Scituate celebrates six Scouts reaching Eagle rank

Scituate celebrates six Scouts reaching Eagle rank

Six Scituate Scouts reached Eagle ranking last week, though the troops had to wait a year to celebrate due to COVID-19 restrictions. From left, Samuel Grigelevich, Luke Portrais, Steven Turnbull, Aaron Leach, Joe Dionne, and Matthew Brousseau. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SCITUATE – Time management, building a fire and wilderness safety top the list of most valuable skills Scituate’s six newest Eagle Scouts said helped them to achieve the rank last Saturday, though the consensus of the Scouts is that they will miss the food the most.

Five members from Scituate Troop 2 and one from Troop 1 held their Eagle Scout ceremony at the Scituate Community House on Saturday, June 5, surrounded by friends, family and troop leaders.

The Scouts worked hard over the past 12 years to make it to Eagle rank, their work culminating in the community-based Eagle project they needed to complete before their 18th birthdays. Despite finishing the project on time, the Scouts waited an additional year for the Eagle ceremony after last year’s plans were canceled due to COVID-19.

Luke Portrais, 18, from Troop 1, said the adults in his life pushed him to continue up the ranks to reach Eagle Scout. In February 2020, Portrais built a bike rack near the basketball courts on West Greenville Road to provide a place for youth riding to and from the courts to safely store their bikes.

“Scouts was very informative and helped me learn how to become a better person in addition to all the useful skills I learned. I am thankful for all the help I received on my way to Eagle,” Portrais said.

For Scouts working their way up through the ranks, Portrais said to not quit the program, and to “just do it.”

Samuel Grigelevich, 19, built the Coach Craig Feeney Memorial Garden in February 2020 at Scituate High School. Grigelevich said Coach Feeney played a pivotal role in reviving the SHS football team and was a positive figure in the community. After Feeney’s death, a memorial stone was place at Caito Field but later removed to build the new turf field.

“With permission, I was able to design a memorial garden and provide the honorary stone with a permanent home commemorating the life of Coach Craig Feeney for the Scituate Community,” Grigelevich said.

Grigelevich said he created special bonds with countless people through Scouting and said his fellow Scouts, troop leaders, volunteers, family members and the community helped shape the person he’s become.

“As I acquired ranks and merit badges, I gained the knowledge that would help me better myself as a person and community member. Achieving Eagle rank is an honor that I will carry throughout the rest of my life,” he said.

Steven Turnball, 18, completed project “re-cycle,” and up-cycled bikes in March 2018.

Adults in his life, as well as fellow Scouts, pushed him to achieve his Eagle rank, Turnball said, though he said his greatest skill earned was time management.

Memories, like getting heat rash and poison ivy in his first year, can never be forgotten, he said. More important are the skills he learned, like learning to build a pizza oven in the ground, how to bake green potatoes or knowing the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

“I have no single word to describe my entire journey in Scouting. Nor do I have sentences or phrases, or even a single idea that put into focus how Scouting has changed my life,” Turnball said.

Aaron Leach, 19, built bat houses around Manning Field and Scituate High School to help reduce the risk of the mosquito-spread Eastern equine encephalitis virus by providing shelters for bats who prey upon the mosquito population.

Leach said scouting provided him with many great memories over the years, including camping trips, going to Camp Yawgoog, fun nights and regular weekend meetings.

“I am grateful to have been a part of this program, and it has definitely left a significant impact on my life,” Leach said.

He thanked the adults in his life, including his family and Scoutmasters, and the friends he’s made in Scouting along the way for keeping him motivated and for helping create great memories throughout his life.

Joseph Dionne, 19, cleaned up Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Number 43 in March 2020 for his Eagle Scout project. Known as the Matthewson lot for its location on the former Matthewson farm with graves from around 1820 to 1853, the lot was overgrown with trees, stumps and brush.

“The gravestones were barely visible. Along with my fellow Scouts, we restored the area so people can walk the cemetery and pay their respects,” Dionne said.

Dionne said he had many great experiences over his 12 years of Scouting, and the best were weekend campouts and annual trips to Camp Yawgoog. He thanked his family, fellow Scouts and Scoutmasters for supporting him along his journey to Eagle Scout.

“We worked hard, had so much fun and together achieved our goal of Eagle Scout,” Dionne said.

Matthew Brousseau, 18, replaced old food pantry shelves at Our Lady of Good Counsel rectory in Warwick in May 2020.

“The project was a major benefit to the church when it comes to collecting food,” Brousseau said.

Brousseau thanked his family for supporting him over the years and gave special thanks to his late Pepere Henry Brousseau, who became an Eagle Scout in December 1945, for his inspiration to become an Eagle Scout.

He said he will miss the companionship that Scouting added to his life and said without the help of his fellow Scouts and Scoutmasters, he would not be where he is today.