BSA Service News & Eagle Honors

Above: Three troops honored members for their service and efforts and/or shared details of newsworthy service projects. (images cropped from contributed photos, court of honor program, and Facebook)

This spring, two BSA troops held ceremonies to honor the latest round of Southborough Eagle Scouts. And another Southborough troop completed a community service project and shared news on a big Eagle Scout project. I’m rounding all of that up to share with readers.

Troop 1 Eagle Scouts by Rachel TrumanBSA Troop 1 honored Four Eagle Scouts

On June 1st, Southborough’s Troop 1 held an Eagle Court of Honor for the highest rank advancement for multiple troop members.

Below are the four scouts’ names along with a brief recap of their Eagle Scout Service Projects. (The scouts’ photos are by Rachel Truman with service project photos from the program guide or contributed):

Ian Cage by Rachel Truman - with service project pic from programIan Cage

Repaired and spruced up hallway walls at Pilgrim Church, including spackling and repainting dented and chipped walls, plus replacing bulletin boards and an HVAC register.

Colin Kessinger by Rachel Truman - with service project pic from programColin Kessinger

Built two bullpens for the 90 ft baseball diamond at Mooney Field, including raised mounds, a new home plate and pitching rubber, and a backstop.

Nate Mason by Rachel Truman with Little Libraries - contributed photosNathaniel Mason

Built three “Little Libraries”, two installed at Finn School and one at Neary School.

Joseph Truman by Rachel Truman- with service project pic from programJoseph Truman

Installed “permanent” 18 disk golf targets in the ground at Chapel of the Cross in Westborough.

You can find more details on each of the boys and their projects in the program guide here.

They weren’t the only troop to hold a Court of Honor this spring. . .

Ariella Zalev looks on as Southborough Select Board member Marguerite Landry presents new Eagle Scout Cass Melo with a certificate on behalf of the Town. (contributed photo)2nd Southborough Girl Earns Eagle Rank

BSA Troop 823, the Borough’s Troop for girls, held a ceremony for a member who earned the rank this year. Cass Melo* was the second girl from Southborough to achieve the title (the third for the troop). The event was MC’d by Troop member Ariella Zalev (who made news last year as the first Southborough girl to achieve the rank).

Whit Beals & Cass Melo enjoy view of Beals Preserve from Upper Meadow bench in Spring 2023 (photo from SOLF Facebook post)Melo’s service project was the creation of benches installed at Beals Preserve for the Southborough Open Land Foundation. It was a project coordinated with late SOLF President Whitney Beals, who was remembered during the ceremony. The plaque on one bench commemorated SOLF. At SOLF’s request, the other thanked local scout troops for their support of SOLF and local wildlife.

Speaking of scouts supporting SOLF/wildlife. . .

Troop 92 donated Bird Boxes on SOLF land (contributed photo)Bird Boxes for Beals Preserve

Southborough BSA Troop 92 recently conducted a troop community service project. Members and volunteers built and donated nesting boxes.

Kevin Tyson shared:

Troop 92 Built Bird Boxes (contributed photo)Using a design created specifically for Bluebirds, at a recent troop meeting the scouts carefully constructed the nesting boxes that are installed at Beals Preserve. These nesting boxes will serve as vital sanctuaries to continue to combat the declining populations of bluebirds.

For more info on the Eastern Bluebird, Tyson suggested readers check out the post SOLF contributed to MySouthborough earlier this year. You can read that here.

Troop 92 also recently contributed to a big service project run by one member who will be applying to become an Eagle Scout. . .

Cemetery Restoration Project

If you attended the Memorial Day ceremony, you may have heard a public thank you from veterans for a project which literally unearthed over 700 fully or partially hidden burial stones at the Rural Cemetery.

Troop 92’s Ryan Boy proposed the Eagle Scout project to locate, clear, and map the stones. Here are more details provided by his father Kenneth Boy:

Just before Memorial Day 2023, Ryan Boy was replacing flags at the Veteran’s gravesites in Southborough’s Rural Cemetery, as is tradition.  While doing so, he discovered a footstone that had been completely covered by grass.  After a little more investigation, he was quickly able to find several more.  With this inspiration, he started to plan a project to uncover all the stones which had been lost to time.  During the early days of 2024, he prepared a proposal to Cemetery officials and Veteran representatives, who approved the effort.  Subsequent meetings with his Troop and BSA council leadership yielded final approval, and the real work could begin.  Over the course of May, a group of 39 individuals contributed 400 hours of service** to the project, ultimately revealing 728 stones that had or almost had disappeared underground.  Footstones were found by probing the ground, which was a tedious process.  Subsequently, each stone was edged, scrubbed, rinsed and dried.  In some cases, the grass was able to be removed in a single piece, revealing a perfect mirror image in dirt and grass roots of the writing on the footstone. Importantly, since these stones are at risk to be overgrown again, geolocated pictures were taken and will soon be uploaded to a website which specializes in searchable GPS cemetery data. 

Example of buried footstone at Rural Cemetery Uncovered footstone at Rural Cemetery (contributed photo) Mirror image of stone in the overturned earth

The recap, shared on the eve of Memorial Day weekend, highlighted the relevance to the holiday:

more than 25 Veteran’s graves were found to have damaged or missing flag holders, with replacements to be procured.  Many believe that someone is not truly gone as long as they are remembered, and so Ryan takes great satisfaction in again giving voice to so many. 

Boy will document and submit project details for his application to become an Eagle Scout.

*Full disclosure — I am Cass Melo’s proud mother.

**For readers not familiar, the Eagle Scout service hours are the total combined hours tallied from all volunteers’ contributions to a project.

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