In these fast-moving modern times, it’s nice to know that some things remain the same, like the Boy Scouts’ allegiance to helping others and to helping better their community. Scout Troop 13 has been dedicated to making Bay Ridge a better place for 70 years.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest Scouting organizations in the United States and Boy Scouts Troop 13, established in 1948 out of Saint Anselm Catholic Academy at 356 82nd St., is one of the oldest troops in Brooklyn.
That’s quite an impressive accomplishment and on Sunday, June 3, the Troop welcomed three new members into the rarefied Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
Elected officials, community leaders, family and friends all gathered at Saint Anselm to welcome Joseph D’Onofrio, Nicholas D’Onofrio and Tommy Perez to the hallowed ranks of Eagle Scout.
The mission of the Boy Scouts is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Their programs have inspired nearly 15,000 Brooklyn youths to learn about leadership, development and physical fitness.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Scouting program, and only about three or four percent of Scouts achieve this prestigious honor. Some notable Eagle Scouts include former President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Former Scoutmaster Peter DiSalvo served as Master of Ceremonies and likened being an Eagle Scout to being a Marine. “Once you are an Eagle Scout you are always an Eagle Scout,” DiSalvo said.
For the induction, distinguished guests took their turn talking about the importance of Scouting in their lives. Among those speaking on behalf of Scouting were U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, State Sen. Marty Golden, New York Conservative Party Chairperson Mike Long, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and City Councilmember Justin Brannan.
Brannan, who grew up in the neighborhood, recalled being a Scout.
“To this day the skills and values I learned in Scouting continue to be very important to me,” Brannan told this paper. “We all expect great things from Tommy, Joe and Nick. They are truly the future leaders of our community and our country.”
Golden, who served on the Scouting Board for years, called it a proud day for Troop 13. “Eagle Scouts are the ones who go into management,” Golden said. “The Eagle Scouts are the CEOs of manufacturing, finance and education. They’re also the military and paramilitary leaders of our nation and that’s what we want to be able to instill in our kids. That’s what Scouting does.”
Golden presented each of the three honorees with a legislative resolution from the State Senate. “We know that these young men have reached the top level in Scouting,” Golden added. “When you get to be an Eagle you are going to go on to do great things. So what we want to do is give them a legislative resolution that puts them in the history books here in the state of New York for all of their great work and great commitment to Scouting.”
Donovan recalled Bloomberg telling him that 80 percent of the CEOs of major corporations in the United States are Eagle Scouts. “I thought that was a remarkable statistic,” said Donovan. “Probably not 80 percent of people who have graduated from Harvard are CEOs.” Donovan gave each honoree a Congressional certificate of merit.
Long said that the three young men had already established themselves as “leaders for your family, leaders for your community, leaders for your God and leaders for your country.”
Brannan said it was an honor to be at the ceremony and that Scouting was “about public service and giving back to the community that raised you.”
DiSalvo explained that this was not the first time these Scouts had entered the Court of Honor. “Before this,” he noted, “they were up here six different times, first when they received their Scout badge, then when they earned each rank up to Eagle Scout.” Their journey was marked by a candle lighting presentation.
Scoutmaster Roland Roberts congratulated the young men and presented them with a special Brooklyn Eagle Scout patch commemorating their service in the borough.
“One of my favorite duties is nominating young men and women to service academies,” Donovan told this paper. “So many of our applicants are Scouts, and it’s obvious why–the skills they learn and the traits that are developed help give them the foundation needed to become strong military leaders in service of our nation. The future generation of America’s leaders are often made in the Scouts program.”