Scout overcomes the odds to make Eagle

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On June 19, Powers walked across the stage of the LIU Post Tilles Center to accept his high school diploma. In the fall, he will attend a BOCES post-high school program at the Barry Tech Career Education Center in Westbury.

A successful scouting venture

As he got older, Powers advanced to the Boy Scouts, joining Troop 369, also based at Blessed Sacrament. He saw a couple of older scouts become Eagles and immediately set that as a goal for himself. He said he admired the dedication that was needed to attain the rank.

Powers earned the required 21 merit badges. He said his favorite badge was tracking, which he got by studying animal footprints during summer camp.

The easiest badge was first aid, Powers said, and the hardest was environmental science because he says science is not his strongest subject. To earn that badge, he conducted an experiment using two potted plants, giving one rain water and the other filtered water. “There were a lot of challenges,” Powers said. “You have to earn some hard merit badges.”

Camping quickly became one of his favorite activities as a scout. He recalled trips to campsites in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and Salem, Mass. Powers said he liked learning survival skills such as cooking and building fires, and always enjoyed sleeping in tents.

For his required community service project, Powers contributed to the Valley Stream dog park, which opened last year. He constructed two signs — one for the large dog area and another for the small dog area — which state rules and regulations, park etiquette and list sponsors. To fund the project, he received a sizable donation from Central Veterinary Associates, which meant sitting down with the animal hospital’s executives and presenting his plan. “It was a little nerve-wracking,” he said. “Meeting with new people gets me a little nervous.”

He was surprised when they agreed to fund his entire project, but was relieved he did not have to seek any more donations and go through the process again.
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