Scout soars with the eagles

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    WOODBURY-More than 10 years ago, Woodbury Town Supervisor Sheila Conroy volunteered as a Cub Scout den mother, taking seven six-year-old boys under her wing, and setting Jonathan Morales, now 17, on the trail to eagle. Since that time, only two boys from Conroy's den have left scouting and on Saturday, Morales became the third of the remaining five to earn the Boy Scout's highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout. "We are very proud of him," said Conroy. "A lot of kids drop out." After sticking with the cub scouts for five years, Morales was old enough to join Boy Scout Troop 206 out of Cornwall-on-Hudson. Over the next six years, Morales would be required to advance through six ranks by earning at least 21 merit badges, becoming skilled in first aid and wilderness survival, and most importantly living his day-to-day life by the Scout law. In order to advance to the seventh and highest rank, Morales was faced with the Boy Scout's most challenging of all advancement requirements, the eagle project. The BSA requires that boys plan, develop and provide leadership in a community service project that is approved by the troop's scoutmaster, and committee, and by the region's council and district officials. For his Eagle project, Morales chose to rebuild a walkway in Sansring Homestead. The walkway, which was overgrown and falling apart, needed to be historically accurate. Morales then also needed approval from the town of Cornwall, the Historical Society, Cornwall's Garden Club, and of course, Sansring Homestead. To complete his project Morales enlisted the help of John Speranza, owner of Speranza Landscaping, who provided tools and materials and came to work on the project with two of his employees. The project, which spanned the course of three weekends, took a total of 18 scouts, six friends, and three professional landscapers to complete. "A lot of props to Speranza," said Morales. "They helped us out a lot." John Speranza's father, Frank Speranza ,has been Troop 206's scoutmaster since 1988 and, including Morales, has seen 23 boys become Eagle Scouts. Morales also held the troop elected position of Senior Patrol Leader for over a year, and spent the past two summers on staff at Boy Scout Camp Ranaqua, where he plans to return this summer.