REDFORDFour young men from Saranac Troop 35 were recognized for their achievements at an Eagle Court of Honor held on Sept. 3.
Jeremy Trevail, Chris Aierle, Travis Sperle and Jeremy Miner were each honored during an afternoon ceremony at the Assumption of Mary Church for reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.
Troop committee chairman Dave Dorman served as master of ceremonies, making introductions and calling the troop forward to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and recite the Scout Oath. Jason Rabideau, council executive, formally opened the court of honor and the Rev. Don Kramberg gave the invocation.
Scout David Miller assisted Mr. Dorman in the Scouts ceremony by lighting candles that adorned a table on the stage. A total of 15 candles represented a point in the Scouts law. The first 12 represented 12 character traits all scouts should possess.
"A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent," Mr. Dorman read.
The last three to be lit were larger than the first 12, and set in the middle of them. Each of these represented the Scouts oath to promise to do his duty, "First, to God and his country, second, to other people by helping them at all times, and third, to himself, by keeping himself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight," read Mr. Dorman.
Following the lighting of the candles, a series of Scouts read a brief description of each level of scouting. Scoutmaster Jim Aierle then spoke about each of the Scouts, sharing a humorous memory about each. Since Mr. Aierle has been involved with the boys since their primary years, he had plenty of material to choose from. His stories filled the gymnasium with laughter and was a reminder to all developing honorable character can be a fun journey for youth and leaders alike.
Assistant Scoutmaster Mike Layn began the Eagle ceremony by giving The Charge of the Eagles to the four scouts.
"Give up anything before you give up your reputation or your honor," he challenged.
The Scouts were then joined by their parents on stage. Each scout was recognized individually and their mothers pinned their Eagle pin on them. Each Scout in turn pinned a small Eagle pin on his mother, and an Eagle tie tack on his father. Finally, each scout presented a mentor pin to someone who they felt had played an especially important roll in their development. Each scout was given a standing ovation by the gym full of proud family and friends.
The new Eagle Scouts were presented with several certificates. The ceremony closed with the Benediction from the Rev. Kramberg and Mr. Rabideau's formal closing.
Before and after the Court of Honor, the four scouts stood behind four tables along the back of the gym where pictures and records of their Eagle projects were displayed.
Jeremy Miner, a 17-year-old from Dannemora, and a senior at Saranac Central School, made significant improvements to the Smith Street baseball field in Dannemora for his project. Jeremy spent 65 hours working on the field, and volunteers donated 161 hours of work.
"I chose this project because the field was in rough shape and I felt that it needed repair and it wasn't fair to the kids to play under such rough conditions," Jeremy explained.
Jeremy and his volunteers brought in soil to level the fields, put in pin-in bases, reboarded and painted the bleachers, and put clay under the first row of bleachers and the players benches to help with drainage. Since completing his project, Jeremy has become an employee at the park, working several days a week to maintain the grounds.
Chris Aierle, a 16-year-old from Dannemora, and a junior at Saranac, restained and repaired the Saranac Coop Nursery School on Birch Street in Dannemora. The project required 36 and one-half hours of his labor, and 70 hours of volunteer time.
"My younger sister Lydia was attending the nursery school and it looked pretty ratty," Chris said. "I saw it was in desperate need of repair."
Seventeen-year-old junior Travis Sperle from Saranac was turned down by the Saranac Town Council when he approached them about restoring the Saranac historical signs for his Eagle project because someone was already committed to the project. The town historian had another idea for him, though. Several years ago, a local man uncovered three large rocks in a vat while he was digging a basement. The rocks and vat are remnants from the Redford Glass Company and the rocks have Redford Glass in them. The rocks had spent the past few years sitting unappreciated behind the town garage. The historian suggested Travis build a lean-to alongside the town hall to put the rocks on display. Travis did just that. It took him 38 hours and 165 hours from volunteers to complete the project.
Jeremy Trevail, an-18 year-old home-schooled senior, built a new ramp for the Dannemora Methodist Church. As a member of the church, Jeremy decided to bless the church with his project.
"I went to the Dannemora Methodist Church Board meeting and asked if there was anything I could do for them for my Eagle Scout project. They said they could use a new handicapped ramp," Jeremy explained. The project's completion required 37 hours of Jeremy's time, and a total of 169 hours of volunteer labor.
During the Scout ceremony, Mr. Dorman pointed out only two percent of scouts ever reach the rank of Eagle. He went on to say, "A previous survey of leaders revealed that 17 of our United States Senators, over 60 of our Congressmen, 11 of our state governors, 14 of our senior military officers, and over 1,700 chief executive officers/presidents/heads of corporations are all Eagle Scouts."
The above facts speak volumes, not only of the four young men being honored, but of their Scout Master Jim Aierle and all of the Assistant Scout Masters, parents and other volunteers involved with Saranac Troop 35. Additionally, it is reassuring to know the future of the North Country will be under such capable and honorable leadership.