FITCHBURG — High school student Frank Gallo IV was recently recognized for an Eagle Scout project he completed in his neighborhood, the clean up of Parkhill Park.
An Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on Feb. 4 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church to recognize the longtime Boy Scout’s accomplishment drew guests including Mayor Stephen DiNatale, state Rep. Michael Kushmerek, Fitchburg Public Schools Superintendent Robert Jokela, his parents and other family, fellow Troop 17 members and co-leaders, and more.
“It’s really an honor to be recognized for this achievement because it’s not only about the project,” the 17-year-old Fitchburg High School senior said. “It took seven years of commitment and work and (abiding by) the scouting ideals to get here, and it wasn’t always fun. There were some merit badges that weren’t quite so awesome.”
Gallo IV’s Eagle Scout project began in March of last year and entailed cleaning up Parkhill Park with some help from his fellow scouts and their leaders and several others who pitched in. It took about three months to draft, plan, and execute the detailed project. During this time Gallo IV coordinated with the City of Fitchburg Parks and Recreation Department “to determine the scope of the project and the logistics of its completion.”
“We were also lucky enough to get some assistance from former Once Upon a Tile owner Joel Kaddy for the refurbishing of some chess boards and City Councilwoman Sam Squailia and her team of volunteers who provided trash bags, gloves, and other safety equipment to clean the park,” Gallo IV said.
He grew up going to the park “frequently” so when he “heard there was an opportunity to help out with the park’s growth, I took it.” After planning the project and lining everyone and the materials up, they spent two full weekends painting the clubhouse and benches, picking up trash, and retiling the chessboards.
“Fortunately, this project seemed to go over very well among the community and we got a lot of support from my fellow FHS students and the community at large,” Gallo IV conveyed.
They completed the project on June 10. Troop 17 co-leader and Scout Master Scott Johnson, who has two sons in the troop that have also achieved Eagle Scout rank, Timothy and Walter, and a third son, Henry, who will be joining the troop this spring, said he is “very proud of Frank’s accomplishments in scouting.”
“In his seven years in our troop he been an asset,” Johnson said of the newest Eagle Scout. “He is consistently willing to help the younger scouts (and) he is a great leader and always ready to motivate others and help plan activities. Despite many other demands on his time with sports and school, he was able to stay focused and complete his Eagle requirements.”
Gallo IV said he will remain involved with his troop in some capacity at least until he goes off to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the fall, where he plans to major in biology and minor in ecology, and that he is proud to have achieved Eagle Scout rank.
“It’s a big relief to have my project completed. It occupied a lot of my bandwidth and it’s nice to just relax now,” he articulated. “My Eagle Scout represents both an end and a beginning — it’s the end of my traditional scouting career, the completion of my task, but it is also the beginning of my adult scouting life, and it feels good to be part of the brotherhood of Eagles nationwide.”