Three Valley Stream teenagers advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout at a ceremony on Jan. 5.
Dylan Roca, a senior at South High School who started off as a Tiger Scout in 2008, was one of the three. He is currently an Advanced Placement scholar and involved in the National Honor and Shakespeare societies. He has won numerous awards, and has participated in all of South’s school plays since he was in seventh-grade.
For his Eagle Scout project, Roca replaced the walkway at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Broad Channel, Queens. The walkway had been rotting, which prevented handicap people from enjoying the nature preserve.
“Dylan’s project embodied the scouting spirit,” Scout Master Ron Healey told the Herald in June, upon the project’s completion. “The refurbishment of the walkway for the physically challenged will now allow all members of the community to enjoy all the park has to offer.”
High school freshman twins Matthew and Nicholas Tineo were also promoted to Eagle Scouts. They started in scouting as Arrow of Light Scouts in 2014, and have since earned 21 merit badges. Matthew is involved in Memorial’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, Art Club, Ninth-grade Council and the Track and Cross-Country team. Nicholas is involved in the Drama Club, Leadership Club and the Student Council. He also runs cross country and plays trombone for the school band.
For their Eagle Scout projects, the brothers spent their Memorial Day weekend building structures at Alley Pond Environmental Center in Little Neck. Matthew built six bat houses on top of poles to prevent squirrels from catching the nocturnal creatures. Additionally, he added tags identifying the species of 15 trees at the center. Nicholas, meanwhile, built three benches, bird charts and several bird feeders out of recycled materials. The boys also placed a memorial on the back of one of the center’s benches to remember a beneficiary who died while they were working towards their projects.
To celebrate the boys’ hard work, the teenagers received proclamations from State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, and were presented with flags flown over the United States Capitol by Eagle Scout and ROTC Cadet Anthony Bosko. Near the end of the ceremony, the boys’ mothers pinned them with the Eagle Scout Award, and the boys gave Eagle Scout addresses.
Roca spoke of how unforgettable some of his experiences as a scout have been, such as the time he went on his first camping trip away from home and encountered some scary spiders in his tent, or the time he saw two deer fawns playing in the forest. Matthew said scouting made him a better leader, and Nicholas spoke of the various lessons he learned from his four years of scouting.
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