Three earn Eagle rank

F.S. Boy Scout Troop 93 members receive highest honor


Three members of Franklin Square Boy Scout Troop 93 recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout — scouting’s highest and most coveted honor.

Joseph Barberesi, Nicholas Hernandez and Ryan Noonan were recognized at a Court of Honor ceremony on Jan. 5, surrounded by their fellow Boy Scouts, family, friends and mentors.

Robert Murawski, scoutmaster of Troop 93 and Iroquois District commissioner, said that Barberesi, Hernandez and Noonan have demonstrated what it takes to become “life scouts,” which made them worthy of the Eagle Scout honor.

“The life scout goals can be accomplished, but it takes real effort, and only those with true scout spirit will achieve it,” Murawski said. “(They) are to be congratulated for reaching this highest peak of the eagle trail — (their) diligence and hard work has paid off.”

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, and more than two million scouts have achieved the honor since 1912. About 4 percent of scouts reach the Eagle rank, according to Christine Jeremias, advancement chairperson of Troop 93.

Candidates are required to be an active participant in their troop and patrol, as well as serve in an important leadership position for at least six months while being a life scout. They also must demonstrate scout spirit and live by the scout oath in everyday life.

Another leadership requirement for Eagle Scout candidates is to plan, develop and spearhead service projects that are helpful to a religious institution, school or community.

Boy Scouts must accumulate 21 merit badges — 14 of these badges are Eagle scout-specified. Barberesi has earned 30 merit badges, Hernandez 31 and Noonan 27.

After a long, difficult journey, several rounds of review and close examination, the National Council gave the three Boy Scouts their final stamp of approval.

“They have demonstrated loyalty, their duty to God and to their country,” Jeremias said. “We believe that Joe, Nicholas and Ryan are qualified to receive the rank of Eagle.”

Hernandez joined the Cub Scout Pack 372 in 2011 and four years later, became a Boy Scout for Troop 93. He served as a patrol leader, quartermaster and assistant senior patrol leader, as well as received training in various skills, including Tote’N Chip, which grants a scout the right to carry and use wood tools.

For his leadership project, Hernandez designed and built two large wood gardening boxes for the Ascension Lutheran Church’s “Joyful Noise” Pre-K program, which was his former preschool. In addition to teaching preschoolers the importance of sustainable gardening, the vegetables grown in the boxes are used throughout the parish and serve as a means of nutrition for community members.

“I’m very thankful for everything I learned in scouting,” Hernandez said. “I think it’s (one) of the best things that you can do to set you up for the future. I recommend it to anyone.”

Barberesi joined Troop 93 in 2015 and later took on numerous leadership roles, such as patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. Like Hernandez, Barberesi also earned a Tote’N Chip badge, as well as the Kayaking BSA Award.

For his leadership project, he collected over 2,000 toiletry items and snacks, as well as hundreds of letters from children showing their gratitude to soldiers deployed in the Middle East.

“I was never really interested in scouting,” Barberesi said. “I wasn’t in the Cub Scouts and never really wanted to join until one of my friends begged me to come to a meeting, so I went to make him happy and I really loved it. I’m so glad I decided to join scouts because it really changed my life.”

Noonan joined Cub Scout Pack 372 in 2011 and became a member of Troop 93 in 2015. Like his fellow honorees, he quickly moved up the ranks and became an Eagle Scout in June 2022.

He also completed training in Tote’N Chip and was recognized by the Order of the Arrow, which is a special program for those who best exemplify the scout oath in their daily lives. He decided to collect used sneakers to recycle through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program for his leadership project. Noonan organized three in-person collections, set up drop off boxes throughout his community and exceeded his goal of 500 pairs to send to Nike.

When speaking about his journey to Eagle Scout, Noonan couldn’t help but get a little emotional, thanking his parents for supporting him along the way.

“As I progressed through scouting, it then turned into working with other scouts my age to pass these lessons down to the younger scouts,” Noonan said. “That was truly one of the most rewarding experiences for me.”

The Eagle Court of Honor ceremony took the audience through each candidate’s scouting career with the visual presentation of the Lighting of the Eagle Trail. Boy Scout leaders led the Eagle Charge, the candidates’ mothers read aloud touching poems about their sons’ journey and others shared congratulatory letters.

The candidates said they will carry the skills they learned and friendships they created over the years with them for the rest of their lives.

“This is by far the greatest honor the Boy Scouts of America can offer,” said Nicholas Marcino, as he led the Eagle Charge. “From now on you are a marked man.”