By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — Nick Trostle is one of the elite few who has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Trostle’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held Oct. 8 at Country Estates to celebrate his achievement and mark his entry into the ranks of Eagle Scouts.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve and is only earned by a select few. Eagle Scouts must meet strict requirements that take years to complete — among them a minimum of 21 merit badges, leadership responsibilities in the troop, and a community service project that takes many hours of planning and work to accomplish.
For Trostle, his Eagle Scout project was the cleanup and renovation of Greenville Cemetery.
Boy Scout Troop 42 Scoutmaster Colin Tumey hosted the Court of Honor and said Eagle Scouts are leaders in their communities and are charged to live with honor, loyalty, courage and service.
“We are gathered here today to celebrate the accomplishments of Nick Trostle, who successfully followed the trail to Eagle,” Tumey said. “Nick had a great project, he helped out with the troop, he earned his merit badges and he got it all done. I am very proud of him for that.”
Trostle was a graduate of Greenville Central High School earlier this year and is now a student at Columbia-Greene Community College, studying criminal justice. His goal is to go into law enforcement in the future, Tumey said.
In addition to a massive community service project that renovated and cleaned up the cemetery, including the renovation of a stone wall and repairs to numerous headstones, Trostle completed 28 merit badges. Eagle Scouts are required to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and are awarded a Bronze Palm for every additional five badges, Tumey said. In addition to earning the Eagle Scout rank, Trostle also earned one Bronze Palm and the Order of the Arrow award.
He earned the following merit badges: archaeology, archery, camping, chess, citizenship in community, citizenship in nation, citizenship in society, citizenship in world, climbing, communication, cooking, emergency preparedness, environmental science, exploration, family life, fingerprinting, first aid, fishing, Indian lore, kayaking, personal fitness, personal management, rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, sports, swimming, weather and wilderness survival.
Boy Scout Troop 42 has been sponsored by Greenville’s American Legion Post 291 for decades. Steve Mataraza, committee chair and an American Legion member, awarded Trostle with a certificate for his achievement.
“We are honored to sponsor this troop in Greenville for more than 70 years,” Mataraza said. “It’s important that we grow leaders — we need that in our community and in our nation, and the scouting program, especially as robust as it is here in Greenville, does just that.”
Greene County Sheriff Peter Kusminsky was unable to attend the Court of Honor, but asked Lt. Andrew Overbaugh, from the sheriff’s office, to attend in his stead. Overbaugh read a statement from the sheriff and presented Trostle with a certificate in honor of his new Eagle Scout rank.
“This prestigious recognition stands as a testament to dedication, perseverance and leadership,” according to Kusminsky’s statement. “It represents the culmination of years of hard work and an unwavering commitment to the principles of scouting. Nick has exemplified the true spirit of scouting throughout his journey, from his earliest days as a young Cub Scout to his esteemed rank today as an Eagle Scout.”
Kusminsky paid tribute to Trostle’s service project and how it has benefited the community.
“Nick planned, developed and led the Greenville Cemetery cleanup project,” Kusminsky said in his statement. “This project involved removing and disposing of weeds and overgrown brush around the property and structures, as well as cleaning and repairing gravestones and repairing a rock wall that borders the cemetery. In the process of this project, they discovered gravestones and markers that had not been visible for decades. His work has directly affected the community, especially those whose loved ones and relatives are buried there.”
Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, was also unable to attend but asked Overbaugh to present Trostle with a certificate of merit and a U.S. flag that had flown over the state Capitol in Albany.
Trostle said he has been in scouting for more than a decade and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“During the past 13 years, I have spent my life and time in scouts doing countless campouts, hikes and events involved with community service,” Trostle told the crowd. “These opportunities in scouts have taught me to give back to the community, help others at all times, and if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would do it every time.”
After the ceremony, Trostle’s father, also named Nick Trostle, said his son has always had the resilience and determination to complete anything he undertakes, and scouting was no different.
“I have never been so proud of him,” Trostle said. “He is an amazing kid, he always was. When he decides to do something, he puts all his effort into it and he doesn’t stop until he is done.”
Melissa Trostle said her son works incredibly hard to achieve whatever he sets his sights on.
“It was a long haul — he does a lot of sports, he does band, he has involved himself in so much. He had a lot to do and he did it, with the help of the troop,” she said. “It’s been a really good experience for him, he loved it. He loves helping people and he has made lifetime friends in Scouts — it has been like a little family for him.”