|Michael Paladino (right) recites the Eagle Promise with Scoutmaster Larry Wood.|
That makes Michael Paladino’s accomplishments that much more remarkable. He was just 14 when he achieved Eagle Scout status, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, at a ceremony Aug. 24 at Annandale United Methodist Church (AUMC). Michael completed the eighth grade at Glasgow Middle School in June and will enter Annandale High School next week.
His proud parents, Chris and Bonnie Paladino, took part in the Eagle Court of Honor, along with Michael’s scout leaders and peers in Troop 150. Michael gave a short speech describing how being a Boy Scout helped him mature and how he wanted to be an Eagle since he was very young.
Del. Kaye Kory and state Sen. Dave Marsden presented Michael with congratulatory certificates and Virginia flags that flew over the state capitol. Troop 150 scouts Garret Youmans, Stephen Artner, and Antulio Martinez lit candles as they described what it means to embody the 12 character traits in Scout Law.
Among other requirements, a scout must earn 21 badges, serve in a troop leadership position for six months, and organize and lead a major community service project to become an Eagle Scout. Michael’s Eagle project consisted of cleaning the graves and making improvements to the AUMC cemetery on Gallows Road, Annandale.
According to Scoutmaster Larry Wood, only a small percentage of scouts overall reach the Eagle designation. Two other scouts in Troop 150 are working toward that goal: Garrett Youmans, whose project involves renovating trails at Mason District Park, and Kevin Wilson, who is building rolling carriers to help orchestra students transport their instruments.
Wood, a former member of Troop 150, became an Eagle Scout in 1975 when he was a student at Stuart High School. Troop 150 has been based at AUMC since 1928.