Troop 17 Honors Five New Eagle Scouts

Justin Minio

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor will be held on Thursday, June 9, awarding Scouting’s highest rank to five members of Troop 17: Nicolas Luzarraga, Theodore Gruer, Thomas Nascone, Justin Minio and Brandon Hamilton.  The ceremony will be held in St Rose of Lima church, Short Hills, beginning at 7:30 pm.   

Scoutmaster Ken Fineran will present the Eagle Award to the five Scouts. Participating in the ceremony and presenting citations will be the officials representing the Guy R. Bosworth American Legion Post 140, the Jewish War Veterans, St Rose of Lima Council Knights of Columbus and the Township of Millburn.  The Rev. M. Christen Beirne of St Rose of Lima church will offer the opening invocation.

Justin Minio joined Troop 17 in January 2005 after earning the Arrow of Light award while a member of Pack 17. He has held the leadership positions of Den Chief, Quartermaster and Patrol Leader. Justin has camped over 34 nights including locations from Battleship NJ to the battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg. He has earned 22 merit badges. Organizing a 2010 Thanksgiving Dinner Collection Drive at St. Rose of Lima was Justin’s Eagle Project. Over 29 individuals donated 114 hours of their time and effort under his leadership to collect and deliver in excess of 300 dinners to local food pantries. Entering his senior year at Seton Hall Preparatory School, where he is a member of the National Honor Society, Justin also finds time to run the quarter-mile on their track team.

Nicolas Luzarraga joined Troop 17 in December of 2003.  He has held the leadership positions of Instructor, Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Nicolas was elected into the Order of the Arrow (OA), a national Scouting honor society, where he is a Brotherhood member. In July 2010 he participated in a trek to the Philmont Scout Reservation in New Mexico where he and 7 crew members backpacked in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for 10 days.  He has earned 26 merit badges. Nicolas’ Eagle project was making a map and accompanying audio guide for the nature trail at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills. Under his leadership 9 individuals volunteered their time to complete his project. Nicolas graduated from the Delbarton School as Valedictorian, class of 2011 and was a National Merit Scholarship award winner.  He is a Community Service Coordinator for Bridges at Delbarton and was a member of the varsity wrestling team for two years. He relaxes playing the classical and electric guitar.  Nicolas will pursue an engineering degree at Princeton University next year.

Teddy Gruer joined the Troop in January 2005 after earning the Arrow of Light at Cub Scout Pack 17. He has held the leadership positions of Scribe, Instructor, Patrol Leader and Assistant Sr Patrol Leader. In July 2010 he attended the National Scout Jamboree celebrating the 100thanniversary of the BSA at Fort A.P. Hill, Fredericksburg, VA. Teddy’s Eagle service project was the building of a shed in the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum.  He led 10 volunteers in soliciting and receiving donations for the building materials used in the construction of the shed and in bringing about the finished product.  He has earned 21 merit badges. Teddy is a rising senior at Millburn High School where he is a member of the varsity wrestling team. He is an American Legion Boystate nominee for this year.  Teddy is on the advisory board for the Oheb Shalom Temple Jewish Youth Group, co-chair for their food pantry, and an assistant teacher at the Temple Hebrew School.  Last year he attended the West Point Summer Leaders’ Seminar.

Thomas Nascone joined the troop in December 2005 after earning the Arrow of Light at Pack 17. While a Cub Scout he also earned the Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei Catholic religious awards. He has held the leadership positions of Librarian, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Instructor, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.  He is a Brotherhood member of the OA and was an attendee at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.  Thomas has attended summer camp with Troop 17 since he joined. Thomas has earned 28 merit badges.

Thomas’s Eagle project was heading up the collection and packaging of personal comfort kits for veterans in the East Orange Veterans Administration Hospital.  He organized the collection and distribution of over 70 of the kits which were distributed to the veterans. Ten volunteers contributed their personal time of volunteer work to complete the project. Thomas is a rising junior at Seton Hall Preparatory where he earned sophomore year honors.

Brandon Hamilton joined the unit in January 2005 after earning the Arrow of Light while a member of Pack 17.  He has served the troop in the leadership positions of Quartermaster and Patrol Leader. He is an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow and in 2010 attended the National Scout Jamboree at Ft. A.P. Hill. He has earned 22 merit badges. Brandon’s Eagle Project was the collection for bicycle helmets for Opportunity Project, Inc. who then distributed them to children served by the Community Food Bank of NJ. He led seven volunteers in completing his project and $500 was donated towards the purchase of helmets. A rising senior at Millburn High School Brandon is a wide receiver on the varsity football team and also a member of the varsity lacrosse team. He plays the bass clarinet for the Millburn High School Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. He is a member of the Paw Club an animal rights group at school.  He is active in Youth Ministry at the St Rose of Lima youth group.

With the addition of the five new Eagle Scouts, Troop 17’s Eagle Scout Honor Roll grows to 95 since the troop was formed in 1945.  62 of those Eagles have been under Scoutmaster Ken Fineran’s leadership since 1979.

All family and friends are invited to the Eagle Court of Honor and to a reception with refreshments immediately following in Ryan Hall.

Any boys between the age of 11 and 17 who are interested in joining Troop 17 may contact Scoutmaster Ken Fineran at 973.761.0554.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.