By Kaylee Lindenmuth
NUMIDIA, Columbia County - Surrounded by friends and family at Luna's Pizza in Numidia, Carmine Scicchitano was recognized for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor ceremony Sunday. Eagle Scout is the highest rank one can achieve in scouting.
A Mount Carmel native and resident, Carmine is a member of Troop 174 in the borough, as he has been since 2012. Along the way, he watched four fellow scouts achieve the rank.
"Each of them, and seeing them get the award helped drive me forward to get this," said Carmine. The four are Ben Mcfadden, Mackenize Greco, Brandon Greco, and Joseph Zanella, all of whom were in attendance at the ceremony. Carmine added that his scoutmaster, Sam Cimino, has had nearly 50 scouts achieve the rank since the troop's inception in the 1980s.
"Overall, I couldn'tve gotten any of this without the assistance from my troop, along with my family constantly supporting me," Carmine said.
To achieve the rank, every prospective Eagle Scout must complete a service project benefiting their community. Growing up in a family of firefighters, Carmine set out to assist PennDOT's "Yellow Dot" program. He set out to spread the word about the program, attending events such as the Northumberland County Fair and Elysburg All Home Days, handing out 700 dots and 600 information cards, he said.
"Even if only one of those people get into an auto accident and it helps, that's one more person that was potentially helped," said Carmine. "The Yellow Dot program is similar to a seatbelt. You never want to have to need it, but in the event you do, it helps you."
Explaining the program, Carmine said, "Essentially, you get a little pamphlet, and you'll get a little yellow dot in it that you'll put in the rear window of your vehicle, normally on the driver's side. Then you'll put the pamphlet in your glove box. Inside the pamphlet, there's room for medical information such as serious conditions, or any medications you may take. This way, if you get into an auto accident and are unable to respond... EMS and first responders, as long as they can get into your glove box, they'll be able to see you have XYZ conditions, we need to treat for those."
Carmine comes from a troop his scout leader, Patty Huber, describes as "small, but mighty." Seven scouts and seven scout leaders make up the troop.
"It's not like some of the bigger troops, where some scouts might not get the help [they need,] you get a lot more individual [attention] so if you need help, it's a lot easier to get that to you," said Carmine.
"Now that I've gotten Eagle, and I'm 18, I'm now officially a scout leader, so I hope I'm able to do the same as Mack, Brandon, and the other Eagle Scouts. I'm hoping I can help other younger scouts get to this award as well, because I could never have gotten this without the help of my leaders, and I hope I can pay it forward," Carmine added.
During the ceremony, Huber spoke of the trail which led Carmine to the award, as fellow scouts lit candles on a display showing each rank. The award was presented to Carmine by his mother, Maria Scicchitano. Carmine then presented pins for his parents, to Maria and father Carmen, and to his mentor, Huber.
An avid photographer, Carmine concluded the ceremony by presenting gifts to the three leaders present at the ceremony, Huber, Cimino, and Jim Conbeer, which were frame photos he took. For Conbeer, he photographed a bald eagle at Knoebel's, where Carmine works, commemorating the eagle scouts he helped. Huber received a photo from the Weiser State Forest, "to show all the trails she's helped scouts on over the years." For Cimino, he presented a photo of an American flag at Wightman's Dam which Cimino helps maintain.
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