Taking pride in one’s hometown is a big part of what makes the local Boy Scouts special. Not only do they learn about service to their community through their organization, but also when they reach Eagle Scout rank. It’s at that time that they choose their project.
Two local scouts are focusing their efforts on improvements to area parks.
Brian Castrogiovanni is an eighth grader from North Pocono Middle School. Brian keeps busy as a Junior High Track team member, swimming at the Greater Scranton YMCA for the Stingrays, and being enrolled in accelerated classes.
For his Eagle Scout project, he has taken on the revitalization of Clover Lane Playground in Moscow. Brian will have his work cut out for him, as he plans to refinish the playground surfaces, replace broken and worn out pieces of equipment and spread fresh mulch.
“I want to make sure that the playground will be in great shape for years to come so that other children and their families can make more lasting memories there,“ Brian said.
The Castrogiovanni family moved to Moscow in 2007, and since then had seen the playground as a vital place for neighbors to gather and have fun.
Jimmy Bianchi, a ninth grader at North Pocono High School, involved in marching band, Science Olympiad, Junior Academy of Science and volleyball.
Jimmy is working on the walking trails design in Golden Park. He began by surveying the park and determining where it was best to have the trails. He also created the trail maps displayed at the park.
The four trails are now marked with painted trail markers and have been cleaned thanks to this scout’s dedication.
“The trails will be a nice path to take a walk and get exercise for many community members,” Jimmy said, explaining that parents can take advantage of the trails while their kids play baseball or soccer in the park.
In addition to survival skills -- that the boys hope they’ll never need -- are a number of other factors guiding boys into responsible contributors to society. Scouting has helped them personally grow into more dedicated and independent people.
“Scouting has been a great opportunity for me to work with friends and family as I'm learning these lessons,” Brian said.
Survival skills include first aid and knowledge for responding to emergencies. They’ve also found themselves learning about disability awareness, while gaining companionship with their fellow scouts.
“I enjoy camping with the boys and building fires, cooking outdoors and hiking. Most importantly, I've focused on community service and helping others,” said Jimmy. “ I recently attended a leadership training weekend through Boy Scouts. I believe all of my experiences will help guide me later on in life's experiences.”
It was no surprise that Brian found himself in the scouts. His father and grandfather were Boy Scouts too. The family tradition continues with Brian’s brother Jason, who is currently finishing his second year of scouting. To Brian, setting an example for his brother to follow is an important obligation.
“My brother is completing his second year as a Boy Scout, and I know that he watches the example I set,” Brian said. “I want him to see that being a successful Boy Scout means working hard, being thoughtful toward others and showing respect for yourself and everyone you encounter. It also means making the world a better place. That's why completing my Eagle project in my own borough means so much to me.”
Jimmy also has three younger brothers in scouts, in addition to being Den Chief for Cub Scout Pack 126 in Springbrook. He feels a responsibility to show the younger scouts that hard work and determination can help one reach their goals.
He used that connection to the younger scouts to include them in his Eagle Scout project. His young charges helped paint trail markers and clean up the trail.
“My project was very detailed and one that took a lot of time and planning,” Jimmy said. “I involved younger scouts in my project as well to show them what it takes to lead a group and plan out a large project.”
Brian would like to thank the scout leaders of Troop 102 for volunteering their time and effort to the cause, as well as his parents and grandparents who have given him the support he needed to get through the most difficult parts of being a Boy Scout.
“I want to make sure that the playground will be in great shape for years to come so that other children and their families can make more lasting memories there. “
Jimmy was also thankful of several adults in his life who contributed towards the project, including none other than Moscow’s mayor Rose Warner, who Jimmy said had the initial vision of the trail system.
“She was a mentor who guided me throughout my project,” Jimmy said.
Mayor Rose Warner has three children involved in the scouts, and her son is the Scout Master of 132. She knows firsthand what being a scout means to these kids. She has personally seen some very good quality projects come to fruition in the area.
“When I work with the kids for their Eagle Scout projects, they know that I know what an Eagle Scout project is like,” Warner said. “I’m proud they can help out our community with their projects.”
Jimmy also wanted to thank the family and businesses who helped make his project succeed.
“I am thankful my Uncle Randall Johnson volunteered his surveying expertise and tools,” Jimmy explained. “I could not have learned and accomplished as much as I did without his support.
"I would also like to thank Ace Hardware in Daleville who donated all of the paint and materials for the trail markers and FastSigns in Dickson City who invited me into their facility to assist in the printing of the final trail maps. FastSigns donated the completed trail maps that will be situated on each side of Golden Park.”
The next time you find yourself in a local park, look around. Chances are, something new and remodeled is there thanks to the care and dedication of a Boy Scout.