Three Gramercy Scouts earn Eagle badges

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 19, 2000

DANIEL TYLER GOODEN / L’Observateur / March 19, 2000

GRAMERCY – Three young men were presented to St. James Parish as EagleScouts Saturday night, with the commendations of high achieving members of society reaching from local officials to the president of the United States.

Lifescouts from Troop 59, Craig Calcagno Jr., Travis McClung and JessieZeringue, were presented with awards, marking their transition to the rank of Eagle Scout.

Tom Sylvest opened the ceremony and read the 12 scout laws as a scout lighted a candle of each in order to “rededicate ourselves to each law,” said Sylvest.

Scouts of various ranks took turns explaining the training and trials each scout must face as they work their way toward the Eagle Scout rank. FromTenderfoots to Life Scouts each young man read from a long list of the merit badges, projects and events each of the three Eagle scouts completed on their journey.

Eagle Scout Eric Deroche charged the men to “maintain the high regard that Americans hold for the Eagle Scouts.” He reminded the crowd of friends andfamily that barely 2 percent of boys who enter the Boys Scouts of America ever become Eagle Scouts.

In achieving this rank “you are now standing as an equal among leaders,” he told the Eagle Scouts.

Scoutmaster Craig Calcagno Sr. handed the award to his scouts, whichincluded a pin for the mother, “in honor of the hours devoted to her son,” and one for the father, “for the wisdom he bestowed to his son,” said Calcagno.

His wife, Linda, gave a binder to each of the Scouts, including the details of their completed Eagle Scout projects.

Craig Calcagno Jr., son of Craig Sr. and Mary Linda Calcagno, attends St.Charles Catholic High. For his project, Craig numbered storm drains andposted “no dumping” signs on the 300 blocks in Gramercy.

Travis McClung, son of Paul and Tamera McClung, is a sophomore at Lutcher High. His project was painting house numbers on the curbs of the 300 blocksin Gramercy.

Jessie Zeringue, son of Brent and Joan Zeringue, attends Riverside Academy.

Jessie also painted house numbers on the curbs of the 400 and 500 blocks in Gramercy.

Along with the details of their projects, the binder contained a large set of commendation letters. Scoutmaster Calcagno had sent out 117 requests andreceived almost a 60 percent response. Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. was on handto present his letter as well as a sheriff’s deputy badge to honor each Eagle Scout for his “many years of dedication, leadership and community service.

Sylvest closed the ceremony with a reminder set in the memory of past scouts. A lady, stranded with a flat tire and spare, was helped by two youngmen who took her tire to be repaired in the dead of night. When theyreturned they replaced the tire for her. “How much do I owe you boys,” sheasked. “Nothing ma’am’, we’re Boy Scouts,” they replied.

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