2013-09-20 / Front Page

Eagle Scout is model for others

By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer

Eagle Scout Jacob Griffin and Mayor Tom Blake Eagle Scout Jacob Griffin and Mayor Tom Blake SOUTH PORTLAND – According to Lynne Teague, commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America Pine Tree Council, there is a reason the rank before Eagle Scout is called the Life Scout rank.

“Many Scouts make it to Life, and then life gets in their way,” Teague told the South Portland City Council Monday, Sept. 16.

Only about two of every 100 Boy Scouts end up moving beyond the Life Scout rank to Eagle Scout. The final progression necessitates a service project – often time-consuming and labor intensive – organized by the Scout that benefits a religious institution, school or the community as a whole.

Teague said most who make it to Eagle Scout do so just before the deadline of their 18th birthday.

Jacob Griffin, 15, a resident of South Portland and member of Boy Scout Troop 23, was presented with his Eagle Scout rank Saturday, Sept. 14 in a ceremony at People’s United Methodist Church on Broadway.

Mayor Tom Blake attended the award presentation ceremony, then congratulated Griffin in a mayoral declaration at the Sept. 16 council meeting.

“The city of South Portland extends to Jacob George Griffin, individually, collectively and with great pride, our sincere congratulations for achieving this highest of scouting awards, which symbolizes the American ideal of good citizenship,” Blake said Monday.

After thanking Scout leaders and family members who assisted him in his service, Griffin, a sophomore at Cheverus High School, promised to help other Scouts in his troop achieve their Eagle Scout rank.

“I’m the first Eagle Scout this troop has had in many years, and the ones we did have are now pretty much gone. I still have three more years left to be active as a troop member until I’m 18, and I will use those years helping other Scouts get to the rank I am at, so they can be standing here like I am today,” Griffin said.

Griffin’s project to benefit the community was completed in August 2012, when he and a team of Scouts, friends and family dug drainage ditches at the Wilkinson Park Little League field in South Portland to solve a standing water problem. Before the weekend “work party,” as his father John Griffin called it, pools of water would form after a storm and remain for a day or two, forcing Little League players to dodge them on their way in and out of the dugout.

The team also built new bleachers at the park and designed canvas covers for the dugouts to keep players and coaches dry. Teague estimated more than 200 man hours went into planning, conversations with the city and Little League officials and physical work.

Griffin is the first Eagle Scout from South Portland in years, but city resident and Boy Scout Nick Piscopo is hoping to follow closely on his heels. Piscopo has September 20, 2013 proposed an Eagle Scout project to Cape Elizabeth’s conservation commission to perform 120 hours of work clearing and maintaining a section of the town’s

Greenbelt trail system.

The commission unanimously agreed to authorize Piscopo to conduct the project at its meeting Sept. 10. The seven commissioners are also scheduled to hold a site walk on the

Stonegate Trails to identify improvements Piscopo can make.

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