70 Eagle Scout Project Brings New Life to Cemetery Entrance

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When Montgomery Township Scout Troop 46 was formed in 1933, it was called Blawenburg Troop 46, and it was sponsored, as it is today, by Blawenburg Church. The goal of scouting has been to help boys (and now girls, too) build wholesome personal values such as honesty, respect, loyalty, and service. Scouts work toward this goal through seven steps and merit badge projects that help them learn specific skills. There are 135 merit badge offerings—some required, others elective. They are diverse, too. Some merit badges cover traditional content such as art or camping, while others such as digital technology and game building are more contemporary.

The steps Scouts work their way through are known as ranks. They are: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and ultimately Eagle. It takes years of hard work and dedication to the scouting values to become a candidate for the Eagle award. Nationally, only 8% of scouts earn this rank, and they are usually 17 years of age or older when they do. In 1966, Larry May, formerly of Montgomery Township, was the first scout in Troop 46 to achieve this rank. Since that time, many other local troop members have become Eagle scouts.

Eagle candidates must first have earned the rank of Life, earned 21 merit badges, and served in a position of responsibility in the troop. Then they can engage in planning, developing, and implementing a service project which is helpful to any religious institution, any school, or the community.

When Troop 46 scout, Bruce Allen, was looking for an Eagle project, he learned about the need to repair and refurbish the stone pillars and gate on the north entrance to the Blawenburg Church Cemetery on Route 601 near the intersection with Route 518.

A cemetery pillar in need of repair

When Bruce realized the cemetery's needs, he looked at the pillars and saw that these pieces of Blawenburg history were chipped and worn with some loose stones that needed to be re-pointed. He knew he had to act. “I couldn’t just let that go like that,” he said recently. “I knew it needed to be repaired, and I knew I had to do it.” This is the “take charge” attitude that troop leaders look for in their Eagle candidates.

Bruce first had to have his project approved by the cemetery and troop leaders. He worked with church representatives of the cemetery, Eric Perkins, Don Terhune, and Ethel Terhune, to determine what was needed to repair the pillars, and then he submitted his plan to the troop leaders.

An Eagle project isn’t about what the Eagle candidate can do himself or herself. Rather, it’s about mobilizing a group of other scouts and adults to work together to accomplish the task. Once Bruce received approval, he engaged a team of scouts and some adults, gathered materials, and set a time for the repairs in early summer 2021.