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Troop 16 Honors Aidan Romualdo at Eagle Court of Honor

posted May 6, 2016, 8:34 PM by Webmaster Troop 16   [ updated May 6, 2016, 8:36 PM ]
 --  Written and submitted by The Romualdo Family

Aidan Romualdo, a lifelong Livingston resident and the son of Gladys and Mario Romualdo Jr., was honored at an Eagle Court of Honor on April 24, 2015.  

Aidan achieved the rank of Eagle Scout officially on June 3, 2015.

He attended the Northern New Jersey Council Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner held at Mayfair Farms on January 14, 2016 as a member of the historic class of 2015 which saw 394 Eagle Scouts honored.  The Council serves the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic. 

Aidan was recognized by his Troop and awarded the rank at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at St. Philomena Church.  The Court of Honor included two other Eagle Scouts, Austin Biss and Vihan Khanna.  The three were all fellow Den members when in the Cub Scouts and they bridged over to Boy Scouts together in 2008.  In attendance were family, friends, Scouts, several dignitaries and representatives.

Aidan began his 12-year Scouting career when in the First Grade at Harrison School as a Cub Scout with Pack 16.  He progressed through the ranks of Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, WEBELOS I and II and was awarded the Arrow of Light which is the highest rank in Cub Scouting and the only Cub Scout recognition that can be worn on a Boy Scout uniform.

Aidan was an avid camper which included Pack trips to various local points of interest and camps.  He attended summer camp at Camp Lewis and Camp Winnebago and attended various camping activities at Camp No-Be-Bos-Co which was the location used in the filming of "Friday the 13th", Camp Yaw-Paw and Camp Somers. 

Aidan's dad was a District level Scouter and also worked at the Council level on behalf of the District so it was not unusual for the two to go camping with or to participate in activities with other units from time to time.  His dad insisted that the Scouting experience be maximized in Aidan's life since Scouting is "Fun with a Purpose".

During his time in the Cub Scouts, Aidan earned various Cub Scout awards including the World Conservation Award, Outdoor Activity Award, Leave No Trace Awareness Award, Youth Religious Emblem Award and received a Recruiter strip for recruiting three other boys into the Cub Scouting program and one additional boy into the Boy Scout program.

Advancing through the Cub ranks inclusively, Aidan completed a total of 49 of 49 Achievements or requirements, a large number of electives, 30 Belt Loops and 11 Activity Pins in Academics and Sports.

Aidan earned all three Compass Points and various Tracks and Beads for completed electives.  Seven "arrow points" were also earned and each represents 10 completed electives within two ranks.  His favorite activities were Archery and BB shooting.

One of the major highlights as a Cub Scout happened on February 29, 2004 attending an overnight camp out aboard the USS New Jersey.  Aidan was one of the Scouts selected to serve as a member of the Color Guard at the flag raising that morning.  "Helping raise the large US flag on the US Navy's most decorated battleship didn't seem important at the time but years later, I understood just how important that was.  The best part was that I was able to view areas of the ship not accessible to other visitors which included the Tomahawk Missile launchers which were installed during the retrofit for her third recommissioning."

Aidan as a Cub Scout celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Cub Scout program in 2005.  On March 1, 2008, Aidan received his Arrow of Light Award at the Pack 16 Blue and Gold dinner where he bridged over to Troop 16.

During his time as a member of Troop 16, he earned the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.  He earned several skill awards such as the Firem'n Chit for fire starting and fire safety and the Totin' Chip which reinforces Scout safety and allows you to use a saw, axe and knife.  

He again earned the World Conservation Award, Leave No Trace and the Good Turn for America Awards and the "Year Round Sleeping Under the Stars" Camping Award.  

He earned a total of 36 merit badges which included 13 Eagle required, and additional Eagle required as an elective, and 22 other electives including a special 100th Anniversary merit badge for Pathfinding which was one of the four special commemorative badges reinstated for one year in 2008. 

He attended summer camp at Camp Turrell where the Troop won many awards for performance recognition.  He also attended activities at the Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation.  

Additional highlights include attending the New Jersey State Police Camporee in 2011 and being in the inaugural class at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree held at the newest BSA high adventure camp called the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  That event included a visit by His Royal Highness Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden who also serves as the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation.

