Tag Archives: Eagle Scouts

Boy Scout organizes cleanup event for Glendale RGMVM fields

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy of the Hansen family

The Ridgewood-Glendale-Middle Village-Maspeth (RGMVM) Little League fields located at 78-11 Woodhaven Blvd. in Glendale got a much-needed cleanup over the weekend thanks to one Boy Scout’s efforts.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Steve Hansen had to complete a service project for the community. Hansen decided to give back to the little league baseball organization that he played for as a child, the RGMVM Little League.

“It was his idea to do RGMVM because he has played baseball down there since he was young and he wanted to give something back to the group that was so good to him,” said Steven Hansen Sr., Hansen’s father.

Hansen hoped to breathe new life into the fields over a three-day span from July 23 to July 25. The plan involved cleaning and repainting the fields’ six dugouts, painting lines in the batting cages, cleaning up garbage from the surrounding fields, installing bat racks into the dugouts, hanging a sign of the Little League Pledge, and refurbishing the parking lot by pulling weeds in the lot, cutting ivy off of the lot’s fencing and repainting the parking lot lines.

Hansen had to present his project plan and get it approved by both the RGMVM board and the BSA board. Once the project was approved, Hansen was tasked with raising funds for the project, purchasing and getting donations for the supplies needed, recruiting volunteers, and gathering food and beverages for the three-day event.

For the project, Hansen raised over $1,800 in donations from family, friends, neighbors and local organizations such as the Glendale Kiwanis Club.

Volunteers and contributors were current scouts, former scouts, friends and family. Over the course of the cleanup effort, Hansen recruited a total of 24 volunteers, who in total put in 143 man-hours of work.

By the end of the three days the project was nearly complete, with only the installation of the bat racks and the sign to be completed once they arrive.

“This has been a great learning experience. Scouting has been a big part of our family’s life,” said Kerrie Hansen, Steve Hansen’s mother. “We are thrilled Steven has embraced this project with hard work, determination and persistence that he displayed. Eagle Scout projects like this have to have a huge influence on shaping a young man’s life. It is probably one of the most difficult things they ever tackled.”


Howard Beach brothers to soar as Eagle Scouts

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Soon, parents Thomas and Andrea Mercatante will have three eagles inside their Howard Beach nest.

Thomas Mercatante Jr., 18, along with his 16-year-old twin brothers, Anthony and Andrew, of Troop 139 will all become Eagle Scouts at the same ceremony on May 1 — a rarity that three siblings make it at once.

“It’s a great feeling to have that,” said proud pop, Thomas Sr., who’s also an assistant scout master.

“To see them work so hard to get to where they are, I take great pride in that. It’s an accomplishment that they’re going to look back on and say, ‘Wow, I really did this.’ It’s a good thing to have, a good thing to do.”

To reach scouting’s top rank, a young man must earn a certain number of merit badges and organize a community service effort, known as an eagle project.

For Thomas, this was a cleanup at Floyd Bennet Field; for Andrew, a similar project at Frank Charles Memorial Park; and Anthony, a sneaker drive in which he collected around 600 pair of shoes for Nike — the rubber from which will be used for gym mats and running tracks.

“It feels like we did it as a family,” said Thomas Jr., whose work, like Andrew’s, was washed away by Sandy. Anthony, who compiled his donated sneakers in the family’s basement, was able to get them out about a week before the storm flooded the home.

The youngest Mercatantes are two years ahead of schedule in making eagle — something they attribute to good leadership in their troop and capitalizing on merit badge opportunities on camping trips.

Although both Andrew and Anthony have capped out their work with the troops before they had to, both plan to come back and help whenever they can.

“It’s kind of surreal,” said Andrea Mercatante, who said her sons might not even yet realize the weight of their accomplishment. “It is an important accomplishment outside of scouting. [People] look at it and they say, ‘They’re responsible, and they’re trustworthy,’ and everything that the scouting oath is they embody. They really do.”

When Sandy started, all three boys sprang into action and ensured any survival necessities were in place, the proud mom recounted. The trio gathered candles, sleeping bags and flashflights in preperation for a storm surge. But most of all, they put their mother at ease.

“They all got together. ‘This is what we’ve got to do Ma, don’t worry.’ They were ready,” said Andrea Mercatante. “And they were calm and they were confident and me seeing that makes me know that they’re ready for anything that comes their way. You could throw a curve ball and they’re going to catch it.”