Service. Leadership. Helping others. Those are all aspects of what Xavier seeks to instill in its students.
That is also what is required of a Boy Scout, and nearly two dozen gathered in the gym Wednesday on Scout Day at Xavier to have their photo taken.
Six were Eagle Scouts, and a check of scoutingmagazine.com showed that only 5.7% of Scouts have reached the level of Eagle Scout in the past 10 years. Here's a look at the Xavier Eagle Scouts and their projects:
BEN BUZZEO '19 led a project to install four benches in the Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown. Buzzeo said that while the benches were being installed he saw many people visiting the cemetery, and that it means a lot to him knowing that the loved ones of veterans who come to visit will have a place to sit and reflect.
JUSTIN PATENAUDE '22 led a project to build a 16-foot bridge along the Mattabesett Trail in Durham. There also is a kiosk in the parking lot with a map on it and a signpost showing where to park. He said he got the inspiration because he lives on the road and saw that people couldn't find the trail.
JULEN LUJAMBIO '19 led a project to build a staircase to a waterfall at Orchard Glen Trail in Wallingford. He said he came up with the idea because as a Cub Scout it was the first trail he hiked, so it held sentimental value. There were two other reasons: it was am engineering challenge and he wants to be an engineer. He also said he knew that some people could not make the steep descent to the waterfall and now people can experience the beauty from a closer distance.
C.J. SOKOL '19 led a project to build a monument to Durham volunteer firefighters. He raised money by organizing a large letter-writing campaign. He said he felt it was a nice way to honor the firefighters for the work that they do, which can get overlooked or taken for granted at times.
AKSHAY KHUNTE '20 led a project to build an aviary at a raptor rehabilitation center in Ashford. He said it was gratifying because the organization has little funding and it can use the aviary for years to come.
JACK BOYDEN '19 led a project to build a StoryWalk in Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands in Colchester. The path has stations along the way, and each has a spread of a children's book. The combination of reading – promoting literacy – and nature were important to Boyden.
There actually was a seventh Eagle Scout in attendance. Teacher DAVID APPLEGATE, whose project in 1994 was working with Habitat For Humanity on refurbishing and landscaping a house in Wallingford. He was particularly proud of all the scouts who showed up.
"It's nice to see the next generation having the same ideals and standards moving forward," Applegate said.