Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Boy Scout Troop 13 offers community service

Eagle Scout Service Project Painting Benches Along Shore Road

April 19, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Jonathan Roberts (center) paints park benches with members of Boy Scout Troop 13. Eagle photo by John Alexander
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On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon, members of Bay Ridge Boy Scout Troop 13 from St. Anselm painted the concrete and wooden benches that line Shore Road. The Eagle Scouts undertook the project in an effort to help beautify the surrounding neighborhood.

This particular service project was proposed by Jonathan Roberts, an Eagle Scout and student at Bay Ridge Prep. Jonathan is a scribe at Troop 13, one of the leaders of the Eagle Scout troop. The boys in the troop range in age from sixth grade to twelfth grade. They are fist eligible to enter when they finish fifth grade or turn 11.

Painting alongside Roberts was his father Roland, the troop’s scoutmaster. “First, the Eagle Scout must submit a proposal to the troop community, who in turn must approve it before it goes to the district committee, which also has to approve it,” Roland explained.

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Next, it has to be approved by the beneficiary, which in this case, is the Parks Department. Parks Department official Patti Gracia, who is assigned to the Community Board 10 area of Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights, green lighted the project.

“The Parks Department was gracious enough to provide all the supplies, which made it easier for us,” said Roland.  “It’s the scout’s job to organize it. Even though I’m the scoutmaster, I’m just here to work and help out.”

Roland was also quick to credit Jonathan. “He’s in charge of it,” said Roland, “He’s running back and forth to check and make sure that the job is done. And he’s got some of the older scouts and me coming around to help and do touch up work.”

Roland explained that “most of the boys don’t really have an opportunity to learn painting. It’s a little bit of a messy experience for them because they’re learning on the job.”

Eagle projects offer leadership skills for the boys. Even though it is about the service, it’s also about learning how to lead and the management and organizational skills they gain from the project.

Jonathan’s proposal was to paint benches from 75th Street all the way to 69th Street along Shore Road. “I wanted to do this because these benches look horrible,” he explained. “You can see how rusted some of the ones that aren’t painted yet look. Some of them are rotten, broken. I live around here, so it’s hard for me to look at them.”

The Boy Scouts mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes. Their programs have inspired nearly 15 thousand Brooklyn youths to learn about leadership, development and physical fitness.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts program, and only about 5 percent of scouts achieve this prestigious honor. Some notable Eagle Scouts include former President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

This is actually not the first time Troop 13, which was formed in 1948, has painted benches in the park. Last year the scouts helped restore benches from 75th Street to 85th Street, a 10 block radius in the other direction. “Now, we’re basically working our way along the shore,” Roland said.


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