Dalton Vassanella Receives Eagle Scout Court Of Honor

SCOUT’S HONORDalton Vassanella speaks at the conclusion of his Eagle Scout Court of Honor April 2 at St. Matthias Church.

Boy Scout Troop 154 formally welcomed its newest Eagle Scout with an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on April 2.

Dalton Vassanella, a senior at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, was given his Eagle Scout Court of Honor at St. Matthias Church on John F. Kennedy Boulevard. The Church is the Troop’s sponsor.

Before earning the Eagle rank – the highest rank available in the Boy Scouts – candidates must complete a special project. Vassanella’s project was to create a meditation trail on the St. Matthias property.

The trail features Bible scriptures tied to each of the 12 tenets of the Boy Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

“I am delighted to be able to provide a place where teachers can take students, where troops can take scouts to see first-hand types of soil, rocks, wildlife and ecosystems,” Vassanella said.

“It’s also a place where religious classes, parish ministries, St. Matthias congregants can reflect on their relationship with God, deepen their spirituality all while surrounded by nature, God’s greatest creation,” he said.

Vassanella, who spoke at the ceremony’s conclusion, said that, “Sitting here, I realized how big this accomplishment is. It’s been over 11 years or so … a long journey.”

“Scouting has been an integral part of my life, allowing me to make many memories, while also providing me with an opportunity to learn and to give back to the community,” he said. “The 12 points of the Scout Law that are featured on the trail have become an integral part of who I am, and I will carry these values for the rest of my life.”

Addressing his fellow Boy Scouts, Vassanella said, “Remember the lessons you have learned, and always strive to live by the Scout Law.”

“I am proud to be an Eagle Scout, and look forward to serving my community for years to come,” he said.

The ceremony was highlighted by a number of speakers.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Mayor Phil Kramer. “You’ve really demonstrated you have the power of delayed gratification. The great responsibility you have, because you are someone with great power, is to pay it back to society.”

Referring to Vassanella’s father, Township Councilman James Vassanella, Kramer said, “The great example you have of that is your father … great sacrifice, enormous amounts of time, and that’s what you need to do, if you’re smart enough to not be a Councilman. You need to pay back society because that is your power.”

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen said he knew Vassanella “since you were zero feet tall.”

“I knew I would always be proud of you like I am today,” he said.

“I was immensely impressed with your Scout project,” Danielsen said. “A Trail of Faith; you bring together nature … and scriptures. You did it with the community, for the community, and you did it in nature.”

“You brought all of what you learned into the Trail of Faith,” he said.

Danielsen then presented Vassanella with a Commendation from the state General Assembly.

The elder Vassanella, an assistant Scoutmaster for the Troop, said he noticed a number of qualities in his son that he saw came from his elder relatives.

“You are courageous and capable … you have style, you’re calm … (you have) creativity and kindness,” he said.

“Be the person you have become,” Vassanella said. “I may not say it too often, but Dalton, good work.”

“What makes Catholic scouting unique is the connection to the mission of the church to instill into youth a set of values, leadership standards and program opportunities …” said St. Matthias’ Fr. Abraham Orapankal. “Dalton is the perfect example of this mission, and I am happy we are honoring him today.”

Fr. Abraham, as he is known, also thanked and congratulated Vassanella’s parents.

“Without their constant support, without their constant encouragement, Dalton would not have reached where he is today,” he said.

Also speaking during the ceremony were Sean Hubbs, the Committee Chair of Troop 154; Sean Healy, the Troop’s College Reserve Leader; Tom Tomy, the Troop’s Assistant Scoutmaster; Morgan Murphy, an Eagle Scout with the Troop; Paul Furnell, the Troop’s Scoutmaster; Tom Langowski, Dalton’s rowing coach at St. Joseph’s; Joan Best Seamon, St. Matthias’ Pastoral Associate for Liturgical Music; Dolores Belloff, Committee Chair for Pack 195, who presented the Eagle Roses. and Monsignor Brennan, St. Matthias’ Senior Priest.

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate spoke with the Vassanellas after the ceremony:

Here are some scenes from the ceremony:

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