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Township’s Newest Eagle Scout Combines Love Of Baseball With Project

Newly minted Eagle Scout Brian Toczek surrounded by his parents, Anita and John, during his May 12 Eagle Court of Honor.


Some budding baseball players in the Philippines will receive equipment soon, thanks to the efforts of the township’s newest Eagle Scout.

Brian Toczek, a member of Boy Scout Troop 113, conducted the baseball equipment drive as his Eagle Scout project last spring. Toczek said he collected about $10,000 worth of bats, helmets, batting gloves, balls, cleats and protective gear.

That effort, as well as the other achievements he’s accomplished over his scouting career, was honored May 12 at Toczek’s Eagle Court of Honor, the traditional ceremony to acknowledge the eagle rank.

The ceremony was held at Somerset Presbyterian Church on John F. Kennedy Boulevard, the troop’s sponsoring organization.

Toczek said he always wanted to be a Boy Scout, but he was inspired to be an Eagle Scout by his uncle, Raj Gupta, also an Eagle Scout.

Toczek received help in his project from some fellow scouts and from the Franklin Township Baseball League, for which the St. Joe’s Metuchen High School sophomore used to play.

“They allowed me to have collections there,” he said of the FTBL.

Toczek’s mother, Anita, said she was “very proud of my son. I’m elated.”

“I knew that he would do it, he did it quite early,” she said. “It was good planning on his part, because the next couple years of high school get pretty busy.”

Toczek’s father, John, was also a Boy Scout, he said.

“I got to the rank of Star Scout, but I was never able to achieve Eagle, so I’m very proud of my son who was able to go all teh way in such a short period of time.”

The Eagle Scout rank is usually not attained until a Boy Scout is about 17 years old, and ready to age out of the program.

Brian Toczek said he will take advantage of the fact that he reached Eagle so early by continuing with scouts and helping younger scouts in their journey up the ladder.

Among those who spoke during the Court of Honor was Mayor Phil Kramer, who said he enjoyed at attending these events.

“I look forward to these, Brian, because I look forward to what you are going to do in the future,” he said. “This is an incredible milestone, but as I’ve sad before in this very place, it is the beginning of what you will do as you will pay back the community for what you’ve received. Because, as was mentioned, you got here on the shoulders of others; you’re own hard work, absolutely, but the shoulders of your parents, this day belongs to them as much as you, and the shoulders of your troop, the people who led you as well as the people you’ve led.”

Kramer noted that there are many challenges in the world today.

“Someone like an Eagle Scout who has learned those skills that can take these challenges and make good of these challenges and make the world a better place,” he said. “You are a future leader. You have the ability to go on and do amazing things. I will hear about you in the future, I am sure, I will hear about the great things you will do.”

Addressing his son during the ceremony, John Toczek said that he’d have the opportunity to help others.

“Your path to Eagle has provided challenges which helped you grow on many levels, along the way it helped you have fun, participating in various scouting events,” he said. “You’ve also learned to make difficult decisions which were not necessarily in your wheelhouse, but you knew they were the right decisions to make to accomplish your goals today.”

“By achieving the rank of Eagle at the age of 15 puts you in the unique position of being able to use your leadership skills to help younger scouts learn the basics and assimilate into the troop,” he said. “All of these experiences in scouting have, and continue to form you into the man you are today.”

“We are so very proud of you son and we never want you to ever wonder if we are,” Anita Toczek told her son during the ceremony. “You always make us proud, in fact you really amaze us.”

Noting that Brian faced a number of challenges during his project, she said, “you rose to the challenge as an Eagle Scout does and did it, all the while juggling school, summer and spring baseball, travel baseball and everything else a 15-year-old gets involved in. And all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at St. Joe’s. We are so proud of you, son.”

“Take a look around Brian, all the people here sitting in this room are family, friends, Troop 113 family, township officials … are here to celebrate this lifetime achievement you have earned,” she said. “You, too are now part of that elite group. Congratulations, Brian, bask in your achievement, let your eagle’s wings open wide son and let yourself soar into your great future.”

During his address, Brian Toczek thanked his troop leaders and scout masters, his parents and the rest of his family.

“You guys always pushed me to work hard and do my best and I really appreciate it,” he said.

“I have leaned many things and I have made some great memories,” he said of his scouting career.

Speaking to the younger scouts, Toczek said, “Scouts is not just about ranking up and getting badges, it’s about making great friends, making great memories and learning many lifelong skills.”

Here are some scenes from the ceremony:

 

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