Joseph Meluso of West Caldwell has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and the Bronze Eagle Palm.
After passing his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Oct. 24, 2012, Meluso, a member of Boy Scout Troop 6, Caldwell, decided to work toward an additional award, an Eagle Palm, which he was awarded last week.
Meluso earned the Eagle Scout rank by earning the required 21 merit badges and fulfilling the requirements in areas of leadership, community service, outdoor skills, and more, including the advancement through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout, Life Scout, and finally, Eagle.
The award is a performance-based achievement with well-maintained standards. Only about five percent of all Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout rank.
To earn an Eagle Palm, scouts must be active in the troop and patrol for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout, and earn five additional merit badges. The Bronze Palm represents five additional merit badges.
Meluso has been an active scout since the first grade, earning 29 merit badges; working as a Counselor in Training at Camp NoBeBoSco; acting as Senior Patrol Leader, Scribe and Instructor for his troop; and being named Scout of the Year for three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. Meluso was also recently inducted into The Order of the Arrow, an honor society for scouts.
To complete his Eagle Scout project, Meluso designed and then, with the help of his fellow scouts, constructed a wood DUPLO play table for Early Learning Center in Fairfield.
"Since I was a student at this school when I was four- and five-years old and I have fond memories of my time there, I chose this school for my project,” said Meluso. “I wanted to give something back. It was around that age when I first became interested in building with DUPLOS and LEGOs™, and I still enjoy building sets to this day."
The project, which took nearly 140 person-hours, was supported through several local organizations and businesses, including the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District, which collected DUPLO blocks for the project. Boards and Beams and Sherwin-Williams, both of Fairfield, donated wood and paint supplies, respectively. Kuiken Bros. donated hardware, and Buy Buy Baby donated the safety bumpers that outline the edges of the table.
After the table was delivered to the center, Meluso was invited back to show the preschoolers how to build with DUPLOS, explain how the table was built, and answer questions about the Boy Scouts.
"Children in the preschool will be able to access and clean up the building blocks to the right and left of the play station without getting up. It will enable them to have fun while sharpening their motor skills.”
Meluso is a senior at James Caldwell High School, West Caldwell, is also active in his school’s environmental programs. Meluso plans to major in Early Childhood Education at college next year.
This article was provided by Boy Scout Troop 6.