Six young men from Tabernacle recently achieved Boy Scouts’ highest honor, Eagle Scout.
They were presented their medals at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor held at Seneca High School auditorium. About 200 people were in attendance.
All six from Troop 439 in Tabernacle have been in Scouts together since sixth-grade.
Jack Cutts, 18, restored a one-room schoolhouse on Carranza Road as his Eagle Scout project.
“It’s one of the better things in life I can do,” he said about scouting. “You get experiences you’ll never get anywhere else. It’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done.”
A freshman at Burlington County College, he wants to study construction management.
Nick Molnar, 18, is a senior at Seneca High School.
He built bat boxes for the YMCA camp in Medford for his project.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Molnar said of becoming an Eagle Scout.
Accepted at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., he will play lacrosse and probably study political science.
“It’s a great way to make friends, learn new life skills and learn to interact with nature,” Molnar said of scouting.
Nicholas Rubino, 18, is studying finance at the College of New Jersey.
He restriped the parking lot at Tabernacle town hall.
“I think it’s a great activity,” Rubino said of scouting. “It teaches morals, it teaches teamwork, it teaches leadership.”
He said he has been friends with the other five for quite some time.
“Since sixth-grade, we’ve all been a real solid group,” Rubino said.
And how does he feel about achieving Eagle Scout status?
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Rubino said. “I’m glad that I got to do it — and I get to be up here with these guys — it’s an honor to be receiving it with them.”
Ian Grant, also 18, is studying mechanical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston.
He painted colored walls in the Stafford Township school district to create more organization.
And Grant is thrilled to be honored with his friends.
“They’re the best — we’ve done so much together,” he said. “They really are a close group of friends I can count on. I’m really proud to have made it this far. It’s great. You get to do so many things that you would never otherwise get to do.”
Things Grant likes about Scouts are discipline, hard work and lifelong friendships.
Jeff Horner, 18, is studying chemical engineering at Cornell University.
“It’s a great activity,” he said of scouting. “It’s like nothing else.”
Horner, too, credits his achievement in part to his lifelong friends.
“I honestly couldn’t have gotten Eagle Scout without them,” he said, noting they helped when sticking with it was at times difficult.
Horner also said leadership education is one of the most important things he has learned from Scouts.
Dalton Fowler, 18, is studying technology education at the College of New Jersey.
“We’ve been through so much together,” he said of the six Scouts.
Fowler rehabilitated a storage shed at Patty Bowker Park in Tabernacle for his Eagle project.
“It’s something that really challenges you,” he said, noting the most rewarding feeling is “being able to climb that last mountain and knowing that you did that.”
Janice Rubino, Nicholas’ mom, said her son’s accomplishments are all the more important because he continued as a Scout despite having had a bone infection.
“I am very proud of him,” she said. “He has worked really hard. It’s made him a better person.”
She said not only are all six friends but their families are friends with each other, too.
“They’re all upstanding citizens,” Janice said of the six Scouts.
Joe Rubino, Nicholas’ dad, was impressed by the ceremony.
“We’re greatly moved by it,” he said.
William Lowe, former Scoutmaster and executive board member of the Burlington County Boy Scouts, emceed the Eagle Scout Court of Honor because the current Scoutmaster couldn’t make it.
Lowe, who has been with the Scouts as an adult since 1980, said the Eagle Scout project is important because it is about service to the community as well as leadership.
“It’s all part of what citizenship is,” he said.
Since 1985, there have been 44 Eagle Scouts from Tabernacle Troop 439.
“That’s pretty strong for a small troop in a small town in rural New Jersey,” Lowe said.
There are currently 35 Scouts in the troop now.
“It’s an organization that teaches values,” Lowe said.
Lowe said he is impressed by the six Scouts becoming Eagles.
“They did everything together — they were a team,” he said. “All of them will be the future of America.”