Trustworthy, loyal, helpful and friendly are just a few of the words used to describe Patrick W. Young, who was elevated to the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank of Eagle Scout in a ceremony held last Sunday.
“The Boy Scouts of all nations constitute one of the most wholesome and significant movements in the world’s history, and you have now been found worthy of the highest rank in its membership,” said Johnston State Rep. Stephen Ucci, himself an Eagle Scout also with Troop 20 Johnston, who repeated his master of ceremonies duty during the ceremony. “All who know you rejoice in your achievement. Your position is one of honor and responsibility. Eagle Scouts are marked men, and you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to your country, to your fellow scouts and all mankind.”
The Eagle Scout award is a culmination of years’ worth of efforts and sacrifices on behalf of the scout, his adult leaders, and his family and friends. It is the highest and most coveted award in Boy Scouts, and the last major step in the organization’s advancement program. Nationwide, less than two percent of all boys who join scouting earn the lifetime distinction.
“I’d like to congratulate Patrick, but in doing so I also have to congratulate his parents, because I’m sure they pushed you and guided you, and this is as much of a big event for them as it is for you,” said Deputy Chief Joseph Razza with the Johnston Police Department. “It takes a lot to do this. I salute you”
To become an Eagle, Young needed to earn a minimum of 21 Merit Badges. He was also required to serve in leadership roles in the troop, as well as planning and developing an Eagle Service Project in which he led fellow scouts for the benefit of the community. Young has participated in hundreds of campouts, meetings, special ceremonies and community events while learning lifelong skills on his way towards becoming a better citizen.
Young earned his first rank of Scout on July 5, 2010. The Eagle Court ceremony followed Young’s trail through Scouting, with stops at each rank explaining the skills he attained along the way. Central tenants of scouting, such as the Scout Oath and Law, were explored in detail to provide the audience filled with family and friends with a background of the lessons learned through the program.
Highlighting the ceremony was the Eagle Scout Promise, which reaffirmed the obligations and responsibilities of the rank of Eagle. It was then that Young pledged to do his best to use his training and experiences as an example to others and to make his influence count strongly toward creating a better community and healthier environment.
Along with citations from Major Razza, Rep. Ucci and Sen. Lombardo, multiple awards and recognitions were bestowed upon Young his accomplishments. Citations on behalf Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman James Langevin, Governor Gina Raimondo, Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee and the Town of Johnston were presented to him.
Young earned a total of 43 Merit Badges and served as a Patrol Leader, Instructor, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader on his path toward Eagle Scout. His Eagle Prioject was completed at Cranston Christian Fellowship, where he completed major facility improvements.
“My favorite part of scouting was the people involved. They were more of a family to me, and the memories will last,” said Young. “My parents were the best influence, my dad always pushed me. I felt like quitting a few times but he always had my back. My mom was the backbone behind all of this, too.”
Patrick’s parents were thrilled with his accomplishment, and it showed.
“I’m very proud, he had a long road to get here,” said Patrick’s mom, Kellie. “I think this program builds great character, for young men and now young women. His late grandfather really wanted him to be an Eagle Scout and really wanted him to see this through. It made Patrick a really well rounded person.”
“With the ups and downs, he persevered. Sometimes he wanted to quit but he kept coming back and he finished,” said Patrick’s father, Tim. “Every time he ran into a problem he overcame it and found a solution and got it finished. I am so proud.”
Young said his best memory of scouting was his third campout to the Buck Hill Campground. Even though he fell into the pond when he was there, it was a trip he’ll always remember. A senior now at Johnston High School and a member of the Johnston Police Explorers, he plans on attending either Dean College or Rivier University, where he’ll major in criminal justice.
Tim and Kellie Young helped Patrick along every step of the way on his path towards Eagle Scout.
FLOCK OF EAGLES:
Eagle Scouts in attendance gathered around Patrick as he read his Eagle Scout Promise. (Photo by Deputy Chief Joseph Razza)