New Eagle Scout not afraid of lofty goals

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Attendees at Gregory Battschinger’s Eagle Scout court of honor Sunday, Sept. 30 are greeted by a man-made log theater at a working logging camp. Attendees at Gregory Battschinger’s Eagle Scout court of honor Sunday, Sept. 30 are greeted by a man-made log theater at a working logging camp.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Fifteen-year-old Gregory Battschinger of Galloway was feted for “a lifetime of service to our community” at his Eagle Scout court of honor here Sunday, Sept. 30.

Battschinger, of Boy Scout Troop 177 in Egg Harbor Township, is the son of Glenn Battschinger of Mays Landing and Veronique Hirt of Galloway.

He received Scouting’s highest award, Eagle Scout, on Sunday, Sept. 30 at a 1920s-style logging camp, made for the occasion behind his father’s home.

Fellow Scouts “worked” the camp, cutting, chopping and moving logs. There was a resounding call of  “timber!” when two Scouts felled a large tree, signifying the beginning of the Eagle ceremony that was scripted to follow Scouting and logging themes.

A straight-A sophomore at St. Augustine Prep, Richland, Battschinger’s goal is to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Until leaving for college, he will continue on in Scouting as a junior assistant scoutmaster in Troop 177.

His Eagle Scout project was done in cooperation with the Egg Harbor Township Fire Department. Battschinger led his Scouts for nearly 500 man-hours to grease 1,650 fittings on all 550 township fire hydrants and place reflective steel marker posts behind each hydrant.

The $3,600 project will have a positive effect in the safety of each resident in the township, according to Egg Harbor Township Fire Chief Bill Danz.

Battschinger has served two years as senior patrol leader for the troop, which is chartered through the Scullville Volunteer Fire Company.

He successfully completed National Youth Leader Training and has served as a NYLT staff member, led his troop on numerous campouts, overnight hikes and five-week-long summer camps.

He attended the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill, Va., and has been to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

The Battschinger family motto might be, “Don’t do anything small.” It became known regionally when Cub Scout Pack 634 of Galloway, then led by Glenn Battschinger and including sons Gregory and Cedric, built a trebuchet and entered it into a national competition catapulting pumpkins in Delaware in 2007. Sunday’s logging camp theme followed a history of grand designs.

“I gave my dad the idea and some of the details,” Battschinger told The Current Sunday. “He wrote the script.”

Not surprisingly, the new Eagle said he likes a lot of action.

“My favorite things in Scouting have been the high-adventure stuff,” Battschinger said. “I like hiking, rappelling and COPE – that’s Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience, a really big adventure.”

His experiences have included rappelling off a cliff at 10 Mile River Summer Camp in New York state this year.

“I hiked 50 miles over the course of six days,” Battschinger said. “That included some kayaking.”

Setting high goals for yourself is important, he said.

“You should always be working toward something,” Battschinger said. “My next goal is to make the golf team at school.”

You need 21 merit badges to be considered for the rank of Eagle. Battschinger has 78.

And he said that’s not a record. As of August 2011 there are 127 Boy Scout merit badges.

“There are people who have them all,” Battschinger said. “They’re usually on the news. I might pick up a few more here and there, but I’m not trying to get them all.”

He was quick to credit others for contributing to his success.

“I couldn’t have done this without my family, of course,” Battschinger said. “Or without the troop. It pushes me to be great so the Scouts can be great. I’ve been pushed to be a better leader, so they can become better leaders.”

The new Eagle was asked how it feels to be the son of Glenn Battschinger, a former Green Beret who recently served in Afghanistan and while he was there founded a local Boy Scout troop in addition to other heroic duties. The senior Battschinger was also an Eagle Scout. He now holds the rank of Army major.

“It’s good most of the time,” Gregory Battschinger said. “You have to set high standards for yourself if you want to go someplace in life; attain accomplishments like this.”

The Scout slogan is, “Do a good turn daily.”

“My goal is to do a good turn each day for others; even if it is just holding the door for someone you don’t know,” Battschinger said. “I also try to live my life the way that God has told me to, by living the commandments.”

He said he wants to serve in the Army, hopes to make the PGA tour and intends to raise a family.

“I want to teach my children how to set themselves up to succeed, how to set their own ambitions; and maybe one day they will do the same with their children,” Battschinger said. “My ambitions are set to lead me to succeed… attaining good grades, making the high school team, being a good Catholic and living by the Scout Oath and Law. It is crucial to set ambitions for myself because no one wants to be a failure, especially not me.” 

Guests at Battschinger’s ceremony included U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Undersheriff Ted Kammer and Hamilton Township Committewoman Aline Dix.

The display features certificates and letters of congratulations, including one from President and Mrs. Barack Obama. About half of Battschinger’s 78 merit badges are on display.

Friends, family, fellow Scouts’ parents and dignitaries surround the Eagle Scout ceremony.

Gregory Battschinger’s mother, Veronique Hirt, pins on his Eagle badge.

Troop 177 Scoutmaster Glenn Battschinger and Assistant Scoutmaster Nancy Maslowas accompany new Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger during the ceremony.

Scoutmaster Glenn Battschinger, his sister Lynn, and his son Cedric participate in Gregory Battschinger’s Eagle Scout ceremony.

Scoutmaster Glenn Battschinger reads from a script as his son, new Eagle Scout Gregory, wears a headdress given to the family by a Native American friend.

Capt. Steve Prisament of Troop 177’s sponsoring Scullville Volunteer Fire Company praises new Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger and presents a plaque.

New Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger thanks people who have helped him on his path to obtaining Scouting’s highest award at age 15.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, left, surveys the logging camp with Scoutmaster Glenn Battschinger and new Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo tells new Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger how impressed he is.

New Eagle Scout Gregory Battschinger with U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo.


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