Family members, politicians, police officers, scouts and scout leaders poured into James Olley Park in Walden on Sept. 26 to honor Troop 31 of Montgomery’s Charles Fibel, Damon Froeschl-Tuttle and Kyle Stafford for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.
By earning this honor, the three scouts joined a selective group. According to scouting.org, only 8 percent of Boy Scouts of America earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2019.
Furthermore, scouts must meet many rigorous requirements to become an Eagle Scout. They must progress through the ranks in the following order: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle. Scouts must earn 21 merit badges and serve six months in a position of responsibility. They also have to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or their community. While a Life Scout, the scout must participate in a Scoutmaster conference. They must successfully complete their board of review for the Eagle Scout rank.
“The three gentlemen that we honor today are the epitome of all points of the scout law,” said Troop 31 Assistant Scoutmaster and Chaplain John Olson. “I am going to add one more: awesome.”
During his time as a Boy Scout, Charles earned 31 merit badges and held two leadership roles as troop historian and patrol leader. He led his community service project for the Village of Walden at the community cabin off of Albany Avenue in September of 2019. He oversaw many repairs, which included painting a wheelchair ramp, building new stairs, replacing railings, adding landscaping and building a new flower box. Charles ended his project with a flag ceremony and raised a new American flag at the site. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout on Dec. 11, 2019. He is currently a junior at Valley Central High School.
Damon always planned to help Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for his service project, as he spent a significant amount of time there during fourth and fifth grade. He remembered being in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and wishing he was able to go to the main hospital game rooms and Child Life Center. Damon decided to create an entertainment cart specifically for the PICU so that children in that unit would have their own games, puzzles and books to cheer them up during their treatments. The cart was overflowing with donated fun items when he delivered it to the hospital in November of 2019. He is currently a senior at VCHS.
As a Boy Scout, Kyle held a leadership position as a den chief for Pack 225 for five years. He went above and beyond the six-month leadership requirement because he wanted to see the Tiger Cubs that he started with cross over to Boy Scouts. Kyle earned 35 merit badges while in Boy Scouts.
Kyle did not know what he wanted to do for his service project. Valley Central Middle School approached Troop 31 about building a ga-ga dodgeball pit for their outdoor courtyard. Kyle was ready for a project as a Life Scout, so the timing was perfect. He enjoys playing ga-ga, so building the pit was the perfect project for Kyle to lead and build. The ga-ga dodgeball pit is located outside Valley Central Middle School near the basketball courts and was made portable for the staff to move if necessary. He is currently a junior at VCHS.
Orange County Legislator Mike Anagnostakis commended Troop 31 for consistently producing Eagle Scouts.
“I think this particular troop, Troop 31, is the best troop in all of Orange County,” he said. “You routinely turn out three Eagle Scouts, four Eagle Scouts, five Eagle Scouts every single time you have a court of honor.”
Sen. James Skoufis was proud of these scouts for all of their hard work. He hopes that each of them will be leaders in the community for years to come.
“This country’s ripping apart at the seams in many different ways,” he said. “What gives me hope though is the next generation’s leadership. Hopefully it’s young men and young women like these three that we’re celebrating that can bring us back from the brink a little bit and return us to being truly a United States of America.”