MILLSTONE – Five young men who are members of Boy Scout Troop 116 in Millstone Township have attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
The scouts who achieved the honor are Cole Meier, William Jacob Rears, Tommy White, Joshua Ian Matthew Siedman and Joseph Anthony Rogero.
Rears and White are now in college, Meier and Rogero are seniors at Allentown High School and Siedman is a junior at Allentown High School, according to a press release.
For his Eagle Scout project, Meier installed four benches at the historic Thomas Baird Homestead in Millstone Township. The benches were placed around the property for patrons to sit on when they visit. The pressure treated lumber with which the benches were constructed should allow them to remain in place for many years.
“My reason for selecting the project is because I saw the Baird house was constantly getting new projects and I felt that by building benches the house might get more visitors. With more visitors, everyone else’s outstanding projects would have greater impacts on the community,” Meier said.
Working with the nonprofit organization Sole Hope, Rogero created 50 shoe kits using recycled plastic water containers and used jeans. Sole Hope improves the lives of communities in Uganda by providing local craftsmen with the shoe kits, according to the press release.
The kits, along with medical supplies and education, help to serve those suffering from jiggers, a common foot problem for many people who live in that part of the world. The project also benefited the local craftsmen who are able to make a living wage to help support their families.
“I chose the project because I wanted to help people even if I would never see the end result,” Rogero said. “I wanted to help to improve the lives of a lot of people and this project made a big impact on me. The project first came to my attention through my mom. I became very interested and read up on the nonprofit Sole Hope to find out more.
“What I liked most was how the project affects people to make their everyday lives better. It also takes into account recycling of materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Helping people and helping the environment was a win-win,” Rogero said.
For his Eagle Scout project, Rears designed and built five picnic tables for use at the historic Thomas Baird Homestead in Millstone Township. The tables were built using pressure treated lumber and galvanized deck screws and carriage bolts. The tables will provide guest seating and table space for the homestead’s events.
Siedman said his Eagle Scout project was to build an outdoor classroom at the Millstone Township Middle School. He said the main task was to remove all the weeds and refresh the existing crushed stone with 13 tons of new stone. The stone will be compacted so it cannot be washed away and so wheelchairs can go across it.
Siedman said a wheelchair accessible table was installed. Five umbrellas were supplied to be used with four existing tables and the new wheelchair accessible table. He said the project will provide an alternate learning environment for students and teachers.
“I decided to build an outdoor classroom at the middle school because the school taught me so much. I decided to return the favor by giving back to the school by building something.
“A friend of my mom’s told her the school might have projects for Eagle Scouts. I emailed (Superintendent of Schools) Dr. (Christopher) Huss and he gave me a list of projects and I decided to build an outdoor classroom. I can’t wait until next spring when they start using the classroom on a regular basis,” Siedman said.
For his Eagle Scout project, White planned and managed the reconstruction of the back deck of the United Presbyterian Church of Millstone’s Ministry Center. He said the deck had fallen into disrepair and was unusable.
White said that with a generous donation of materials from Northeastern Building Supply, he led fellow scouts in the removal of old decking, the installation of new decking, and the installation of spindles, railings and stairs.
The Ministry Center hosts church and community events and is home to the Millstone Food Pantry and the Millstone Community Garden. White said the rebuilt deck adds just under 200 square feet of outdoor space and was a final project in the Ministry Center’s renovation.
“The United Presbyterian Church of Millstone has given me so much throughout my life. This has been the only church I have ever known. It has become so much more than a church. The congregation became my family and the church felt more like a home than a typical church,” White said.
“In large part, the church has helped me through my scouting journey. Not only did I learn what it meant to be reverent, the 12th point in the Scout Law, I was also introduced to a set of morals at a very young age.
“When I was beginning to take on the daunting task of Eagle Scout, and the elusive Eagle Scout project, I couldn’t imagine doing any other project than something that could help the church. They have given me so much throughout my life, it was about time I gave back to them,” he said.