Written by Jenna Grasso Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00
On Saturday, Sept. 8, more than 2,000 Boy Scout troops from across Long Island, and even some from New Jersey, came to Rockville Centre for the 100th anniversary of the first-ever Eagle Scout, Arthur R. Eldred. The Scouts celebrated the stages of scouting that young men go through before choosing to earn their Eagle Scout rank.
Boy Scouts from Cubs through Eagles assembled in a nearby parking lot waiting for the parade to begin. The parade, sponsored by the Arthur R. Eldred chapter, brought excitement to the streets of Rockville Center.
The Boy Scouts became restless as the parade was getting closer to its start. The sounds of the bagpipes and drums began, as they led the troops out onto the streets of Rockville Centre. From the streets, spectators watched the parade formations and dozens of troop flags lining the streets of the village.
The troops and their leaders marched proudly through the streets. As the parade reached the reviewing stand, each troop number and where they were from was announced.
As all the troops arrived on North Centre Avenue, they lined up, waiting for a brief ceremony honoring Eldred. The presentation of the Colors, the Scout law, as well as an invocation were all part of the ceremony.
County Executive Ed Mangano officially declared Sept. 8 to be Eagle Scout Day in Nassau County. Other speakers took to the podium, including the Bishop of Rockville Center, RVC Mayor Francis Murray, Senator Dean Skelos, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, and the fire and police commissioners of Rockville Centre.
The ceremony concluded with the Eagle Scouts reaffirming the Eagle Oath, and a wreath placement at Alfred R. Eldred Park.
Saturday, Sept. 8 was a chance for Scouts to not only celebrate their commitment to Boy Scouting, but to celebrate the honor of Eldred who was the first Scout to set the bar, and set the true standards for Scouting. Earning Eagle Scout rank is the ultimate level in Boy Scouts.
Eldred originally joined Troop 1, which is now Troop 40 in Rockville Centre. In 1912, two years after the Boy Scouts of America was founded, he was the first man to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Eldred’s family was in attendance, including his son, two grandsons, and one great-grandson, who have all become Eagle Scouts.
For many boys, the Eagle Scout rank is rarely reached. But for the special few, it is a stage that is reached with a lot of dedication and honor.
Dominic Grasso, of Farmingdale, who earned the Eagle Scout rank over eight years ago, told Anton Newspapers, “Being an Eagle Scout gave me leadership skills that helped me multiple times in my current teaching career; for many other men, many honorable qualities come out of being an Eagle Scout.”
This was the first time the Boy Scouts held the grand troop parade, celebrating not only the centennial of Eagle Scouting, but celebrating its organization, The Boy Scouts of America, and the true accomplishments they have achieved.