BURRILLVILLE – After completing projects aimed at improving their communities, from labor at a local church, to the cleanup of a town cemetery, four members of Burrillville’s Pack 102 have earned their Eagle Scout Awards.
Paul Miller, Jacob Gadsby, Peter Spencer and Patrick Sylvester were officially pinned during an elevation ceremony at the Assembly Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Their projects varied in scope and direction, but all were planned, organized and managed by the scouts themselves with a focus on demonstrating leadership and commitment to duty.
Miller’s Eagle project was a dedication to the late coach and educator Wilfred “Skee” Carter, who died suddenly in 2013. Carter coached the Burrillville High School Varsity Baseball team for 22 years, the Middle and High School Cross Country teams and the Middle School Basketball team.
Miller built a sitting area with granite bench and pillar at the Burrillville Middle School with a memorial plaque in Carter’s honor.
Gadsby focused his efforts at a town church, working over two weekends along with fellow Eagle Scout Robert Card; his dad, Michael Gadsby; his grandfather, Edward Laplume; and his uncle, Michael Laplume. The group replaced the railings on the front and side of the rectory porch at Our Lady of Good Help Church.
The Catholic Church is located on Victory Highway in Mapleville.
Spencer’s ambitious project benefited the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s State Lands Management group – along with future hikers on the North South Trail.
The scout worked with RIDEM representative Jeff Arnold to create signage along the roughly 10-mile section of the trail that runs through Burrillville in the George Washington and Buck Hill Management areas. His numbered signs correlate with GPS coordinates and will be entered in the state’s 911 database to help expedite rescue services.
Spencer had to follow RIDEM and the State Lands Management Council’s specifications for size and coloring, using a router and paint to create the numbers, and stenciling the name of the trail and town onto 34 wooden signs, then sealing them for weather proofing. He hung the markers on trees with outdoor lag screws for durability. Hikers in need of assistance will be able to provide rescue services with a sign number enabling a faster response.
Sylvester’s project targeted a large, overgrown cemetery in desperate need of a cleanup.
The scout worked with Betty Mencucci of the Burrillville Historical Cemetery Commission to organize a cleanup historical cemetery #24 on East Avenue.
Family and friends congratulated the scouts on their achievement this week, and it was a crowded stage as parents joined the scouts for the pinning.
The Town Council also acknowledged the scouts, passing proclamations in the honor at a meeting in August.
“That’s pretty impressive when you have four Eagle Scouts coming out the same year from a little troop in Burrillville,” noted Town Council Presiden John Pacheco.
Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts have earned the rank of Eagle. Scouts must have at least 21 merit badges to be eligible for the rank and projects are subject to a lengthy review process.