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GOOD NEWS: Eagle Scout project restores, preserves local cemetery


By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Scout Nick Trostle has completed the requirements to reach the Eagle Scout rank, the highest level in scouting. Contributed photo

GREENVILLE — The town’s newest prospective Eagle Scout has taken the Greenville Cemetery under his wing to restore and clean up the grounds.

Nick Trostle, who graduated with the Greenville High School Class of 2023, first joined the Cub Scouts when he was five years old and has been at it ever since.

Trostle has just completed the requirements to attain the vaunted Eagle Scout rank, the highest level in scouting. Since the Boy Scouts organization was formed in 1911, 4% of scouts have reached the rank, according to the Boy Scouts of America website.

In addition to 21 merit badges — 14 of which are mandatory — the scout must meet other requirements, including serving in leadership roles in the troop and completing a substantial community service project.

Trostle initially planned to do a different project — he was going to build and install little free libraries in Greenville where residents could donate and borrow books — but then Scoutmaster Colin Tumey gave Trostle the idea for cleaning up the Greenville Cemetery, Trostle said.

Scout Nick Trostle, left, picking up and stabilizing a gravestone at the Greenville Cemetery for his Eagle Scout community service project. Contributed photo

“This seemed to be more of a need in the community,” he noted.

Trostle worked on the cemetery project for nearly six months, planning, organizing, clearing overgrown brush, picking up trash and debris, landscaping and stabilizing an existing stone wall.

While Trostle worked with his team of about 10 — among them his fellow scouts, scout leaders and other volunteers — they even uncovered graves that had long been forgotten.

“Some would be weed whacking, some would be picking up all the dead sticks and things that were in piles around the gravestones and disposing of them,” Trostle said. “We also worked to fix the rock wall, cut branches and took down branches next to the mausoleum.”

The Eagle Scout community service project is broken down into three components — the proposal pitching the project, the plan with a complete description of its parameters, and then the report once the project is completed, including what worked and what the scout learned from the project.

Trostle has already met all the other Eagle Scout requirements, including earning the required 21 merit badges. The most challenging badge he earned? Personal management, he said.

“That’s when you basically have to log all of your personal spending, what you do with your money on your credit card, and what you could do to save money,” he said.

The Greenville Cemetery after Trostle and his team cleaned it up. Contributed photo

Trostle’s mother said scouting has been a family commitment for many years, since her son’s earliest years in the Cub Scouts.

“As they get older it gets a little more difficult, with the demands they have,” Melissa Trostle said of scouting. “So it was hard, but we always try to steer him right. He has always wanted this and he’s a pretty committed kid when he has a goal.”

But while the commitment to scouting was demanding, the rewards were worth it, she said. And seeing the other scouts her son grew up with achieve their own goals has also been gratifying.

Clearing brush and other debris from the Greenville Cemetery. Contributed photo

“It’s really good when you go to these ceremonies and see these other kids have that sense of accomplishment,” Melissa Trostle said.

As an Eagle Scout, Nick Trostle joins some of the nation’s most accomplished leaders, including astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon; baseball player Henry “Hank” Aaron; former U.S. President Gerald Ford; movie producer Steven Spielberg; and self-made billionaire and former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, among many others.

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