HIkes and historical trips included visits to Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, Baltimore, Gettysburg PA, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Howe Caverns and many others including both a 10 and 20 mile hike around Livingston.  One hike in particular called "The Stairway to Heaven" hike was undertaken with Aidan and his dad.  This is a 2.04 mile hike in Vernon, NJ but has a total ascent of 89.97ft and has a maximum elevation of 1,329.69 ft.  It is a part of the Appalachian Trail.  You can see the High Point State Park monument from the crest of the hill.

Aidan believes that it is worth noting that while working on the Personal Fitness merit badge, he made a life choice and continued working on the 12-week exercise regimen and was able to shed a considerable amount of weight.  He continues the regimen to this day.

On February 8, 2008, Aidan was in attendance at Grace Lutheran Church where Livingston's Scouts and many dignitaries were present to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America and on February 11, he was surprised to see a large photo of himself with another Scout on the cover of the Tribune which commemorated the event.  

A fun fact is that the photographer did not realize that the photo by itself captured a unique historical event with a bit of significance.  The theme was "Lighting a candle to light our way forward" which involved a candle lighting ceremony.  Aidan who was a First Class Scout in the Troop at the time is shown lighting the candle of Sean S., who is a WEBELOS II Scout in the Pack and will be bridging into the Troop in a few week's time.  So the photo shows a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout.  The rank of First Class is the goal of the Boy Scout programs as the boys earning that rank are prepared for many things that they will encounter in life, and in a sense he is leading the second Scout onward.

In addition to volunteering at his local church, Aidan was very active with community service and participated on many service projects.  During his tenure as a Boy Scout, he held the following leadership positions within the Troop:  Historian, Scribe, Bugler (for two years), also Chaplin's Aid where he was instrumental in restoring the religious component in Troop activities and finally Patrol Leader of the Spartan Patrol.  He was also elected by the Troop to the Boy Scouts National Honor Society called the Order of the Arrow where he served time as an Arrowman and is now a Brotherhood member.  He also served as an Elangomat which is someone who helps with the program at OA functions.

An Eagle Scout candidate must develop, plan and lead in an Eagle Scout project which is designed to help the community, a not-for-profit organization or the Charter organization which sponsors a Scout unit.  

Aidan saw a need by St. Philomena Church where the animals chewed through and destroyed the small shed holding the trash cans for the church.  Since it became unstable, it was discarded and unfortunately that left the cans exposed to the animals which would bite through the bags and make a mess.  On windy days, the cans would become projectiles which could potentially damage parked cards or injure people walking in the parking lot.  

With that in mind, Aidan decided that he would build an enclosure for the trash cans to be stored and secured.  Unfortunately due to the severely cold weather in 2015 with average temperatures of 22 degrees, Aidan modified his plan and decided that it would make better sense to purchase a prefabricated unit.  An acceptable shed was found.  He initiated the fundraising campaign, placed the order and since the shed would take less time to build, added a cleanup project of the wooded area between the St. Philomena parking lot and the Township property at the Oval.  

Surprisingly, if you exclude the amount of fallen tree limbs which were removed and disposed of, the Scouts removed over 150 gallons of trash from that area starting at the parking lot access to the Oval, and the area which included the Force Homestead property to South Livingston Avenue.

As for the shed, it was completed in one day and is performing as expected.  Total man hours used on the entire project totalled 78 and according to multiple sources on the internet, the value of that service was $1, 799.46 which is $23.07 per hour.

As for his Scouting experience, Aidan considers it time well spent.  

"I have learned and developed many skills that I'm sure will help me in every aspect of my life.  I won't say that the road was easy, but I will say that I am a better individual and have become more responsible thanks to Scouting.  I highly recommend that every boy join the program.  Where else can you have fun while learning? I have heard it said that when young men join the military, you can exactly tell who was and who was not a Scout based on how they do things.  Many of the skills that we take for granted in Scouting are used in the military so they need to be learned one way or the other.  One of the major churches in the US actually uses the Scouting program to train their young men for required missionary work, so those skills serve as a benefit to others around the world.  A Scout is always prepared and that preparation can make daily life a little easier or can actually save a life."

Aidan is grateful to his dad for not allowing him to give up when he wanted to.  Now Aidan appreciates the reason why dad continually encouraged him to keep going, and he understands that earning the Eagle rank isn't the end but just the beginning of the journey ahead.

Aidan has decided to remain active in the Troop as an adult leader and is currently a member of the "College Reserve".  He is completing his freshman year at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ and hopes to go into the law field specializing as either a general corporate or specific patent attorney.