Three Norfolk Boys Earn Eagle Scout Award

Grace Allen
(l to r) State Rep. Shawn Dooley, Jack Norgren, Nick Simmons, Brooks O’Neil, and Norfolk Selectman Jeff Palumbo.
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

Three Boy Scouts from the same Norfolk neighborhood were honored recently at a special ceremony for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award conferred by the Boy Scouts of America.
The ceremony, known as the Eagle Scout Court of Honor, was held at King Philip Middle School on Friday, June 8 and recognized John (Jack) Norgren, Brooks O’Neil, and Nick Simmons. The boys are members of Troop 80 and all live near each other in Ridgefield Estates.
The ceremony was attended by families, friends, and local dignitaries. State Senator Richard Ross, State Representative Shawn Dooley, and Norfolk Selectman Jeff Palumbo formally recognized the boys’ accomplishments by filing legislation to present them with town proclamations.
The Eagle Scout project must be developed, planned, and led by a scout, and benefit a religious, school, or community organization. Nationally, only about 6% of Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle rank.
As they rose through the ranks of Scouting, each boy earned numerous merit badges covering a wide range of areas such as camping, survival, fitness, first aid, communication, and citizenship; performed hours of community service; completed an individual Eagle Scout project; and passed an Eagle Scout Board of Review.
Jack Norgren’s Eagle Scout project included planning and refurbishing the landscaping in front of the Community Building at Hillcrest Village. Norgren worked with Chris Hannifan, the executive director of the Norfolk Housing Authority, to redesign the garden. He and his team of scouts cleaned up the area and removed old plantings. Then Norgren put in new stones and mulch, and trimmed, weeded, and reconstructed the area.
According to Hannifan, the residents were quite pleased with the new garden area, and enjoyed watching the progress over several weekends.
For his Eagle Scout project, Brooks O’Neil worked with Norfolk resident Jennifer DeLuca, the executive director of the Fisher House in Boston. O’Neil designed, built, and installed two Adirondack chairs and two raised garden beds for the Fisher House memorial garden, honoring 1st Lt. Robert M. Kelly, USMC, killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Lt. Kelly was the son of General Kelly, the current Chief of Staff at the White House and a Boston native. The Fisher House is a temporary home-away-from-home for military families with a loved one being treated at a Boston hospital.
Upon the completion of his project, O’Neil received a personal letter of thanks from General Kelly, as well as a commemorative “Challenge Coin.”
Nick Simmons led a group of scouts in the cleaning of 60 gravestones in the colonial section of the Norfolk Cemetery for his Eagle Scout project. Some of the gravestones date back to 1745, and were covered with years of accumulated dirt, moss and lichen, making them unreadable. Working with the Norfolk Historical Commission, Simmons planned the project and gathered supplies and equipment.
Simmons was trained by the staff of the Vine Street Cemetery Preservation Trust in Medfield in how to safely clean the stones using D2, a recently developed, water-soluble cleaner that is very effective and safe for the environment and does not damage the gravestones.