NORTH SMITHFIELD – The latest scout from Troop 1139 North Smithfield to earn the rank of Eagle was acknowledged this week by members of the Town Council, with a citation presented to 17-year-old Matthew Lagasse marking the achievement.
For his Eagle project, Lagasse made improvements to the landscape surrounding Saint John the Evangelist Church, installing two new flagpoles in addition to those already posted outside the building at 63 Church St. The poles, the product of some used 233 volunteer service hours by the scout, will be used to fly flags representing each branch of the military.
The son of Scott and Susan Lagasse, Matthew is currently a senior at North Smithfield High School. An athlete who has participated in cross country, indoor track and lacrosse, Lagasse also studies Uechi-RYU Karate at Ed DaCosta’s Karate Dojo in North Attleboro, Mass., where he earned his black belt in May of 2022.
Lagasse joined Troop 1139 in January 2017 and quickly worked his way through the ranks. He has held the leadership positions of quarter master; patrol leader; assistant senior patrol leader and ultimately senior patrol leader. Lagasse earned 35 merit badges throughout his time as a scout, and also earned three Eagle Palms: Bronze, Gold and Silver. His awards and accomplishments also include NYLT, Youth leadership; Totin Chit; Firem’n Chit; and Top Archer at Yawgoog, and he came in 1st place a canoe race with his friend Joshua Hanlon.
“We have been very lucky over the past several years, ever since I’ve been involved in the council, we seem to have a lot of people, a lot of kids that achieve Eagle Scout in this town,” noted Town Council President John Beauregard. “It’s very impressive. It’s a great achievement.”
It’s an accurate observation of active troop – spanning not just the past few years, but nearly four decades.
Lagasse is the 75th scout from Troop 1139 to achieve the elite rank since the 1139’s first Eagle pledge in 1984. Projects by scouts with the North Smithfield troop have impacted nearly every element of life in town, from improvements to parks and other public spaces, to work with summer camps, religious institutions, the animal shelter and even emergency services.
The scouts’ mother Susan said Lagasse wanted his project to benefit Saint John’s because the church sponsors the troop.
“After meeting with Father Gerry he decided to install two additional flagpoles and spruce up the area,” she said.
With more projects in the works, the 75th Eagle is certain not to be the last from Troop 1139. Lagasse’s younger brother Christopher is set to begin his Eagle Scout project after the start of the new year.
Lagasse’s father, also an Eagle, administered the oath at a High Court of Honor on Sunday, Nov. 20.