The Eagles have landed! What did these amazing Scouts do?


Four Boy Scouts from Troop 116 of Valley Stream achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout on May 13.

The Scouts — all from Lynbrook — were celebrated during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for their outstanding achievement. Only 2 percent of Boy Scouts earn the highest honor in scouting. Famous people in American business, science, politics and more are Eagle Scouts, including Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, and many more.

The Troop 116 event took place at Holy Name of Mary in Valley Stream.

SUB HED: Lucas Colonna

Lucas started his journey as a member of the Scouts of America in 2015 when he became a Scout at the age of 11. Lucas was a Cub Scout when he was in elementary school, and at an early age was drawn to the camaraderie and adventurous spirit of the organization. Lucas participated in many of the camping trips and particularly enjoyed his weeks at the Onteora Scout Reservation summer camp. He went to Onteora each year with his fellow troop members.

As Lucas progressed through the ranks of the scouts becoming a Den Chief and then an Assistant Patrol Leader, he participated in a variety of activities and earned numerous merit badges, including: Aviation, Welding, Archery, First Aid and many more.

The part of scouting that most inspired him was the organization’s dedication to serving the community. Over the course of his scouting career, Lucas helped at beach clean ups, assisted fellow scouts in building, clearing and cleaning community areas for various eagle scout projects including refurbishing an old piece of playground equipment for a local nursery school.

In 2020, he reached a major milestone in his scouting journey when he completed his Eagle Scout project. His project involved clearing and marking nine miles of hiking trails for the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn. The project began in 2019 with Lucas, his family and a team of Boy Scouts from Troop 116 raking, mowing and weeding through overgrown brush and fallen branches.

He worked tirelessly to coordinate the efforts of his fellow scouts and volunteers, ensuring that the project was completed on time and to a high standard of quality. Once the trails were cleared, markers were installed and it has now been easier for visitors to explore the beautiful grounds of the museum, and he hopes his work will be enjoyed by generations of hikers to come.

SUB HED: Robert Manulfo

Robert Manulfo lives in Lynbrook and attends Valley Stream South High School. He plays both varsity volleyball and lacrosse. He's an all county saxophone musician, in the Key Club and National Honor Society, and earned the NYS Seal of Biliteracy. He is also a Lynbrook junior firefighter. In the fall he will be attending the University of Florida pursuing a dual major in aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Robert's Eagle project was the design, construction, and installation of an information board at Intercommunity Nursery School, where he attended as a preschooler.

Communication between the parents and staff of inter-community is crucial, and during the pandemic, face-to-face communication was difficult due to social distancing and limitations on entering the building. The project included locating the proper site, digging foundations below the frost line, setting posts, and ultimately building and erecting the information board, all of which was made more difficult by the disruptions in the supply chain experienced after the pandemic. The project was successfully completed and is currently in use at the school.

SUB HED: Ethan Palacio

Ethan has been a Scout since 2011 where he grew to love the outdoors and all the adventures that come with it. Ethan bridged over to Boy Scouts in 2016 and was eager to experience all that was ahead. While Ethan originally joined Troop 332 in East Rockaway, after spending a summer with Troop 116 at Onteora, he knew that he had found his place.

During his time in Troop 116, Ethan has held the roles of Den Chief, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, and is currently the Senior Patrol Leader of the Troop. During his years in scouts Ethan has made many lifelong connections with peers and leaders. Ethan has completed a total of 43 merit badges with his favorite being Wilderness Survival which he completed while at Onteora. Ethan loved connecting with nature and building his own shelter out of his surroundings. Ethan’s favorite scout skill is First Aid which connects with his passion for medicine and helping others.

Ethan’s Eagle Project was to complete a renovation at the Holy Name of Mary Convent. The project was extensive and took many months of planning and hard work to transform the basement into a usable space that will serve community groups for many years to come. The renovation involved several of his friends, family, and fellow scouts who put in over 400 hours of work making the space look beautiful.

Outside of Scouts Ethan has been involved in many different activities. Ethan has been a member of the varsity cross country team throughout high school, and this year took on the role of captain of his school’s robotics team. Ethan is also a member of the Science Research program at Lynbrook High School.

In the fall, Ethan will be attending SUNY Albany where he will be studying Human Biology on a Pre-Health track.

SUB HED: Andrew Schiller

Andrew is honored to be recognized for his achievements at this Eagle Court of Honor. He has been in the scouting program since he was 6 years old, and he has thoroughly enjoyed taking part in camping and other activities. He has held the positions of Den Chief, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.

Outside of scouts, Andrew can often be found in one or several musicals, plays, skits, or other shows. He was also the captain of the Engineering Notebook for the Lynbrook Artificially Intelligent Mechanical Owls. He will be attending Binghamton University as a member of the Scholars Program.

The thing that Andrew enjoys the most about scouts is making memories with his peers, but also getting to see those younger than him make the same memories as he once did.

Andrew’s Eagle Project was one very personal to him. He restored the playground at his local Temple/Pre-school hybrid, Temple Am-Echad. This included repainting the benches, clipping back growth, ripping up weeds, filling cracks in the blacktop, and building a new playhouse. Andrew is grateful for the opportunity to do his Eagle Project. Through the experience, he improved socially, learning how to lead, but also how to rely on others where necessary. He would like to thank his scoutmasters, fellow scouts, parents, religious instructors, and other friends and family members for their support.

— Mark Nolan