubic yards of stone at the Oak Springs Girl Scout Camp to help provide a dry space for working and storing equipment and tools on the premises., At school, Thomas is a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish National Honor Society and is a peer mentor. This fall, he will attend college as a business major, with a goal of obtaining an MBA., Following the presentation of the Eagle Award to the three teens, several guest speakers honored the boys, including Congressman Leonard Lance, State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, Hillsborough Rotary Club President Abed Medawar, Commander Ron Miller of VFW Post 8371, among others., The three honorees also gave speeches not only thanking those that helped them reach their goal, but also giving parting words of advice to their fellow, younger scouts., “Get Eagle. And get it fast,” Alex said jokingly., The Court of Honor concluded with Scout Michael Bizzoco delivering a benediction and with Alex Fung opening the refreshments to the audience of family, friends and fellow scouts of the three new members of the Eagle community., “We look forward to seeing Tommy, Ryan and Alex succeeding in the future in their respective fields,” Scoutmaster Jerald Wirzman said., The induction of Alex, Thomas and Ryan as Troop 489’s latest Eagle Scouts raises the total number of boys to reach that summit to 53 in their 17 years as an officially chartered boy scout troop.