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Young men attain rank of Eagle Scout

MILLSTONE – Boy Scout Troop 116, Millstone Township, has recognized the achievements of five young men who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest advancement the Boy Scouts of America offers to Scouts.

Each scout met the Eagle rank requirements: attaining at least 21 merit badges, living the Boy Scout Oath and Law, completing a leadership project, and passing their Eagle Board of Review, according to a press release.

Jacob Samuel Detwiler, 15, is a sophomore at Allentown High School. Jake designed and built a 24-foot by 4-foot dry stonewall raised garden bed along the side of a barn at the historic Thomas Baird Homestead in Millstone Township.

The raised stone bed is constructed of fieldstones and is 18 inches high. Shrubs that are native to New Jersey and deer resistant are planted in the bed.
The Baird Homestead, built around 1830, is being restored as a museum by the Friends of Millstone Registered Properties.

Andrew Thomas Duffy, 18, is a senior at Allentown High School. Andrew redesigned and rebuilt a 40-foot-long fieldstone flower bed that was removed for renovations at the historic Thomas Baird Homestead in Millstone Township. Andrew’s design greatly adds to authenticity and general aesthetic of the property. The fieldstone flower bed also provides a display for an antique farming artifact that the curators of the museum have placed in the bed, according to the press release.

Marcus Tristan Jones, 18, is a freshman at Rowan University, Glassboro. Marcus organized a shoe drive through Soles4Souls, whose motto is “Wearing out Poverty.” Soles4Souls is a not-for-profit organization that distributes shoes throughout the United States and the world.

Some of the shoes collected are given directly to people in need and others are given to micro-industries that refurbish and prepare the shoes to be sold. By the end of the shoe drive, 530 pairs of shoes had been collected.

Most of the shoes collected in the shoe drive were destined for countries in Africa to support the micro-industries designed to provide people the opportunity to support themselves.

Sawyer Thomas Matthews, 17, is a senior at Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Sawyer orchestrated and collected school supplies to fill 100 backpacks for underprivileged students in Mississippi and Guatemala. He collected 50 soccer balls for impoverished children in Haiti. All the extra school supplies were given to orphans in Africa.

Sawyer organized a collection blitz at Walmart and gathered supplies from local churches and communities as well as from scout families. He set up and supervised assembly lines with volunteers to divide and organize supplies and then to fill the backpacks.

He arranged for two volunteers to transport all the donations from New Jersey to Partners in Development in Massachusetts to be distributed accordingly.

Jason Christopher Mendelsohn, 18, is in his first year at Rowan University, Glassboro. Jason planned, organized, managed, ultimately supervised and constructed a prayer garden with benches framing the base of the steeple bell tower at St. Joseph Church Cemetery in Millstone Township.

The prayer garden, consisting of potentillas and the boxwood shrubs, accent the steeple, while the benches provide visitors with a peaceful place to rest, pray and reflect on the lives of loved ones.

In addition to providing a peaceful respite, the prayer garden further serves to memorialize the location of the old St. Joseph Church, which served the community on its original site from 1879 through 2005, according to the press release.

The young men were recognized during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Nov. 25 at Saint Joseph Church in the township.

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