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Kearny Eagle Scout Project: Redo in Firehouse Kitchen

“A Scout is Brave” is the tenth of the twelve tenets of the Scout Law, but to Life Scout John Dec of Unit 305, it was first in his mind when planning his Eagle Project. Dec, a sixteen-year old Kearny junior at High Tech High School, and Patrol Leader of Unit 305, chose to honor the bravery and community service of the Kearny Fire Department (KFD) by helping to improve the dining space where the firefighters seek solace to be nourished and re-energized in-between service calls. In April 2019, Dec and Scoutmaster John Reverendo met with KFD Chief Steve Dyl to ascertain how best to help revitalize the space used communally by firefighters who provide for the safety, security, and well being of Kearny residents. The frequent use of the kitchen at the Midland Avenue firehouse had created a need for a well-deserved facelift. In addition to painting the kitchen, Dec expanded his project to replace the well-worn floor. Rather than just brighten the space used round the clock by firefighters, Dec desired to craft something unique for Kearny’s bravest. After discussion with Deputy Chief Edward Agnew, Dec learned about the importance of the KFD’s unique emblem and how it plays a prominent role in the identification and honor affiliated with the department that has served the Arlington and later Kearny community since 1880. Dec then incorporated plans for a custom build table that would feature KFD’s emblem. Before construction could begin, Dec held a car wash on September 29, 2019, in the parking lot of the American Legion on Veterans Row in Kearny. With the assistance of his fellow Scouts, leaders, and family, Dec raised $700 during 100 volunteer hours. Another $800 in donations provided the capital needed to cover the costs of his Eagle Project. This fall, Dec and other Scouts and leaders refurbished the often-used kitchen at the Midland Avenue firehouse. The customized table is still under construction but is expected to be completed and presented by Christmas. Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is one of the most challenging aspects of Scouting. Only approximately 4% of all Scouts merit this prestigious recognition. In addition to earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, including 13 required ones, Scouts must complete an extensive community service project that benefits an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America. The Eagle candidate is expected to plan, fundraise, secure materials, and oversee the execution of a completed project, including managing Scout leaders and fellow Scouts in leadership activities throughout the endeavor. Troop/Pack 305 was organized in 1933 and continues to provide youth leadership training to boys and young men in Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, and surrounding towns as Unit 305. Boy Scout