Letter: Paying tribute to Shelton’s latest Eagle Scout

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

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To the Editor:

Family tradition and traditions in general are more important than many of us think or believe. The good values of holding on to and practicing our religion, refusing to abandon family or cultural ideals and our instincts to survive and thrive clearly make our society one of great strength and diversity. And many time's traditions are the thing that not only molds us but can be the glue that holds our society together.

I was very privileged and honored to be invited to the Spring Court of Honor for Eagle Scout Kevin Robert Wokanovicz.

It is a ceremony steeped in more than 100 years of history. It is without question a part of the culture we need more of and to expose all of our children to. Scouting, a worldwide activity, can be easily described as the most positive link, for many young men and women, between their childhood and adulthood. Many important values and life lessons can be learned and utilized throughout a person's life to influence their humanity and ability to be an active and productive part no matter where they live on this planet.

Kevin's journey began as a young boy when he saw the “Trail to Eagle” plaque that his father Robert had been awarded. At age 8, he joined Pack 27 (White Hills in Shelton) where he moved quickly from a Tiger to Webelos learning and earning badges and many of life's lessons. He was welcomed into and became part of a group of friends who he will have for the rest of his life.

Kevin had to earn 21 Merit Badges and complete several community projects to become eligible for the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Eagle Scout honor requires all achievements be reviewed and certified along with the signature of the President of the United States but more importantly the cooperation and love from his parents, family, scoutmasters, community, the BSA and the determination and hard work of the scout along the way.

Kevin's Eagle Scout program was held with more than 50 people in attendance. Many family members of his Troop 27, fellow Boy Scouts as well as there family and friends. They came because the troop is truly a family, Parents and siblings are always invited to join in, assist and be part and parcel of the scouting activities at every. Mayor Lauretti, a former Scout himself, attended the ceremony and read a City of Shelton Proclamation in Kevin's honor and presented Kevin with a gift from the City of Shelton. The Mayor is a very involved supporter and participant in the Housatonic BSA Council in Derby.

As I mentioned before I was aware Kevin had the distinct honor of his father having also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout to advise and guide him. His mother also provided as much if not more support through his scouting career and as I heard her say it is the one things that will stand out on a resume whether you are 20 or 50 years old. A very true statement as Kevin begins his career in HVAC after graduating from Pratt Tech High School in Milford.

As parents we are given limited time to mentor our children. And scouting is a venue that invites and appreciates parental involvement. There are many young men and woman who would benefit tremendously from a scouting program even if they were never able to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouting includes Camping, Sports, IT, Construction, Conservation, Business and many other activities. During their scouting career they explore and find many areas of interest. If you are inclined to assist your children to look into scouting. I promise you and they will be better for it. The BSA like many organizations also needs adult volunteers. If you can learn to recite and live the Scouts Oath you are Scoutmaster material. Don't be afraid to join and serve in a great organization.

The surprise of the evening for me was to learn that Kevin's father's two brothers, his uncles, were also Eagle Scouts. Three in one family as told to me by his very proud Papa (grandfather). Papa beamed as he told me of his son's achievements and his chest puffed up even more when he related to me that he came in from Florida to witness Kevin's Eagle Scout ceremony. No doubt Kevin's grandparents were very involved in their children's success.

There was a recent eight car train wreck in the Midwest. Among the almost 300 passengers were 12 scouts and their leaders. The scouts after the train cars tipped on their sides immediately jumped into action even before the first responders arrived. They assisted in clearing the train of all passengers and crew and began providing medical attention to those injured. Most notable to me was that one scout made his way to the dump truck that the train had collided with and found the badly injured driver who was thrown from the cab of the truck. This scout gave medical care to the driver and then held him while waiting for assistance. The driver, according to news reports, unfortunately died in the arms of the scout. These young men are living proof that the BSA has and will continue to be a great tradition in the world. Those scouts are very much the proof that the BSA Motto of "Be Prepared" will never go out of style.

My congratulations to Kevin, his parents, sister and extend family and the scouting community. As a former member of BSA Troop 25, Methodist Church in Shelton, I still use scouting skills and lessons I learned in scouting every day.

Anthony F. Simonetti

First Ward Alderman