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RFH Students, Grads Soar as Eagle Scouts

The six were awarded the honor in two 2013 ceremonies

Newly minted Eagle Scouts Vincent Gallagher and Robbie List display their merit badges and awards, including the Eagle Scout pin located on their left-hand pockets (Photo: Courtesy of RFH)
Newly minted Eagle Scouts Vincent Gallagher and Robbie List display their merit badges and awards, including the Eagle Scout pin located on their left-hand pockets (Photo: Courtesy of RFH)

“When I immigrated to this country from Ireland and attained my first job, my Manager was an Eagle Scout,” said Jennifer Gallagher. “I came to greatly admire this man, and I decided that if I were someday blessed with a son I would want him to become an Eagle Scout.”

Gallagher’s wish came true as her son Vincent recently received his Eagle Scout award in front of a crowd including fellow scouts, scout leaders, parents, and distinguished guests.

At two separate courts of honor in 2013, one in December and the other in August, six Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) students, all affiliated with Boy Scout Troop 125,  attained the Eagle Scout status.

At the Boy Scout Troop 125 “Court of Honor” held on the evening of December 5 at Christ Church United Methodist in Fair Haven, in addition to Gallagher, Robert (Robbie) List was also awarded the Eagle Scout pin.

Shawn Chasmar, Brian Lenahan, William (Billy) Perkins, and Matthew (Matt) Valko also were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at an Aug. 3 Court of Honor at Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven.

“I have known all of you for many years, and I somehow knew you would persevere to attain this rank,” said former Troop 125 Scoutmaster Gary Uhl, addressing the Eagle Scouts recently. “I know that it was tough going at times, but the good news is that you have earned a lifelong honor.”

The road to Eagle Scout is a journey that includes years of dedication to scouting and culminates in the completion of a service project.

The service project is an undertaking that needs to be completed by the candidate’s 18th birthday. The project must be approved by a Boy Scout Board of Review and has to provide ample demonstration of a scout’s planning, organizational, and leadership skills.

Shawn Chasmar, a 2013 RFH graduate, carried out an Eagle Project that “gave back” to Christ Church United Methodist, where Troop 125 Boy Scout meetings are held weekly.

He built and installed four benches in the area in front of the church and around a fire pit that was built by another Troop 125 Eagle Scout. The seating will serve as an outdoor  welcoming and meeting space for church elders.

Chasmar is a civil and environmental engineering major at  the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

Brian Lenahan, also a 2013 RFH graduate, cleaned up and refurbished the parking lot at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Asbury Park for his project.

In addition to providing parking during church services, the lot is also used by the Asbury Park Program of Covenant House for ice cream socials and other outreach activities.

Lenahan volunteers with Covenant House, the largest privately-funded agency in state providing food, shelter, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and 18- to 21-year-olds.

He intends to pursue a career in the medical profession and plans to attend Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and major in biology.

Billy Perkins, an RFH senior,  also “gave back” to troop host United Methodist by dedicating his resources to enhancing the area surrounding the church by designing a meditative space in a garden on the church property.

He also led a group of volunteers in constructing a gravel path leading to the area.
Perkins, of Fair Haven, is captain of the RFH Sailing Team, which recently competed in this year’s Atlantic Coast Championship. He is an avid skier and placed second in the Eastern Regional Championship last season.

Matt Valko’s project was the creation of a Nativity Prayer Garden at the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven. The project, which took 13 weeks to complete, provides parishioners with a quiet place to pray and reflect while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Valko, an RFH senior from Fair Haven, swam on the RFH Varsity Swim Team as a freshman. He is in his fourth year of participation on RFH crew, a local independent rowing program, and was elected captain this year.

A cross-fit athlete, he participated in his first Spartan Race this year.

Vincent Gallagher lent a helping hand at the nursery located in Fair Haven Fields, where tree saplings are nurtured before being transplanted to other areas of the park and to nearby recreational areas. Hurricane Sandy had left the nursery in disarray, with scattered branches and overgrown weeds hampering its function.

Gallagher's project involved clearing all debris, and then weeding the area and creating rows of planting beds. Approximately 300 tree saplings were planted, mulched and watered, replenishing the nursery.

Gallagher is taking business and culinary courses at Brookdale Community College and is a part-time chef at Alice’s Restaurant in Sea Bright.

Robbie List, an RFH junior from Fair Haven, constructed and installed bat boxes around Fair Haven Fields to help maintain a healthy ecosystem. Homes are often in short supply for bats, who contribute to the local environment by ingesting large amounts of harmful insects.

During the Court of Honor ceremony, List also received a Bronze Palm Award. The Bronze Palm is given to Eagle Scouts who earn five or more merit badges in addition to the 21 that are required for Eagle Scout. He earned 27 merit badges, which are awarded for completing requirements in areas including sports, crafts, sciences, business, and future careers.

List is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and a member of the Boy's Track and Field Team.  

* Information provided by a release from RFH

George Murphy January 03, 2014 at 09:57 AM
Why do we not jump at these events like we do the, "hot topics?" This generation has something to show its parents and grandparents. Many do not realize the hard work that goes into acquiring this coveted rank. The Eagle Scout will have more clout on his resume' than someone with several college degrees. All in all, I congratulate these young men for all that they have accomplished, and what I am sure they will continue to do to better the future of our country.


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