Montclair, NJ – Logan Bateman and Nicholas Maurizi of Troop 13 in Montclair were officially welcomed into the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor ceremony on Sunday, April 30th. The celebration of this special scouting milestone took place at Union Congregational Church in Montclair with a gathering of over 100 guests, including Scouts, leaders, family members, friends, coaches, and local dignitaries.

Eagle Scouts Logan Bateman and Nicholas Maurizi.

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest advancement rank in Scouting where a Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges fulfilling requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor life skills. Only 4% of Boy Scouts achieve this prestigious recognition, and it culminates in the planning, approval and execution of an extensive Community, Church, or Synagogue related service or “Eagle Project” that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, funds and executes.

Troop 13 Senior Patrol Leader, Landon Miller, opened the ceremony with a Color Guard flag posting, then Logan’s father, Troop 13 Scoutmaster Michael Bateman, welcomed everyone. Three scouts, including Logan and Nicholas’s younger brothers, Brooks Bateman and Thomas Maurizi, took part in the ceremony by reading the Scout Law and lighting candles for each of the 12 points, and former scoutmasters, Mark Hatten and Merle Gehman, read the Path to Eagle, which illustrates how hard a scout must work before attaining the rank. Clifford Lindholm, from the Troop 13 Eagle class of 1977, led all the Eagles in the Eagle Oath.

Next, former Scoutmaster Nick De Toustain introduced the new Eagle Scouts and made everyone chuckle as he recounted highlights of each scout’s Troop 13 career. Scoutmaster Bateman also shared a few words about the boys’ wonderful journey together, thanking all parents and caregivers for their support in getting them to this important milestone. Next, it was time for the award presentation. The new Eagles gave their mothers and fathers pins, their dads presented them with new neckerchiefs, and their moms pinned on their Eagle medals.

Montclair Township Councilors Robin Schlager and Peter Yacobellis were on hand to present proclamations honoring both scouts. Logan and Nicholas each gave short speeches, thanking everyone who had helped them on their long path, and then after closing remarks from Scoutmaster Bateman, everyone enjoyed refreshments at a reception.

(from left) Troop 13 Scoutmaster Michael Bateman, Councilor Peter Yacobellis, Eagle Scouts Logan Bateman and Nicholas Maurizi. Councilor Robin Schlager.

The Journey To Becoming An Eagle Scout

Logan and Nicholas’s path to Eagle culminated over a 12-year journey in scouting, starting as Cub Scouts in Montclair’s “Mighty” Pack 12. After years of rain gutter regattas, bottle rocket competitions, and pinewood derbies, they crossed the bridge to Troop 13, and went on many trips and treks, usually tenting together. They rose through the scout ranks and each held various troop leadership positions. Nicholas was senior patrol leader, the highest rank in the troop, and Logan was assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leader, as well as troop guide, leading the troop and mentoring younger scouts in their pursuits. Logan is also the recipient of the Bronze Palm which is obtained by earning five merit badges above and beyond the Eagle requirement.

Logan, a senior at Montclair High School, has always had a profound love for the outdoors, an innate curiosity to understand how things work, and a deep passion for building. Growing up on his family lake in Maine, he could be found rowing, hiking, fishing, water skiing or thrusting himself into any DIY project he could find – the messier, the better!

Since joining Troop 13, he’s spent over 100 nights camping, which included high adventure treks to Philmont and Floodwood and countless trips to Camp Glen Gray, Camp Turrell, and Camp Aquehonga.

Looking back over his scouting career, some of Logan’s favorite memories include “hustling pine” at the annual Church Street Christmas Tree sale, his 81-mile, 2 week trek through the mountains of New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch with his fellow scouts and father, and his first trip to Floodwood with his buddy, Nick, where they portaged over three miles with a canoe when they were 13, as the smallest, but perhaps scrappiest scouts on the trip. But most memorable, was being able to enjoy his scouting experience with his father and Scoutmaster, Michael Bateman, and his younger brother and first-class Scout, Brooks Charles.

Outside of scouting, Logan maintains a jam-packed schedule and enjoys living life “full throttle”. He is currently a senior at Montclair High School where he maintains a rigorous academic schedule of AP and honors classes and is a member of the National Honor Society and Montclair Sports Network. When he’s not in the classroom or trekking a mountain, Logan can be found in his other happy place – on the water rowing with his teammates as a proud member (and Captain) of the Montclair Crew Team. Logan will embark on his “next giant leap” in the fall as he plans to attend Purdue University to pursue his passion for Mechanical Engineering & Technology and row for the Purdue Crew Team.

