20 Years of Patriots’ Path Council Eagle Scouts

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Patriot’s Path Council, we asked our Eagle Scouts “How did your Scout experience, specifically the Eagle Scout experience, shape the choices you made in your life?” Their answers can be found below. The full interview can be found by clicking their name. To see the video response compilation, click here.

  • Chad W. Macones, Eagle Scout Class of 1999 – Over the countless hours spent volunteering in my community assisting other Eagle Scouts’ service projects and troop functions, I have continued to volunteer service to my community through the fire department. I also feel my being an Eagle Scout played a part in a career in law enforcement – knowing the importance of serving our nation. When my sons are old enough, I hope they too gain an interest in the BSA as I did.
  • Brian Vohden, Eagle Scout Class of 2000 – First, some of the greatest friends in my life to this day came from my time in Scouting. Those friendships seem to have a deeper connection and while I don’t see these friends as much as I wish, they are an extension of my family to me.  I also believe that I am in the education profession right now because of Scouting.  From teaching skills at troop meetings, to working as a den chief, to my ten years working at MASR, I was slowly developing a set of skills and a passion that has carried on for many years.
  • Edward W. Katona III, Eagle Scout Class of 2001 – The experience has played a pivotal role in my life. I was involved in the organization from Cub Scouts through Eagle, I do not know if I could narrow down one or a few specific aspects but state that it was part of my identity and trying to be the best person I can be.
  • Michael Wickham, Eagle Scout Class of 2001 – Scouting left an indelible mark on me and how I have moved through adulthood. It isn’t just the big choices that being an Eagle Scout shaped, but the little everyday ones. Being friendly to a coworker, courteous to a stranger. Demonstrating loyalty and trustworthiness to both friends and employers. Helping those in need and respecting everyone who moves through your life, no matter how brief. Scouting shaped my ability to make all these little choices the best ways I know how – following the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
  • Casey Gotliffe, Eagle Scout Class of 2002 – This is a tough one. I think that being an Eagle Scout has impacted every aspect of my life. We live by a code that I still believe in that focuses on being good to yourself, others, working with the community, teaching others life skills and respect, and I take that seriously.
  • Andrew Koneski, Eagle Scout Class of 2003 – I stayed in Scouting, so it obviously had an impact. I mainly work with the Scouts who may be falling behind in their age group. I try to give the Scouts a chance to get to Eagle because I know the path to it.
  • Adam Metauro, Eagle Scout Class of 2003 – Without a family yet, I would point most to the importance I place on volunteering. The organizations I spend the most time with are education focused:  iMentor which matches college grads in 1:1 relationship with low-income high school students who would be first generation college students. Pencils of Promise builds schools to address the lack of basic education for children in developing countries. I not only volunteer, but I have pursued leadership positions on their junior boards. I believe when I have children, I will pursue the benefits of Scouting when they are of age.
  • Grant Van Eck, Eagle Scout Class of 2003 – My experience in Boy Scouts and earning Eagle has shaped my life in a very positive way. The character built up in me and the confidence to make good decisions has set me on a path of success. As a Past Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus, the skills applied when I was Grand Knight are the ones I learned as a senior patrol leader for my troop. Also, the commitment to service and giving back is so important to me. I have been on numerous boards, served as a trustee, stay committed to my faith and continue to volunteer for Scouting outside of my job role. Being an Eagle Scout will continue to shape who I am. The journey just began when I put on the badge many years ago. I come from a Scouting family and am third generation in the program. Both my younger brothers are Eagle Scouts from the same troop where my father still serves on the committee.
  • Matthew Grogaard, Eagle Scout Class of 2004 – Scouting and the Eagle Scout experience helped me realize that I wanted to devote my life to helping others, specifically helping to mold young minds and change the lives of young special needs students. It drove me to want to be a teacher and advocate for those children who need a bit more to succeed in life.
  • CPT J. Alexander Thew, Eagle Scout Class of 2004 – Earning the rank of Eagle Scout both prepared me for and encouraged me to pursue a career in the military. I thoroughly enjoyed a leadership role from an early age and was able to develop valuable skills in communication and motivating others to work toward a common goal through Scouting.
  • Chris Vollers, Eagle Scout Class of 2004 – My Scouting experience has always pushed me to help those in need whenever possible. Giving back to the Scout council, church and Masonic Lodge are directly attributed to my experiences with the Scouts. Life lessons like being prepared, leadership training, and charity have played an integral role throughout my life which really started with Scouting.
  • James Kukucka, Eagle Scout Class of 2005 – The Scouting experience instilled a determination to live a life of service to others and to my country. The sense of duty to others influenced me to join many service organizations while in college – specifically the computer science and engineering honor societies. These societies provided a series of academic services to students on campus. The sense of duty to my country actually has had a profound impact on my career decision. From my first job out of college, I made it a priority to use my technical talents to support my country. I decided that the best course of action to do this was to join a federally funded research center for national security – MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In the following years, I decided to move to the greater Washington DC area to further my career and be closer to the government agencies that I was working for. Today I directly support government agencies in providing consultation to solve their greatest cybersecurity challenges.
