John Polites earns a proclamation for earning the rank of Eagle Scout
John Polites, an 18-year-old from Boy Scouts of America Troop 20 in Medford, was honored during the Medford Township Council meeting April 4 for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. For Polites, being a member of the Scouts is a family affair. His father, Jim, is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 20. His uncles, Jim and William Buckley, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as well.
“It feels great,” Polites said after receiving the proclamation. “I have worked on this as far as I can remember. It is great to get there finally.”
For his service project to become an Eagle Scout, Polites improved the fencing at Freedom Park as well as improved the fencing at the 9/11 and Vietnam memorials. He also created a fence to surround a retention pond in the park.
“Being an Eagle Scout itself means I had enough dedication and hard work to do something and get the award of Eagle Scout. To me, it is a bit of a relief because I finally got there and it is a great feeling. Scouting has made me who I am today,” he said.
“For us, Scouting has been a big part of our life,” Jim said. “There is a saying that you get more out of Scouting than you put in. I think that is very true. John was the reason that I got into Scouting. I was not a Scout when I was a kid. He joined, and I picked up the ideals of Scouting: Be prepared, be honest and always act like someone is looking, even when they are not. My life has improved just by him being in Scouting. That is what it means to me.”
To see Polites get to the rank of Eagle Scout was a group effort, with people in the troop helping him along the way.
“Troop 20 has been really instrumental,” Jim said. “We could not have done it without the whole troop. The troop is a family. We all help each other. Everybody helped him along the way. He has helped some Scouts behind him. He is pulling them along, too. It is all a process. The older guys help the younger guys. That is how John became an Eagle Scout, and I am sure he will help the younger guys along the way.”
For Polites, the next step will be to help some of the other Scouts get to the level of Eagle Scout. Polites is ready to help.
“It feels good that I can be a role model for them,” he said. “It means I have someone looking up to me, and it helps me improve upon myself as well.”