Joseph Colavitti was honored with Boy Scouting’s highest award on Sunday, Sept. 30, in am Eagle Scout Court of Honor program at Father Nallin Hall.
But before stepping forward to receive his award, he issued a call to all current and former Boy Scouts to recite the Scout Oath and Scout Pledge.
John Fiore, served as master of ceremonies, and as Colavitti’s cubmaster many years earlier reflected on a lengthy scouting resume.
“He is a fun-loving kid with a great smile, and you weren’t always sure there might have been some misbehavior in the works,” Fiore said, “but we soon could see he was very responsible and took care of business. He could always be counted on to help other boys.”
Fiore recalled trips to Gettysburg, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal locks, and Camp Tuscarora.
He spoke briefly of Colavitti’s absorption with music on one of the trips, but then added it was the Parable of the Good Samaritan that comes to mind when thinking about Joseph.
He said that scouting was about building good character, and Joseph was “living empathy,” going out of his way when he perceived a need.
The latest Eagle Scout of Tunkhannock’s Boy Scout Troop 518 was issued an Eagle Challenge by his older brother Matthew Colavitti, in a candlelighting ceremony that reflected on honor, loyalty, courage, cheerfulness and service.
Matthew said two years earlier he had received the award, and reflected on how it had opened doors for him through many encounters.
“The rest of your life you will be a marked man,” he smiled.
Assistant scoutmaster Scott Williams issued a charge from scouting, noting that people will expect more of you. “Keep your ideals high and your future will be bright,” he said.
Rev. Patrick Albert, Pastor of Nativity BVM Church, issued a charge from Faith, noting the best reason for the Boy Scouts of America is in each’s duty to God.
“Living a life of integrity is always more powerful, and the true testimony of your life is all of the persons who are with you here today. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
It was a point echoed by Rev. Gregory Loughney, scouting chaplain for the Diocese of Scranton.
Troop 518 Scoutmaster Daniel Roote offered some reflections about Joseph’s great leadership ability, and said it was his privilege to have presided over six boys to have received scouting’s highest honor. He also noted that in providing four Eagle palms, Joseph had gone way beyond the minimum requirements for the Eagle Scout award with 20 extra merit badges.
His brother provided a new neckerchief and Joseph received his Eagle Scout pin from his mother and then he promptly provided her a pin.
He acknowledged as the mentors who had helped him on his Eagle journey the most were Williams as well as his brother.
A PowerPoint slide show traced Joseph’s many years in scouting and gave particular attention to his Eagle Scout service project when in the summer of 2016, he led a project to repair the walls on a room in the main barn of the Wyoming County Community Fairgrounds. The walls were covered with metal paneling. The room is now used as a Museum that tells the history of the Wyoming County fair experience during fair week.
His advice to future scouts who want to be Eagle - with his brother noting that only four percent of all Scouts ever get there - is just to “Get started. Once there, you are on your way,” Joseph said. “Thanks to everyone
who has helped me along this journey.”