  • Eric Hagstrom, Eagle Scout Class of 2006 – My Eagle Scout project taught me to wait for the right opportunity and pursue it aggressively. I had everything required to get Eagle rank by age 14, except my project but took two years to find the right project and then execute it. This approach has served me well ever since, whether it be related to jobs, education, or personal interests.
  • J. Rauch, Eagle Scout Class of 2006 – That’s a tough one to answer because so many of my experiences are so interconnected! My Scouting experiences reinforced the values I was taught from my family, which in turn were influenced by Scouting. As a graduate student, I was a leader in the graduate student society because I felt a sense of duty to contribute to the college community, which was influenced by my time as an undergraduate student, which was influenced by my time as a high school student, which of course was concurrent with my Trail to Eagle. Eagle Scouts are so rarely just Eagle Scouts! On an anecdotal level, a major life decision was influenced by a Scouting experience. In the summer of 2012, I attended Roverway, an international European Scouting event. It was during this trip I befriended some Belgian and British Scouts, who encouraged me to follow my dream of pursuing my master’s degree in Europe. And of course, traveling abroad was never a big deal for me – after a 50-mile canoe trek in the Adirondacks, visiting a foreign country has always been a walk in the park!
  • Wayne Hampton, Eagle Scout Class of 2007 – It contributed to my success for higher learning. I wasn’t prepared as well as I should have been entering college. But, the skills learned through Scouting helped me adapt quicker to the increased workload.
  • Justin Knapp, Eagle Scout Class of 2007 – Scouting has impacted the choices I have made in my life by helping me discover a passion for service. While completing my Eagle Scout project, I realized I enjoyed volunteer work, particularly work that directly impacts my community. Throughout college, I regularly fundraised and helped build houses in the Chapel Hill community through Habitat for Humanity. I also participated in three different spring break trips, traveling to Charleston, South Carolina and Honduras to build homes for Habitat for Humanity, and traveling to Jamaica for a church related service trip, spending time with children with physical and mental disabilities and working to improve their community. Even now, as busy as law school can be, I continue to make service a priority. I traveled to Wilmington North Carolina on my spring break to low income individuals who cannot afford to pay traffic tickets to restore their driver’s licenses. I will be recognized at my graduation, as one of about 40 law students who have completed more than 100 hours of pro bono service during law school.
  • Nicholas A. Perna, Eagle Scout Class of 2007 – Scouting made me want to pursue a career where you are active and not behind a desk. It made me want to do something where you help people every day making me want to be a Police Officer. It also made me want to go out and be active. I went to Rutgers University where I double majored in Information Technology and Informatics and Middle Eastern Studies. While at Rutgers I joined a Fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, and was President for two years. Being a Scout made me want to be active in everything I did.
  • Michael Bumiller, Eagle Scout Class of 2008 – (Answering “What skills, developed in Scouting, have made the most difference in your life as an adult? Which merit badge you earned has been the most useful in your present life?”) All the outdoor skills that I learned as a young Scout I have built upon and refined even after becoming an Eagle Scout. I have gone on many camping trips with friends and family and those outdoor skills and knowledge have come in very handy. The skills of working with my hands and problem solving with materials that you have around you have also greatly impacted me throughout my adult life. I believe it was one of the driving factors to push me towards pursuing a degree in engineering. I feel that all the required merit badges for the rank of Eagle Scout have been extremely useful in adult life, from personal fitness to personal management, and all of them in between they all can have correlations to life outside of Scouts
  • Andrew Hampton, Eagle Scout Class of 2008 – The Eagle Scout experience shaped many aspects of my life by making me think I could achieve anything I put the time and effort into. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  I then went on to get my Masters at Rutgers University in Mechanical Engineering.  After graduating from Rutgers, I went to work for a fortune 500 company and top 5 defense contractor in General Dynamics.  Last March I was able to marry my Hokie sweetheart. I now work at the Newport News Shipyard and enjoy working on future submarines to keep this nation safe. These life achievements were all possible by learning how to set and accomplish goals.
  • Christopher Knapp, Eagle Scout Class of 2008 – The Eagle Scout award has opened doors for me; namely, helping me differentiate myself from other candidates with respect to school and job applications. Service remains an important part of my life, and I remain active in volunteer organizations such as iMentor.
  • Lawrence Frank Rosello Jr., Eagle Scout Class of 2009 – Becoming an Eagle Scout made me realize how important it is to give back to the community. The service hours that are required for rank advancement brought this to my attention. I also realize now how important the adult leaders are to Scouting and teaching the life lessons that the boys will take with them once they are no longer in the troop. I also think that going through the program helped me to be able to associate myself with like minded people in college and as an adult.
