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North Salem And Somers Honor New Eagle Scouts

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Five young people were honored by civic officials, family, friends and fellow members of the Boy Scouts of America on Saturday when they were inducted into the Eagle Scout Court of Honor at North Salem High School.

Troop 1's Russell Barnard , Couri Leuschner , Warren Thomas Lucas , and Peter Zambelletti , all of North Salem, and James Clark Batchelder of Somers, were commended by a number of distinguished guests. Among them were State Sen. Greg Ball, Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham, Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy of Somers and Town Supervisor Warren Lucas of North Salem.

To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a scout must earn a total of 21 merit badges, serve actively in one or more scouting positions, for example as a troop guide, patrol leader, assistant scoutmaster or other role, accomplish a major service project for your community, and fill other requirements.

For his Eagle project, Barnard led a team of fellow scouts and volunteers in a project to survey and map out six of the North Salem Open Land Foundation trails. Six informational brochures were created, including the history of each trail, information about the foundation and a detailed map.

Leuschner created playground storage units and bookcases (stocked with books and games) for the Westchester Exceptional Children’s School in Purdys.

Lucas raised funds and organized a team to construct a 600-square-foot brick patio outside John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers.

Zambelletti raised funds and led a team that reconstructed and landscaped an area of Mountain Lakes Park that had fallen victim to erosion.

Batchelder conducted an energy analysis of local homes, made evaluations and gave suggestions for improving energy efficiency.

“I never actually realized the skills I was learning,” said Lucas, citing first aid as one of them. He called scouting “one of the few organizations where, when you meet someone who is a part of it, you can sit down and talk as though you’ve known them for years.”

Batchelder said scouting teaches you to handle responsibility. “It gives you a chance to organize people and motivate them to accomplish something. It’s a great chance to be able to try something and learn and make mistakes.”

“I encourage scouts to take advantage of all the opportunities,” said Zambelletti. “See what you’re good at, do what you love. Scouting is what you make of it.”

“I met a lot of wonderful, intelligent people I wouldn’t have met,” said Barnard. “The advice I’d give all scouts is to appreciate the people you’ve met, your friends and family, the scout masters. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Leuschner concluded by admitting “I joined scouting because I was forced to, but I stuck through it because I loved it."

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