Stephen Holtsnider Receives Eagle Scout Rank
Stephen Edward Holtsnider of Milford was presented with his Eagle Scout Rank by the Boy Scouts of America at a Court of Honor ceremony held at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Church on October 6, 2012. The Eagle Scout Rank continues to be a rare achievement for any young man, as fewer than three out of every one hundred boys who join Scouting will receive its highest award. Stephen is the one-hundred-tenth Boy Scout from Troop 2 Milford to receive the Eagle Rank.
Receipt of the Eagle Scout Rank represents many years of dedicated effort, and the successful completion of a long process that requires demonstration of how people, working together, can truly help mold a young man with a solid sense of leadership, citizenship, and responsibility. Eagle Scout candidates must be active in their Boy Scout troops, hold multiple leadership positions, and demonstrate Scout spirit by living according to the Scout Oath and Scout Law in everyday life. Scouts must earn a total of twenty-one merit badges, including badges on first aid, citizenship in the community, nation, and world, personal fitness, personal financial management, camping, emergency preparedness, and environmental science.
The capstone of the Eagle Scout Rank is the Eagle Scout project, where the Scout must plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or community. The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, the Scout's troop, and the Scouting district council prior to beginning the project. Following the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, the Eagle Scout candidate must also raise funds, solicit donations, recruit volunteers, and document costs and labor to complete his project. The Eagle Scout candidate must then appear before a Board of Review to report on his project and the meaning of Scouting in his life before he can receive his Eagle Scout Rank.
For his Eagle Scout project, Stephen decided to take on a difficult construction – building two dugouts for the Milford softball league at their field on Town Park. He co-ordinated the effort with the help of adult Troop 2 leaders Richard Amour and Dennis Fitzpatrick and several Scouts. Through strict cost control, nearly 200 manhours of labor from Troop members, and many donations, both dugouts were completed at minimal cost to the league and no cost to the Town of Milford.
Stephen's Eagle Court of Honor
Stephen's Eagle Court of Honor opened with welcoming remarks from Troop 2 Assistant Scoutmaster Al Abbondanza, who acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Troop 2 Senior Patrol Leader John Donahue led Troop 2 Scouts in presentation of the colors of the United States and of Troop 2 Milford. Christopher Holtsnider, Stephen’s brother and Troop 2 Eagle Scout, read the Voice of the Eagle, an inspirational allegory of the journey that a boy must undertake to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Ray Hirx, representative of the Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America, formally declared the Eagle Scout Court of Honor officially convened.
Mr. Abbondanza requested that Paul Lawler escort his nephew Stephen to the podium. Christopher Pittsley, Troop 2 Eagle Scout, delivered the Eagle Charge, then several current Eagle Scouts joined Stephen at the podium for the recitation of the Eagle Scout Oath and declaration of Stephen Holtsnider as a new Eagle Scout.
Mr. Abbondanza presented Stephen with the Eagle Scout patch and neckerchief. Stephen then presented a mother’s pin to his mother Patricia Holtsnider and a father’s pin to his father Timothy Holtsnider. New Eagle Scout Stephen then spoke to the 30+ persons in attendance regarding his most fond memories of his Scouting career, including smuggling Spam on campouts and camping alone during a thunderstorm at Camp Resolute. Stephen then thanked his Scouting leaders and peers for helping him to mature and grow over the years.
State Senator Richard T. Moore of the Worcester and Norfolk District presented Stephen with Resolutions from the state Senate congratulating him for achieving his Eagle Rank. Verne Thayer of the Sons of the American Revolution presented a Certificate of Recognition to Stephen for attaining his Eagle Rank.
Mr. Abbondanza imparted those present with the final Scoutmaster's Minute of Stephen's Scouting career. Mr. Hirx then closed the Eagle Court of Honor. SPL Donahue led the Troop and guests in the singing of Scout Vespers. A reception followed in the adjoining reception area.
Stephen's Personal Information
Stephen is the son of Patricia and Timothy Holtsnider of Milford and has been a member of Troop 2 for seven years, during which time he has served the Troop as Assistant Senior Patrol Leader among other positions. Stephen went to many summer camps with the Troop and was elected to the Scouting honor society Order of the Arrow. Stephen earned his Arrow of Light award in 2006 while a member of Cub Scout Pack 4.
Stephen began his senior year at Milford High School this year, where he is currently a member of the football and wrestling teams.
Troop 2 Milford
Boy Scout Troop 2 Milford has been sponsored since its inception in 1927 by the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on East Main in Milford. The Troop meets Thursday evenings each week during the regular school/Scout year in the Club Room of Milford Catholic Elementary School.