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To Become Eagle Scout, Senior Gives Back to School that Gave Him Strong Foundation

West Essex graduate and Troop 1 Eagle Scout thanks town and school in a special way.

Patch Whiz Kid/Team/Club of the Week: Mark Traverso, Eagle Scout, Troop 1 Boy Scouts

Whiz Kid's School/Church/Community Center: North Caldwell, and Troop 1 Boy Scouts, North Caldwell

Whiz Kid's Accomplishment: A Boy Scout since fifth grade, North Caldwell resident and West Essex graduate is giving back to the town that made him who he is. The Eagle Scout said, “Thank you” to his hometown, creating a new sign for where he says it all began.

Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: Mark Traverso grew up in North Caldwell, attending the Gould School, before heading to West Essex Regional High School. Now, the 2011 graduate will head to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (a.k.a. Virginia Tech) this fall to study engineering, but not before giving back to the community that made him the young man he is today.

A Boy Scout since fifth grade, Traverso always aspired to be an Eagle Scout, and recently, he and his fellow scouts from Troop 1, North Caldwell, celebrated his attainment of the Eagle Scout rank. To attain the Eagle Scout rank, scouts must fulfill requirements in areas of leadership, community service, outdoor skills, and more, including advancement through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout, Life Scout, and finally, Eagle. In addition, a scout must earn a minimum of 21 badges. 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 achieve his Eagle Scout, Traverso, with the help of his fellow scouts, built a new six-foot by three-foot sign for Gould School, North Caldwell. The project also entailed moving and restoring an older sign that had been there for more than a decade, and planting a small flower garden at the base of the new sign. By donating the sign, and the labor associated with building it and the garden, Traverso helped the school and community by saving money for the school, and improving the overall aesthetics of the school. The town can now use funds saved to buy new computers and textbooks, instead of spending the money on a new sign for the building.

“I wanted to help the school that helped make me who I have become,” said Traverso, “I have great memories of my time at Gould School, and this is my way to repay the people at the school.”

A total of 120 service hours were put in by both scouts and scouting leaders to complete the project.

Added Traverso, “It seemed like everyone in the town was thanking me for brightening up the street corner and beautifying the school."

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