By Dan Hust
GLEN SPEY November 2, 2001 In an impressive multimedia presentation set amidst Camp Champions state-of-the-art auditorium in Glen Spey on Sunday, 16-year-old Peter Joseph P.J. Meyer of Barryville was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in Boy Scouting.
The ceremony, called an Eagle Court of Honor, inducted Meyer into a position achieved by only two percent of scouts each year and featured a highly formal but warmly affectionate series of statements about Meyer and the efforts that brought him to this point.
You should be commended, for you did a fantastic job. Congratulations! said Narrowsburg attorney Bob Lander, representing Congressman Ben Gilmans office.
I can only imagine how proud your parents are, agreed two-time Boy Scout mother Joanne Drake, representing State Senator John Bonacic.
Indeed, the accolades rained down upon Meyer, a student at Eldred Central School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 102 in Glen Spey since 1991, for his efforts to renovate an aging and decrepit baseball field in Pond Eddy. Through his initiative and with the help of friends and family members (not to mention businesses that donated materials), Meyer worked with Lumberland Highway Supervisor Charles Hallock to remove trees, regrade and reseed the field, eliminate damaged playground equipment, install player benches and a grandstand and create a fence.
Over 250 hours worth of hard labor later, Meyer completed the job earlier this year.
It was a very big project, explained Hallock to the 70 or so friends and relatives gathered at Camp Champion. Unfortunately, that summer [of 2000], it rained every chance they had to do something.
The problems didnt end their either, as the then-15-year-old had to combat mud, stubborn tree stumps and the ongoing replacement of a highway bridge right next to the field.
Yet he hung true to his course, said Judy McLaughlin, who sat on the scouting board that reviewed Meyers efforts, and he succeeded.
It was a great honor to work with you, said Hallock to Meyer. Thank you for a job very well done.
And from football coach John LiGreci to County Legislator Kathleen LaBuda to President George W. Bush, more compliments flowed Meyers way, but he accepted them in stride, giving thanks where it was most especially due.
My parents pushed, shoved, pulled, prodded and dragged me [to get my Eagle Scout rank], he said of Ron and Anna Meyer, and they deserve more credit than theyve been given.
And besides thanking all who came, Meyer, heavily involved in St. Anthonys Catholic church in Yulan, was grateful to God.
Through Him, he said, anything is possible.