A Hillsborough High School junior and member of Boy Scout Troop 186 was recently honored for his community service project at his local church and the subsequent earning of the rank of Eagle Scout.
During the Sept. 11 township committee meeting, Aidan Szabo was presented a proclamation by Mayor Gloria McCauley commemorating his accomplishments.
“The Hillsborough Township Committee extends our sincere congratulations to Aiden Szabo for having achieved the status of Eagle Scout,” she said during the meeting. “[That rank is] an honor for both and for those who guided him, with best wishes for a bright future.”
Szabo earned the Eagle Scout rank after constructing and installing 14 displays featuring the Stations of the Cross, as well as mounting a number of donated plaques, at St. Matthias Church.
“When I went to look for a project, I really wanted to do something for the church,” he said. “Originally, I wanted to redesign the playground and fix it up…[but I was told] we can’t because of legal stuff.”
Though his initial idea didn’t pan out, Szabo said he was able to work with church leaders to put the Stations of the Cross together.
Throughout his project, Szabo supervised 12 scouts, four adults and several others to complete the project, which took three weekends and approximately 230 hours to complete.
Having never done a project of this scale for the church before, Szabo said he quickly learned that special considerations had to be made while working for an active house of worship.
“The morning that I went to install the statiosn of the cross at the church, I remember my dad always telling me ‘look for the funerals because they can be scheduled like that.’ I’d scheduled the work session to be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at 8 o’clock, I remember opening my computer, looking at my email and finding out there was a funeral…so I had to reschedule.”
As a scout, Szabo has served as troop guide, senior patrol leader and historian. In addition, he has spent the past five summers at Winnebago Scout Reservation as a Counselor-in-Training, a staff member and working in the Dan Beard Program.
At Hillsborough High School, Szabo is a member of the Hillsborough High School Varsity Debate Club and Hillsborough High School Chorale.
Looking back, Szabo said he was proud of the work he completed.
“Despite all the hoops I had to jump through, it was a pretty good project,” he said.