'Curiosity is in your DNA' -- Minsi Eagles recongized at Court of Honor
The Eagle Scouts of the Minsi Trails Council gathered recently in Fogelsville to be recognized and honored for the many Eagle Scout projects they have completed in the several areas where Minsi Trails scouts call home.
Even though over 220 Eagle Scouts were at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor and Recognition Dinner, they are still, statistically speaking, rare birds. Only 4 percent of boys enrolled in Boy Scouts nationwide earn the coveted ranking.
"It's not easy," said Master of Ceremonies Matthew Planer. "You need a tenacious mother!"
The many Eagle Scouts were honored for their accomplishments and community projects, which ranged from building a pergola for the Alburtis Community Pool (Eagle Scout Tyler Ables Troop 431) to landscaping and a restoration project at New Bethany Ministries in Bethlehem (Eagle Scout Robert Anderson, Troop 359).
Scholarship recipients were Anthony Sagrestano and Jacob Alfieri, bothfrom the Forks of the Delaware Distrct.
A special recognition by the Scouts was extended to Don Walp, the oldest living Eagle Scout in Minsi Trails Council and former owner of the well-known Walp's Restaurant that sat on the corner of Union Street and Airport Road in Allentown.
"Don Walp is almost 98 years old," said Don Sachs, an executive with Minsi Trails Council, "and he is very active as a member of the Minsi Trails Council Advisory Committee."
Another attendee was Eagle Scout John Lahutsky there with his mother, Paula. Lahutsky, standing with the aid of an aluminum walker, was adopted from Moscow as a child. In spite of having cerebral palsy, he has attained scouting's highest rank. He is from the South Mountain District.
Freedom HS senior Jacob Srock, 18, attended with his father, Matt Srock.
"The Boy Scouts taught me life lessons like overcoming obstacles, how to achieve goals and how to be a good person," Srock said.
Liberty HS student Tyler Reinhart, 16, attended the gala event.
"Scouting has been a huge honor for me," Reinhart said. "It has helped me develop skills I can pass on."
Bethlehem Catholic HS graduate Alex Ferencin, 18, also attended.
"Scouting gave me a chance to learn skills I wouldn't have learned in school," said Ferencin, the son of Wayne and Anne Ferencin of Bethlehem.
Jason Siegfried, 16, of Liberty HS, also attended. Jason is the son of Jeanine and Todd Siegfried of Hanover Township.
Keynote speaker Dr. Michael J. Manyak, executive director for global medical affairs for GlaxoSmithKline and a professor at George Washington University, led the Eagle Scouts and their guests on world tour of adventure mixed with good advice.
"An adventure is an expedition that went wrong," said Manyak, who has been on many expeditions including diving to the Titanic and exploring the deepest canyon in Peru. He's been on trips to Central Africa and Mongolia among other places.
Manyak described a trip where he discovered human footprints believed to be between 30,000 to 120,000 years old.
Manyak described a program by the National Eagle Scouts Association (NESA) that encourages Eagle Scouts to apply for the world of exploration.
"The practice of sending an Eagle to a remote location dates to Paul Siple who accompanied the first Byrd Antarctic expedition in 1928 and later became an Explorers Club Fellow," said Manyak in a Washington Explorers Club newsletter.
"All of you - curiosity is in your DNA," Manyak reminded his audience.