For his Eagle Scout project, Bateman led a crew of 30 volunteers, including scouts, friends, family, and members of the MHS crew team, in building four walking bog bridges and planting 40 native trees at the Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve. The preserve, a 21-acre Green Acres site skirted by the Third River, is a wildlife sanctuary straddling Montclair and Clifton. As a lifelong outdoorsman, and a member of the MHS crew team, who spent countless hours practicing on the Passaic River, Logan understood the value of this project and wanted to preserve the landmark and especially the Third River, an important tributary to the Passaic. The bridges will make the preserve safer for hikers, and the native trees will help protect against invasive species and improve the water quality.

Logan worked with the Bonsal Wildlife Preserve Conservancy as well as members of the township and other parties to plan the project and get approvals. Over two days on a hot July weekend, he and his crew constructed and put the bridges in place and planted native sycamores and river birches. His plan and execution earned him a call of appreciation from Governor Phil Murphy, as well as the Charlie Kontos Environmental Activist Award.

Nicholas also started on the road to Eagle as a Tiger Cub with the “Mighty” Pack 12. Already an avid camper and outdoor enthusiast, Nicholas jumped right into all that Cub Scouts had to offer—from trips & hikes to fun projects at Den meetings, to flagship events like the Pinewood Derby. Over those five years, his skills and maturity grew into that of the budding Boy Scout that crossed over the bridge at the end of fifth grade.

Nicholas’ transition to Troop 13 was fairly smooth thanks to the June canoe trip that welcomes new Scouts— Nicholas fell right in with the boys and got a jump on feeling part of the Troop. He advanced through ranks at a typical pace, but always took the skills he gained and tried to use them practically in his daily life. From hard skills like chopping firewood or righting a canoe, to soft skills like leading a group to solve a challenge, Maurizi always found ways to put his newfound knowledge to work.

As the Den Chief for his younger brother’s Cub Scout Den, he helped shepherd a cohort of fifth graders through the Webelos II/Arrow of Light rank and across the bridge to Boy Scouts (some of those kids are still in Troop 13). He then took that leadership spirit to the next level by earning the job of Senior Patrol Leader, charged with leading the Troop and ensuring that all of the other Scouts move forward in their individual pursuits in Scouting. Nicholas’s dedication to leading his peers eventually seeped out of Scouts and onto the track where he was named a captain of Montclair’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams.

Some of Nicholas’ favorite activities from his Scouting tenure include cooking on trips, especially at Camp Aquehonga and the Floodwood High Adventure canoe trek.

He completed his Eagle Project in January of this year. When he walked into the Montclair Township Animal Shelter last fall with his family, he was hoping he’d find a new dog after their pet, Patches, had passed away. He had no idea he’d end up with a great idea for his Eagle Project that would help transform the shelter basement.

Nicholas, who loves to bike and hike, originally had planned to do a project in one of the town or county green spaces. But over a few visits to adopt his new dog, Charlie, he started talking to shelter director Liz Morgan about any work they might need. Morgan pointed him to the basement, explaining how it was prone to flooding, and volunteers were so busy it was a disorganized mess, with bags of food and supplies piled high. When he first saw it, he remembers feeling a bit intimidated just by how much stuff there was. But he also realized how great it would be if he could clean and organize the space and get supplies off the floor. He met with the shelter staff and quickly devised a plan.

Over the next few months, he came up with a budget, a blueprint for custom shelves, and some organization ideas. To raise money for the project, he ran a yard sale, organized a Go Fund Me, and even held a bake sale with homemade treats for people and their pets.

This winter, working at home with his dad, Nicholas built the shelving components. In January, over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, he gathered a crew of scouts, friends, and family to assemble the 8-foot-shelving units and clean up. He put younger scouts to work organizing bins of pet supplies, including toys and costumes. The older guys hammered and drilled until all the elevated shelving was set up and the pet food was stacked and neatly organized on them. When Nicholas noticed a unit sagging in the middle, he quickly came up with an idea and built a brace. When they were done, he and his crew had tamed the beast of the animal shelter basement. Some of the staff were near tears when they saw the results.

Nicholas is a senior at Montclair High School, where he runs track and cross country. He’ll head off next fall to the University of Vermont, to study biology.

Congratulations to Logan and Nicholas who join a select group of Troop 13 Eagle Scouts (almost 200 since 1911), and to their parents, family, fellow scouts and leaders who supported them along their Eagle journey.