By Christine Galeone
In 2019 and 2020, three members of Boy Scout Troop 44 of Mendon completed their Eagle Scout projects. And the troop’s scoutmaster, Edward Shea, couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
“Troop 44 has always prioritized community service, and all three of these scouts provided projects that added to this legacy,” Shea said. “All three scouts did service projects that will be used by generations of Mendon residents. The scouts also showed great leadership and initiative to not only plan these complicated projects but see them through from design all the way to completion.”
Last month, at Saint Gabriel’s Church, Cameron Duncan, Andrew Meacham, and Eddie Shea received their Eagle Scout status in a ceremony known as the Court of Honor. Although it was postponed until last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wonderfully celebrated the dedicated scouts and their projects.
Cameron’s 2020 project offers fitness and fun to students through the construction of a Gaga Ball octagonal pit at the Miscoe Hill Middle School playground. Andrew’s 2019 project, a renovation to the Meadow Brook Cabin at the Meadow Brook Woods Conservation Area will benefit campers, hikers and hunters. And Eddie’s 2020 project, the clean-up and repair of the Mendon Town Beach boat ramp, also invites people to enjoy the outdoors and allows them to do so safely.
When asked about challenges to holding the Eagle ceremony, their scoutmaster mentioned a couple of obstacles. Shea responded, “The added stress of COVID would probably be the obvious answer, but I think it has also been so long since we have held a large event that we probably forgot all the planning and organization that goes into making it happen.”
The scouts’ projects were praised, at the event, by Mendon Fire Department Lieutenant Chris Nudd, Mendon Chief of Police David Kurczy, Massachusetts Senator Ryan Fattman, R. Sutton, and Massachusetts State Representative Brian Murray, D., Milford. Diane Duncan, who’s Cameron’s mom and a Troop 44 volunteer, said that the community leaders spoke about the “virtues of Scouting and the honor of becoming an Eagle.”
“In addition to receiving their Eagle medal, certificate, badge and neckerchief, they also received various citations from state leaders that recognized their accomplishments,” Duncan noted. “At the conclusion of the ceremony, the boys had an opportunity to share with family and friends how their time in Scouting has helped them grow into confident young adult leaders. The Court of Honor was followed by a luncheon with all of their special guests.”
The recent ceremony was special for another reason as well. “For Troop 44, this joint Eagle Ceremony felt like the first time in a long time that they were returning to normalcy,” Duncan shared. “Even though Troop 44 was able to operate during the pandemic with Zoom, social distancing and masking, COVID restrictions meant that everything from weekly meetings to campouts to service looked and felt different, and some traditions and norms were lost during this time. For the three boys, finally being able to publicly celebrate their accomplishment with friends and family felt like a great ending to a novel filled with plot twists and emotions.”
Pictured are Scoutmaster Edward Shea, Andrew Meacham, Eddie Shea, Cameron Duncan and Donald Halsing, Court of Honor emcee, at the March 2022 Eagle Ceremony. (Contributed photo)