It wasn’t until he was 17 years when Edmond Weiss decided he wanted to become an Eagle Scout. With only a year left to meet the requirements, he succeeded.
Weiss, 19, of Valley Stream, was recently honored by the Town of Hempstead at Scout Recognition Day at Norman J. Levy Park in Merrick for earning the highest rank in Boy Scouts. He is a member of Troop 473 in Lynbrook and served as a senior patrol leader.
He joined scouts when he was 13 years old. Weiss belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lynbrook, and said his church has a close connection with the Boy Scouts. As his friends began to earn their Eagle ranks, Weiss wanted to follow suit. “There was no way I was not going to get my Eagle,” he said. “I didn’t want to be that one person in the pack that didn’t.”
Quickly, Weiss said he learned the benefits of becoming an Eagle Scout, such as acquiring skills that will help him throughout life, commanding a high level of respect.
A community service project is required to become an Eagle Scout. Weiss constructed a dozen tree swallow boxes for the town’s west marina in Lido Beach. Tree swallows are birds that eat mosquitoes and other bugs, which help decrease the pesky insect population.
The project took about three months to complete. Weiss was helped out by fellow scouts and members of his church. He said he enjoyed the opportunity to take charge and lead others.
Weiss also earned the required 21 merits badges to become an Eagle Scout. He said being a Boy Scout allowed him to experience camping, which has become one of his favorite activities. He enjoys swimming, climbing and building campfires. “Camping has given me all of my memories,” he said. “It’s great that I get to be with my friends. There’s always a lot of outdoor activities that I can do.”
He said the most memorable camping excursion was at Baiting Hollow Scout Camp in Suffolk. There was a camp-wide water sports competition, and his troop placed first.
Weiss is a 2012 graduate of Central High School where he was part of environmental club, Mathletes and numerous honor societies. He attends Queens college and plans to go into the medical field.
His scout leader is in the military and had a American flag flown over a battleground in Afghanistan to celebrate Weiss’s feat of becoming an Eagle Scout. Only 4 percent of boys who enter the scouts earn their Eagle rank, and Weiss said he is proud to be one of them. “It’s one of my top accomplishments,” he said, “if not the top one.”