The Examiner

Hawthorne Troop Members Soar to Become New Eagle Scouts

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Left to right, Gerald Alfieri, Conor Glendon and Lawrence Gardner of Hawthorne Troop 1 were all honored as Eagle Scouts on Sunday.
Left to right, Gerald Alfieri, Conor Glendon and Lawrence Gardner of Hawthorne Troop 1 were all honored as Eagle Scouts on Sunday.

In what has become an annual tradition, the Mount Pleasant community celebrated three more members of Hawthorne Troop 1 achieving the rank of Eagle Scout on Sunday during a special ceremony at the Thornwood American Legion hall.

Gerald Alfieri, Lawrence Gardner and Conor Glendon reached Boys Scouts’ pinnacle by earning the requisite number of merit badges throughout their scouting career as well as completing their Eagle Scout project.

Troop 1 Scoutmaster Edmund Vogel said while each of the three scouts had the same mission on their way to scouting’s highest rank, their personal interests and personalities came through in the projects that they chose. All three honorees had started as Cub Scouts early in elementary school.

“Although the scouting program is the same, each one traveled a different path with the troop,” Vogel said. “This different path is best expressed through their respective Eagle (Scout) projects.”

Alfieri, now a freshman at Keene State in New Hampshire, devised an art project called the “Window of Intentions” at Rosary Hill Home, an end of life care facility in Hawthorne. The project allows a resident, relative or staff member to write down a prayer or an intention in a prayer book and thread a colorful piece of cloth through wire mesh with a large decorative wood frame. The back wood panel contains a mural.

The prayers are then read during daily mass.

Alfieri, who has caroled at Rosary Hill and enjoys working with the elderly, said he knew he wanted his project to benefit the facility after a relative had been a resident there a few years ago. However, communicating to Boy Scout leadership what his plans were and to convince them that it was a suitable project was at least as big a challenge as the work.

“I really think that if you have a good leader who shows you it’s worth it, there’s maybe a lot of work sometimes or you don’t want to do this particular thing, but if you stick it out and have fun, I really think it’s worth it in the end,” Alfieri said of staying with scouting.

Gardner, who as a senior at Westlake High School has been an avid musician and actor in the school’s theater department, renovated the prop storage room over the summer. Working at least five hours every day from late June to mid August, he built shelves and stalls to clean up a disorganized area that is not only used for school programs but also the Mount Pleasant Community Theatre and other outside groups.

He said still being a student at the school helps him appreciate the project, which was a labor of love, even more.

“That was something that I was passionate about and I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but if I wasn’t passionate about it, it would have been so much harder than it really should have been,” Gardner said.

Glendon, a freshman at Providence College, made a series of improvements at Stone Gate Park in Valhalla. He built a vehicle barrier, planted bushes and flowers near the entrance and took out overgrown brush to help beautify the town facility.

Although it was hard work, the project was easy to choose having grown up a short walk from the park.

“It’s a couple of blocks away from home and I still see it every day and I’m very proud of the work that me and the troop did,” Glendon said.

Also on hand to honor the scouts’ accomplishments were Mount Pleasant Councilwoman Laurie Smalley, County Legislator Michael Smith, state Sen. Terrence Murphy and the parents for all the scouts.

Cathy Gardner said she links much of what her son has achieved to his scouting experience.

“I’ve seen such a change in him and it’s all because of the leadership of the troop,” she said. “They’re wonderful boys–all of them.”

This is the 12th consecutive year that Troop 1 had at least two of its members become an Eagle Scout, one of the most impressive feats in the region. Vogel said holding what has become an annual Eagle Scout Court of Honor never gets old.

“You know why? Because it’s youth,” Vogel explained. “Youth keeps it fresh.”

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