Gabe Longo (left), Luke Tiso (center) and Greg Dominy (right) each recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout (picture provided by Paul J. Szemkow)
Three members of a local Boy Scouts of America troop will be recognized on April 6 for advancing to Eagle Scout, the highest attainable rank in the youth organization.
Greg Dominy, Gabe Longo and Luke Tiso—all seniors at Fayetteville-Manlius High School—organized service projects that their Troop 51 leaders and area boards of review believed demonstrated leadership, enterprise, preparation, management skills and the high quality of character worthy of an Eagle Scout.
Additionally, the three former Life Scouts were each required to earn at least 21 merit badges before achieving the Eagle rank.
Dominy led a project revolving around building an engraved-brick memorial garden for the First Baptist Church of Manlius, a church he has attended from an early age.
“I wanted to give back to them, because they’ve done so much for me,” Dominy said.
He said the project, which was conducted last April, taught him about garnering leadership skills and convinced him of the difficulties involved with behind-the-scenes work such as contacting people before and during such a landscaping task.
Dominy, a senior patrol leader and recipient of the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, said he intends to guide younger scouts and serve as a role model from this point forward. “It’s not over for me,” he said. “Just that small step of being a boy has ended.”
Longo’s project entailed community outreach. In June, he gathered together about 10 inner-city refugee children from local non-profit program Tillie’s Touch for a day-long outdoor excursion.
He brought them to Camp Woodland in Constantia, where they chopped wood, built fires, made s’mores, set up tents and hiked in the wilderness.
“There’s a sense of accomplishment,” Longo said. “I learned how to communicate with people to get them to a place where they could be self-sufficient.”
For his project, Tiso spent a day in September cleaning the Ledyard Dyke, a shallow canal located near the Fayetteville Free Library. Tiso worked to clear plant overgrowth from the banks of the canal, trim brush to increase visibility of the water and pick up nearby litter.
“Scouts has been such a focal point in my life, and now I’ve just got this kind of window where all that’s really happening in my life is school and preparing for the next chapter when I move on to college,” Tiso said.
Like Dominy and Longo, he has been involved in the Boy Scouts of America since elementary school.
“Scouting’s really a long road, but it’s certainly a gratifying one,” Tiso said.
Upon attainment, the Eagle Scouts choose a day for a commemorative flag to be flown above the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The flag is then returned with a certificate signed by the Architect of the Capitol.
“They’ve done a fantastic job,” Chris Nielsen, the troop’s scoutmaster, said. “I’m proud of them for going the distance and completing it and getting the Eagle Scout rank.”
The April 6 recognition ceremony will take place in the afternoon at the United Methodist Church of Fayetteville, the chartered organization for Troop 51.