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HomeMorris CountyMorris County School of Technology Student Ashwin Vaithiyalingam Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Morris County School of Technology Student Ashwin Vaithiyalingam Earns Eagle Scout Rank

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MORRIS COUNTY — Ashwin Vaithiyalingam recently attained the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, an accomplishment celebrated at the Eagle Court of Honor held at All Saints Academy on Saturday, June 1. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout requires dedication and a steadfast commitment to the principles of Scouting, a testament to its difficulty, with only about 6% of Scouts achieving it. Since its inception in 1911, over two million Scouts have reached this significant milestone.  He is officially Troop 72’s 103rd Eagle Scout! 

“Many people wonder whether years of scouting are worth it—freezing camping nights and dozens of eagle-required merit badges. My answer is always “yes,” said Ashwin.

Scout Rahul Pemmasani opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The presentation of the Eagle Scout badge is an important event. It is the goal for which a Scout has worked for many years, an occasion for pride and joy, a time for serious contemplation, and the culmination of the Scout’s efforts and leadership. The Eagle Scout Award is the highest and most coveted rank in Scouting, the last major step in the advancement program. Fewer than six percent of all Scouts in the United States reach the Eagle Scout rank.

The requirements for Eagle are:
•Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Life Scout.
•Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law daily.
•Earn 21 merit badges, including the 14 that are required: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in Society, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming, Camping, and Family Life.
•Serve actively in an approved position of responsibility for six months after becoming a Life Scout.
•Plan, develop, and lead others in carrying out a service project worthy of an Eagle
Scout.
•Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
•Appear before a board of review of prominent persons and satisfy them that the Scout has done their best to understand and live up to the Scout Oath and Law and, in all ways, qualify for the Eagle Scout Award.

Brian Patoir lights the candles, symbolizing Ashwin’s “Trail to Eagle,” as Rahul Pemmasani narrates.

Ashwin’s Trail to Eagle  

Scout        June 6, 2018
Tenderfoot      March 27, 2019
Second Class  October 23, 2019
First Class       June 10, 2020
Star Scout       March 15, 2022
Life Scout       February 16, 2023
Eagle Scout     December 29, 2023

Ashwin Vaithiyalingam Reflects on His Scouting Journey to Eagle Scout

Ashwin Achieves Notable Milestone with 33 Merit Badges Earned: Archery, Chess, Camping, Art, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in Society, Citizenship in the World, Climbing, Communications, Cooking, Electricity, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Family Life, Fingerprinting, First Aid, Geology, Kayaking, Law, Leatherwork, Metalwork, Mammal Study, Nature, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Plant Science, Public Health, Railroading, Rowing, Scholarship, Swimming, and Wood Carving.

Ashwin places the “Dad Pin” on his father during the ceremony.
In gratitude for all the support and encouragement, Ashwin places the Eagle mother’s pin on his mom.
Mom smiles as she tightens the new neckerchief on Ashwin while dad looks on.
Mom fastens the newly earned Eagle pin on Ashwin.
Mom is moved to tears by Ashwin’s accomplishments.

Ashwin’s Eagle Project involved planning, coordination, and much effort from the initial concept to the final installation. Ashwin demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and successfully rallied a team of volunteers to bring his vision to life. The garden has various elements, including pollinator plants to attract bees and butterflies, perennial plants, murals, pathways, and other elements. From a tranquil reading area to an outdoor learning space, this garden showcases Ashwin’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Ashwin’s Eagle Project involved planning, coordination, and much effort from the initial concept to the final installation.

Ashwin said, “When I first joined Troop 72, I was nervous. I wouldn’t say I liked the idea of wearing a uniform and sleeping outside, and I, most importantly, hated the idea of interacting with bugs. I remember my first summer camping trip. My mom was super nervous about sending me away to the woods, and I was scared of being near bugs. Yet, Mr. Sonzogni promised my parents that Boy Scout summer camp is the perfect opportunity to learn and grow as a student, citizen, and scout. With Mr. Sonzognis’s encouragement, my parents confidently sent me to camp. Once I reached camp, I didn’t know what to expect. The green tents filled with slugs and spiders were scary, but I slowly got used to it. I began enjoying summer camp. When I started completing merit badges, swimming in the lake, and spending days in the sun.”

Mr. Sonzogni recognized Ashwin’s leadership in scouting.

Mr. Sonzogni recognized Ashwin’s leadership in scouting. He recommended the National Youth Leadership Training Camp, where Ashwin pushed himself further by working with a diverse group of scouts to camp and develop personal skills. After completing the course, Ashwin was offered a position to teach the next year to scouts. Ashwin immersed himself in the monthly development meetings. He enhanced his ability to lead others and meet new faces.

Ashwin was student government president, campaigning every year and serving four years at the Morris County School of Technology. He will graduate in June and pursue higher education at Emory University in the fall.

Ashwin Vaithiyalingam possesses top skills in film editing, administration, project management, and cinematography.

Frank Cahill, an Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, presents Ashwin with a “Certificate of Achievement” and a gift card to a Chamber member. Additionally, Cahill, the Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development, presented Ashwin with an envelope filled with gift certificates and complimentary offers from local merchants.
Mayor James Barberio congratulates Ashwin and gives him an American Flag and other gifts.
Ms. Marianne Burke, Womans Club of Parsippany, congratulates Ashwin and presents him with a gift.
Frank Cahill, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, presents Ashwin with a “Certificate of Achievement” along with a check.
Council Vice President Frank Neglia congratulates Ashwin Vaithiyalingam on his outstanding achievement of earning the Eagle Scout rank.
Councilman Justin Musella, a graduate of Emory College, congratulates Ashwin Vaithiyalingam on earning the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. Ashwin will also be attending Emory College in the fall.
Sra. Rocio Felix, a Spanish teacher at Morris County School of Technology, has been a significant influence on Ashwin’s educational journey.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, July 2024.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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