It’s quite an achievement for a family to have one child attain the rank of Eagle Scout. One local family is on the verge of seeing a second son reach scouting’s pinnacle.
Last Saturday, Christian Rossi put the finishing touches on his Eagle Scout project, transforming a 13-foot by 15-foot patch of grass behind the Valhalla Ambulance Corps headquarters into a paved service to park its service trailer. Currently it’s taking up a space in the main part of the parking lot.
He was accompanied by his brother, Griffin, his parent, his Cub Scout Master Geoff Dopsch, fellow Scout Matthew Langolis and a friend, Keith Foisset.
“It taught me to be a leader. I was the senior patrol leader last year and that taught me how to lead kids who aren’t the same age as me but younger than me,” said Rossi, a member of Valhalla Troop 1 who started with the Cub Scouts in first grade.
Rossi was determined to reach Eagle Scout before the end of his sophomore at Valhalla High School because of the anticipated hectic schedules, including the college search, over the next two years.
Determination, hard work and time management were essential qualities to help him reach his goal, he said.
Rossi’s ascension to Eagle Scout comes about two-and-a-half years after his older brother Griffin, now a sophomore at the University of Hartford, reached Eagle Scout.
Watching his brother go through the process provided much of the motivation to do the same.
“(He was) a huge inspiration,” Rossi said. “I’ve just followed in his footsteps and then just doing what he did, not 100 percent copying, I followed my own path, but following him as well.”
Griffin, who came home from college last weekend to help his younger brother finish the project, said he’s impressed that Christian was able to stay on track to reach Eagle Scout in 10th grade.
“He just went ahead and pushed himself,” Griffin said. “I think it helped that he saw me go through it and he helped me along the way and realized what I had to do.”
Dopsch said he could tell from a young age that the quietly confident Rossi was going to be successful.
“It’s wildly satisfying, it really is,” he said of seeing one of his former Scouts reach Eagle Scout. “He’s a splendid young man. He’s smart, he’s an athlete, he’s from a solid home, he’s on his way to being a solid member of the community and we’re happy to be a part of his success.”
Naturally, Christian’s parents are proud of both of their sons. His mother, Susan, said they were raised with a dedication toward helping the community, showing respect to others and being very patriotic. Griffin completed his project at the American Legion in Valhalla.
“They kind of drove themselves to that spot,” John Rossi said. “We actively encouraged but we said it’s up to you and what you want to achieve and they both wanted to make that mark, which is great.”
The ceremony to officially recognize Rossi as an Eagle Scout is expected to be held next spring.