Monday, March 23, 2009

Town Meeting

By Aliyah Finney

The Piscatway, New Jersey township council meetings usually consist of a handful of middle-aged to elderly adults, and more rarely completely uninterested children dragged to the hall by their parents.

Tuesday’s night audience was an exception.

Boy Scouts from troops 6, 20, and 106 were present that night for a ceremony. There were about 30 Scouts and Troop Leaders in all. The mayor, Brian C. Wahler, came in, apparently unaware of the ceremony, and excitedly spoke with the scouts, as well as handed out his business card after a firm handshake. After which the Troop Leaders rallied their boys in the hallway in order to line up. The women in the council room began to buzz elatedly and one even positioned herself for pictures.

The councilmen entered and the chatter died as they took their respective seats. Chairman Michael Griffth banged his gavel and the meeting was called to order. The Council consists of Mayor Wahler, Kenneth Armwood, Mark Hardenbburg, Loretta Keimal, Steven Cahn, Gabriel Cahill, Michele Lombardi and Griffith.

The Scouts entered through both openings of the room and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They were quiet and almost mumbling; a stark contrast to their previous animated dispositions. The Scouts Oath, said right after, was presented in the same tone. They seemed nervous but did not falter. Two scouts then approached the podium and informed everyone of some of the many community services they were involved in, form the Acme Food Drive to volunteer work at animal shelters. They also discussed some of the trips and field events that took place over the last year, which included a ski trip to Pennsylvania.

Additions to the Eagle Scouts, the highest rank a scout can obtain, were also mentioned. It was impressive to know that the national average of Eagle Scouts is 4%; while the Troops of Piscataway had over 10% of their members at Eagle Scouts. After the boys were finished, and the applauds subsided, Rich Ellis took his turn. Ellis, the leader of troop 20, presented two checks totaling over $2000 to the scouts so they can continue to serve their community.

The boys were visibly excited and clapped and beamed at the great news. Truly a welcomed change to the average town meeting.

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