From the time he joined the Cub Scouts as a 9-year-old, Joseph D’Amico has dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America.
The 17-year-old senior at was awarded Eagle Scout last Friday during a ceremony at , at which numerous dignitaries, including local politicians, school administrators and scout leaders paid tribute.
Asked where this honor ranks in his life, D’Amico didn’t have to think long and hard. “It’s definitely No. 1,” he responded quickly.
And with good reason. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. It includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.
Joseph’s project was called Habitat Enhancement at the . He cleared out a portion of land surrounding the sump and created a sustainable landscape for the wildlife there. He did this by planting trees, bushes, and grasses that will provide food and shelter for the wildlife. “There was a lot of research that went into it,” he said.
His Eagle Scout project took about a year to plan and implement. He staked each new planting with botanical names to create an educational walking trail for visitors. Funds were raised through a single bake sale, in which he collected around $500. Whatever he didn’t spend on the red oak, spruces and other plant and tree species, he donated to the and the .
D’Amico, who has been a Scout in since 2001, is a student at the Academy of Finance Program and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. He is a member of the Garden City Park Fire Dept. Juniors Program and is the Student Director at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary.
Attending Molloy College in the fall, he plans to study Business and Sustainability, saying he is interested in “green” businesses.
“I’m very interested in the environment,” he said.
His brother John, recently graduated Maritime College as a Third Officer, United States Merchant Marine. “It’s been a very exciting few months for us,” said Teresa D’Amico, the boys’ mother.