Flushing, College Pt. teens join ranks of Eagle Scouts – QNS.com

Flushing, College Pt. teens join ranks of Eagle Scouts

By Cynthia Koons

Soon Flushing's Robert Emhardt, Christopher Califano, David Callan, John Power and College Point's Steven Martinez will join them in the ranks that only 2 percent of Boy Scouts achieve.

In ceremonies at 8 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Lutheran School of Bayside for the Flushing scouts and Feb. 8 at the First Reformed Church in College Point for Martinez, these five boys were scheduled to be honored as Eagle Scouts, the highest recognition a Boy Scout can earn.

Martinez's ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 8.

“They have done good work for the community,” said Boy Scout Troop 1 Master Jack Baer, who oversaw Emhardt's, Califano's, Callan's and Power's projects. “One of the things we try to do is create quality adults.”

To achieve the status of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must demonstrate ability in the areas of leadership, outdoor skills and service.

After passing tests and earning merit badges, a scout must initiate a final project, which involves leading a group of either adults or children and working with a community group to serve the public in some way.

Power, 17, repainted a pet rescue shelter in Flushing and solicited donations to help feed the animals there, Bill Zlata of the Dad's Club of the Boy Scout's Troop 1 said.

Now an assistant troop leader, Emhardt, 18, also took hold of some paint brushes in order to erase graffiti blemishes from fire hydrants in the neighborhood around St. Kevin's Parish, Zlata said.

Callan, 17, established a clothing drive for developmentally disabled adults and children of single mothers. His fellow scout, Califano, also 17, conducted a blood drive with New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens and collected 57 pints of blood.

“It's a really challenging experience for them, something they'll look back on in 20 or 30 years and think, 'Wow, that's the hardest thing I've done,'” Baer said.

The Flushing troop is one of the original Boy Scout troops in the country and was established in 1910, when the organization was founded.

To have four Eagle Scouts from one troop in a given year, Baer said, is a significant achievement. With 60 scouts, Troop 1 is one of the largest Boy Scouts organizations in Queens.

Richard Abbadessa, the scout master of College Point's Troop 20, could not be reached for comment about Martinez's project.

Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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