When it comes to Boy Scouts, there are a plethora of ranks, distinctions and badges to earn. Almost all of them involve some degree of personal education and growth; none more so than the coveted distinction of Eagle Scout, the very pinnacle of Scouting and a goal only five percent of all members ever achieve.
As they say…if it was easy, everyone would be an Eagle Scout. Mark Fedoronko of Massapequa Park Troop 590, in earning this rank at the tender young age of only 15, has proved it actually can be easy…at least, for an intense go-getter like him.
At the Massapequa Park Village Hall on the evening of April 26, a special ceremony was held to officially welcome Fedoronko into the ranks of the Eagle Scout, whose esteemed number have included such prominent Americans as astronaut Neil Armstrong and President Gerald Ford. Fellow Troop 590 member Christopher Boyle (no relation to the author of this article), a current Eagle Scout and a friend of Fedoronko, served as emcee for the evening.
“What we’re having here tonight is an Eagle Court of Honor, especially to honor Mark Fedoronko, our newest Eagle Scout,” he said. “We usually have troop Courts of Honor where we honor other rank advancements, but since this is the pinnacle, we have a special one just for him, where we celebrate his accomplishments and the hard work it took for him to achieve this impressive goal.”
Fedoronko is currently a sophomore at Massapequa High School, where he has always held a position on the Honor Roll; he also holds the Publicity Coordinator for the class of 2016 and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society; according to Ed Markiewicz, Scoutmaster of Massapequa Troop 590, Fedoronko first joined the Cub Scouts in the first grade and has been an avid participant in scouting ever since, up to and including the honor being bestowed upon him that evening.
“Mark currently has 23 merit badges, and even though you only need 21 to be an Eagle Scout, Mark isn’t done with her Merit Badge quest…this summer he will be going for his Life Saving Merit Badge,” he said. “Mark worked tirelessly with our troop, taking a leadership role with the younger boys; he has held many leadership positions, such as patrol leader, troop historian, and bugler…his rendition of ‘Taps’ has brought a tear to to more than one eye on camping trips.”
“I can honestly say I was proud to bring Mark in front of the Eagle Board.” Markiewicz continued. “They couldn’t believe I was recommending someone that was only 15 years old for the rank of Eagle Scout, but I told them they would be impressed…and after they met and spoke with mark, they were.”
Requirements to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, an achievement revered by many throughout society, include earning a large number of merit badges and demonstrating the Boy Scout principles of morality and citizenship through a number of means, including a large-scale community service project that the scout must actually plan and carry out themselves. Fedoronko’s project was known as Project: SCORE, which involved collecting and sending sporting equipment to the children of Satiuva, Nicaragua; in the end, through donations and fund-raising efforts, he was able to amass seven full bags of gear to send.
Several local officials attended the event and bestowed citations of merit and congratulations upon Fedoronko, including Nassau County Legislator Michael Venditto, New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino and Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna.
After engaging in a symbolic candle-lighting ceremony and donning his official Eagle Scout pin and sash, Fedoronko relayed his words of pride and immense joy to the packed audience of friends, family, and fellow scouts, speaking for the first time as a newly-christened Eagle Scout.
“I would like to thank all of the leaders and Scouts who have helped me on my path to Eagle,” he said. “I would like to thank my mom, dad, and my family for their support and love along the way.”