  • Kevin Hernandez, Eagle Scout Class of 2010 – Everything I do, I put myself in the mindset of a Scout. How can I achieve my goals in the most successful way? What tasks do I need to complete? I know I need to work hard, but how hard? I know there is a problem, but how can I approach this in the most appropriate and efficient way? My Scouting experience taught me to take a step back, think out a process, and put 150% into everything that I did – in a moral, hard-working, courteous and cheerful way. It allowed me to stand out in front of peers, to become a leader in every organization I joined, and have the skills to succeed in any situation.
  • Matthew Poling, Eagle Scout Class of 2010 – In college, I decided to join the fraternity of Phi Kappa Tau. I chose them because of the emphasis on leadership and philanthropy. We did work for Paul Newman’s Serious Fun Organization, which provides summer camps for disabled children.
  • Robert C. Wanthouse Jr., Eagle Scout Class of 2011 – Scouting has taught me to always strive to be your best self and to try to give back to the community when possible. These ideas have had a major effect in the way I approached school, my career, and volunteerism. In school, I tried to constantly learn new things to help improve the quality of my work. This is something I am still doing at my job today. When life is not super hectic, I go out to my local food pantry to help. Scouting has always reinforced the idea that helping others is critical in supporting your local community.
  • Michael Eastman, Eagle Scout Class of 2012 – The Eagle Scout experience has shaped choices I have made by teaching me to go with my gut. Sometimes you need quick decisions in stressful situations.  At the age of 16/17 planning a large project I had to make decisions that I thought was right and, in some instances, standing my ground and not allowing other individuals to tell me I couldn’t do what I wanted to accomplish.  My Eagle Scout project was very ambitious for someone my age and even my Scoutmaster tried to discourage me from it but I knew the risks associated with it and I succeeded even when people thought I would fail.
  • Philip Zurek, Eagle Scout Class of 2012 – They enabled me to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities and be confident in each one, knowing that I can learn the required skills of any other in a reasonable amount of time, and always conduct myself in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Tim D’Armiento, Eagle Scout Class of 2013 – I have tried since Scouting to never stop pursuing volunteerism i.e. my college experiences with my fraternity’s philanthropy and other volunteer service trips I did through college like rebuilding houses still affected from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I plan to always look for opportunities to volunteer throughout my adult life as this is a passion of mine since I started to do so in Scouting.
  • Marshall Boles, Eagle Scout Class of 2014 – While at the age of 22, I still have many more life choices ahead of me; I do think the Eagle Scout experience has shaped the ones I have made up to this point. My Scout training and the Eagle ideals inform every small decision I make, and those small decisions roll up into my larger decisions.  For example, in my volunteering, I have tried to focus on organizations that support and benefit youth.  This is a result of my Scouting experience and belief that helping young people succeed is one of the best ways to improve the state of our world.
  • Kenneth Franklin Schwemmer III, Eagle Scout Class of 2014 –  The only thing I will concede that Scouts influenced, is my involvement in politics and government. The reason is I learned in Scouts about helping others and being a servant leader can also be found in government and politics because we are public servants and we are trying to help as many people as possible.
  • Charlie Neely, Eagle Scout Class of 2015 – Being an Eagle has made me a better citizen. Without my experience of becoming an Eagle Scout, I would not be able to contribute to my society in a manner the encompasses all aspects of the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Daniel Rufolo, Eagle Scout Class of 2015 – My Eagle Scout experience and Scouting in general instilled within me a passion for the outdoors and a general sense that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. This has permeated through who I am and approach to life.
  • John Kenneth Bittner, Eagle Scout Class of 2016 – One of my favorite things to do while I worked as the Scout Craft Director at the Watchung Cub Scout Day Camp was to build and construct things using knots and lashings. I learned that I can visualize unfinished projects and problem solve. These traits and interests helped me realize that I wanted to go to school for engineering. It also showed me that I want to be the leader on projects, and that I potentially would like to run my own company someday.
  • Andrew Chin, Eagle Scout Class of 2016 – I have always enjoyed helping others and being resourceful and this lead me to pursue my career in occupational therapy. I still enjoy volunteering as well and still doing things for Habitat for Humanity.
  • Bradley Joseph Rindos, Eagle Scout Class of 2016 – Being an Eagle Scout has helped me to learn about the importance of volunteerism. I am very active in my school as a volunteer: for the people as Class President, for clubs as a photographer/videographer, and for LINKS as a teacher to incoming freshman students. I also have learned the importance of helping others achieve spiritual understanding as a youth ministry director. Lastly, as an EMT, I give up free time to assist people in some of the worst moments of their lives. Not only have I learned to be a volunteer, Scouting has affected other choices, such as to stay away from drugs and other illegal activities.
  • Joshuah Rousso, Eagle Scout Class of 2017 – (Answering “What skills, developed in Scouting, have made the most difference in your life as an adult? Which merit badge you earned has been the most useful in your present life?”) The skill that made the most difference in my life is leadership/team building. It is interesting to see how whenever there is a leadership void in a group that I am apart of I will almost always try fill it and get people to work together even if the goal is unclear. The most useful merit badge that I earned would have to be First Aid. Whenever a person around me gets hurt I can always offer my help and know how to properly take care of this person.