Kuc Rises to the Eagle Challenge

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From left on a proud day are father and son, David; Mom, Sue; and sister, Eliza Kuc.

GALLOWAY – Saturday, Sept. 22 was a proud day for the Kuc family.

Susan and David Kuc saw their son become an Eagle Scout at the Cape Atlantic Marine Corps League compound on Great Creek Road. Sister Eliza, herself working toward the Girl Scout Gold Award, its equivalent to Eagle, watched in joy.

“He is an outstanding son,” the new Eagle’s father said. “He does everything he’s asked to do and more. He’s a straight-A student. He never gives us a problem.”

His mother spoke of young David’s Boy Scout years in Troop 97.

“Throughout his career with the Boy Scouts, David was lucky enough to be involved in a troop that participated in a lot of events,” Susan Kuc said. “They taught him about giving back to his community, helping others, to respect others and the environment.  His troop leader, Brian Houf, is amazing.  He taught David how to shoot rifles, climb rock walls, river raft, kayak, and an assortment of other activities.”  

The charter organization, the Cape Atlantic Marine Corps detachment unit made it possible, she said, by giving the troop a home and a place for all their activities.  

“David held several leadership positions in the troop, and continues to be the chaplain's aide,” his mother said. “David intends on continuing his career in the troop and attaining all three Eagle Scout palms.”

Kuc, who will turn 17 Oct. 10, is a junior at Cedar Creek High School where he’s enrolled in the engineering program. He rides the school bus with his sister who is enrolled in Cedar Creek’s environmental science program. Attending one of those two magnet programs is the only way for Galloway students to attend the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District’s newest school in Egg Harbor City.

David Kuc said his favorite part of Scouting was camping.

“I love the camping,” he said. “I like the Klondike Derbys in mid-January. There was snow on the ground this year. And it’s oh so cold.”

He affirmed his desire to continue in Scouting.

“I’m staying till I’m 18 at least,” Kuc said. “Anyone who can get involved should. I’ve had a great time in Scouting. It’s well worth it.”

Speakers included Scoutmaster Houf, and assistants Charlene Clark and Palmer Stimax.

“You’re a marked man,” Stimax told the new Eagle. “As you live up to your obligations, you bring honor to yourself and your fellow Scouts. Be a leader. Be a great leader. Live and serve so that those who know you will aspire to a higher limit.”

Atlantic County Undersheriff Ted Kammer offered Kuc three rules to live by.

“Do the right thing. Be the best that you can be,” Kammer summed up. “And treat others as you’d like them to treat you.”

Kuc thanked all who attended.

“It took a number of years to accomplish and the journey has been awesome,” he said. “I have met many people, made many friends and have learned many things.”

He said his most memorable occasion was the troop’s trip to Washington, D.C.

Thank you’s went out to his Cub and Boy Scout leaders, the charter organization and to Project Porchlight – “who allowed me to work with them in completing my Eagle Scout project.”

He passed out nearly 1,000 energy efficient light bulbs at Galloway’s Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs, National Night Out, shredding event and more, including a visit to Sunrise Assisted Living.

“While at these events my troop and I were able to educate the community on energy savings and how to reduce our carbon footprint,” Kuc said.

He also thanked his parents.

“Without my mom’s constant drive and planning – and nagging, I know that my Scouting career would not be what it was,” Kuc said. “She found events to go to, talked us into going and got us there. She encouraged me to go to many events that I just did not want to go to. I was surprised that some, if not most, of them were actually fun.

“To my dad – I thank him for his support and encouragement throughout my Scouting career.”

Other guests included Scout Executive James Gillick, Cape Atlantic Marine Corps League Executive Officer Robert J. McCarty, Elks Bonnie Stark, Paul Aurelio and Terri Guarduci, Knights of Columbus Villa Marie Council Grand Knight Robert Luke, Eagle Scout Michael Peyton, William Schmitz of the Col. Richard Somers Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Galloway Councilman John Mooney and (no relation) Oceanville Volunteer Firefighter John Mooney.

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