Scout blazes a new trail; earns Eagle rank

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
East Granby - posted Fri., Jun. 17, 2011
Nicholas Mollica, Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Becoming an Eagle Scout defines many qualities, including leadership and service, Nicholas Mollica believes.

Getting over the last hurdle by completing an Eagle Scout project is something many Scouts strive for.

“It was that thing hanging over my head, and I'm glad I have been able to accomplish it,” Mollica said.

East Granby Boy Scout Troop 70 will hold an Eagle Court of Honor on June 20 to recognize Mollica as its latest Eagle Scout, after the 18-year-old East Granby High School graduate performed a community service project in town.

Scoutmaster Peter Bailey will conduct the Court of Honor at the East Granby Senior Community Center at 7 p.m., where Mollica will receive his Eagle Scout pin and be lauded by the East Granby Land Trust for his project of rediscovering land owned by the Land Trust.

Mollica led his Scouts in a marking expedition, a project that is right up the Scouts’ alley. Scouts often spend much time in the wilderness, blazing trails and learning about survival.

Mollica and the Scouts marked territory that is owned by the Land Trust at Eastfield Farm.  Mollica had to develop a plan and do a lot of research of various land records at the Registry of Deeds.

“He communicated with abutting neighbors, assembled materials, and then planned and led his work teams into the field,” said Bailey.

Mollica said the project involved a lot of planning on his part, but leading the team in the field was most difficult.

"The boys were scattered around a lot of places," Mollica said. "We had a lot of ground to cover, and I had to keep them on task. It was a different project than when you're constantly working on or building something.”

The teams spent a lot of time in the field, including younger Scouts, who worked with Mollica to create a map and do compass work. The goal of the project was a locate monuments on the land and find property pins that were previously set by land surveyors.

"We covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time," said Mollica. "I hope the Land Trust is better able to protect their wetlands with these maps."

The East Granby Land Trust can now better protect their property, which includes 42 acres of wetlands. The wetlands are supposed to be protected for the preservation of wildlife and swamplands. The swamp empties into Sheldon Brook.

According to the Land Trust’s website, their objective is to protect the wetlands by managing the property for wildlife habitat and passive human recreation. Marked boundaries facilitate property management and reduce encroachment problems. The Trust also keeps this natural area open to the public for such activities as hiking, bird-watching and photography.

The Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. To qualify, a Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrate the exemplary Scouting spirit, service and leadership embodied in the Boy Scout Oath and Law, and complete an extensive community service project.

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