Eagle Scouts return to Mattituck to encourage young scouts

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Eagle Scouts from Troop 39 gathered at Bailie Beach Lodge Wednesday to share their experiences with younger scouts.

The leaders of Boy Scout Troop 39 contacted as many of the troop’s Eagle Scouts as possible to meet at Bailie Beach Lodge in Mattituck Wednesday to talk to young scouts about how they made it to the top rank.

Eleven Eagles spoke at the event, delivering a common message: With due diligence and time management skills, any of the 30-plus scouts present can make Eagle.

“They say only 2 percent of boys make it to Eagle,” Scoutmaster Thomas Talbot said. “It’s the journey to Eagle that’s important. We don’t have scouts come in just to make Eagle. That’s just the result of enjoying the process.”

Troop 39 has graduated at least 40 Eagle Scouts since 1929, Mr. Talbot said. He said there is usually one or two per year and sometimes none, but in 2011, seven boys made Eagle, an unusually high number.

“It’s a good troop,” said Fire Department representative Randy Wells.

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Projects the different speakers completed to earn the rank ranged from restoring an anchor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport to installing birdhouses at Laurel Lake Preserve.

Brandon Lonk, the final Eagle to address the group Wednesday, warned the troop not to do as he had, waiting until his 18th birthday to hand in his Eagle Scout packet. After your 18th birthday, the rank of Eagle can no longer be attained.

The troop’s leaders credited Colleen Merz, the Eagle advancement coordinator, with organizing this week’ event, the first of its kind.

Ms. Merz said she figured it was the best time of year to organize the reunion “since a lot of the boys are home from college,” though some speakers present Wednesday night are still in high school. One such scout, Anthony Howell, earned Eagle at age 15.

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