By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Southborough – Five years after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded in 1910, Troop 1 began in the town of Southborough. In 1911, the Eagle Scout was introduced as the program’s highest rank. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and completing a service project.
On Oct. 2, three Troop 1 members became Eagle Scouts, one of whom marked the troop’s 75th. Furthermore, each of the three has two older brothers who are Eagle Scouts. The father of one is also the troop’s scoutmaster, Rik Kerstens, who noted that parental involvement in the BSA program helps promote family and community values.
“It sets a great example for the nine kids in these three families that their parents, both mothers and fathers, are involved,” he said.
The troop’s 75th Eagle Scout is Patrick Moran, a senior at Holy Name High School (HNHS) in Worcester. For his project, he created a prayer garden around a statue at St. Matthew Church. He cleaned and beautified the area by adding pebble stones and plantings.
His brother Ryan, a senior at Siena College in Albany, N.Y., restored and documented the Wilson Street Cemetery in Hopkinton. Their older brother Stephen, now in a graduate program at Regis College, cleared a trail at HNHS.
Dan Willis, a senior at Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS), is the troop’s 74th Eagle Scout. He promoted recycling by making kitchen composting containers and offering them free to the public. He distributed the containers along with promotional material at the town transfer station.
His brother Jon, a junior at the University of Denver, restored trails and created a bridge at the Templeman Woods, located off Cordaville Road. Their older brother Ben, a senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, built a hikers bridge at the Bay Circuit Trail in Framingham, near the Southborough town line.
The troop’s 73rd Eagle Scout is Erik Kerstens, a senior at ARHS. He refurbished and extended the stage on the Neary Elementary School field, which is used for Southborough Summer Nights and the Summer Concert Series. To accommodate storage, he added a lean-to shed, on which he affixed a screen for outdoor movie nights.
His brother Robert, a freshman at Northeastern University, revitalized the bird garden in the Wilfred J. Turenne Wildlife Habitat. Their older brother Mark, a junior at Siena College, built stairs and a boardwalk to access the Bay Path Trail.
On Aug. 16, Christopher Schoener, a freshman at Pennsylvania State University, took the Eagle Scout oath. For his project, he built and installed a bridge on a trail in the woods of the Liberty Estates neighborhood.
There are other Troop 1 members who have recently completed Eagle Scout projects and are awaiting a date to be set to take the oath.
Michael Piekarz, a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., helped create and equip a teen space at the Southborough Public Library.
Freddie Pim, a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, raised funds and prepared the ground for a monument in front of the Southborough Fire Department. Brett Ober, a senior at ARHS, built the forms for that monument’s footings and completed the ground preparations.
The troop’s scoutmaster expressed pride that Eagle Scout projects continue enhancing Southborough and surrounding communities.
“The scouts really make an effort to pick a project that will make a difference,” he said. “Then they manage the project through to the end. They’re making very valuable contributions.”
For more information about Southborough Boy Scout Troop 1, visit troop1southborough.org.