Kyle Greenberg flies like an Eagle (Scout, that is)

NORTH CANAAN — The effort it takes to become an Eagle Scout is almost legendary. The dedication and effort that goes into attaining the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank — and the personal character required — are extraordinary. The support of family, Scout leaders and fellow Scouts is essential but also implicit.Kyle Jason Greenberg joined the ranks of the special few in December, shortly after turning 18, when he joined the 2 percent of Scouts who reach that rank. At his Court of Honor on March 4 at VFW Post 6851, attended by his parents, Sandra and William “Bill” Greenberg (who is also his Scoutmaster); Troop 22 and their families; current and former Scout leaders; representatives from the Marine Corps League; and the Masons.Kyle was presented with commendations from dignitaries including the governor and the president, along with an American flag that has flown at the White House.In his brief remarks toward the close of the ceremony, Kyle thanked everyone in the room, saying, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”He was escorted by Eagle Scouts Scott Zinke and Derek Van Deusen (a Lakeville Journal employee). Kyle is the first Eagle Scout from Troop 22 since 2006.Camping is his favorite“I started in first grade as a Tiger Cub,” Kyle said in an interview after the ceremony. “From Pack 22 through Troop 22, I worked my way up through the ranks.”Thinking back over his years of Scouting memories, it is his first summer that stands out.“We did a lot of camping over the years, and that’s probably my favorite part,” he said. “That first summer at Camp Workcoeman [in New Hartford] was a real big thing. It was full of new experiences that I will never forget. Since then, camping has always been my favorite thing.”Both of his parents were involved from the beginning. Bill Greenberg recalled helping Tiger Den 3 leaders Rob Perotti and Denise Dubay. He became a leader when Kyle got to Webelos. In Troop 22, he started as assistant Scoutmaster and is now Scoutmaster, a job he would like to continue for a while. “I really enjoy it. The kids are great and we’re almost done building the new Scout house. I’d like to see that through at least.”At the ceremony, he brought the room to tears when he began his remarks as Scoutmaster with, “I am very proud of my son.”He noted their 13 years in Scouting together, and asked all Kyle’s leaders to come up.“They built it. They made it what it is today, and got Kyle where he is,” Greenberg said.Dinner following the Court of Honor was provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in North Canaan.To obtain the Eagle rank, a Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, advance through the ranks of Star and Life. After becoming a Life Scout, he must be active for at least six months in his troop in a leadership role. Before his 18th birthday, he must complete a major project that benefits the greater community and demonstrates those leadership skills; included in the project are planning, obtaining funding and getting approvals as needed, and organizing helpers. Refurbished GreenwayKyle chose to refurbish trailhead signs at the South Greenway in the center of North Canaan, with help from Tom Zetterstrom, who originated the trails here, and became an Eagle Scout in 1963. That portion of the Greenway is more than two decades old now. It was overgrown from disuse. Kyle organized Scouts to remove invasive species and get the trail back in shape. He is hoping his new-looking signs, filled with maps and information (especially the one posted along the sidewalk on Main Street), will get people using the Greenway again.A senior at Oliver Wolcott Technical School, Kyle plans to continue his schooling by certifying in automotive repair. He and his dad restore cars together at their North Canaan home.He also plans to continue in Scouting.“I’m enrolled as an adult and I’d like to stay involved with Troop 22, maybe as a merit badge counselor to encourage others to go on and get to Eagle Scout.”

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