On Nov. 3, Michael Falco became the 57th Eagle Scout in Troop 22 Cranston. He celebrated with family, friends and other scouts from Troop 22 Cranston Narragansett Council at St. Matthew Church, which has sponsored the Troop since 1951.
The Eagle Ceremony is held to officially elevate scouts to the Rank of Eagle. Only 3 percent of all scouts advance to the rank of Eagle. The process involves completing at least 21 merit badges and successfully completing all previous rank advancements. Scouts must also complete an Eagle Scout Service Project.
A senior at Cranston High School East, Falco has been with Troop 22 for just over six years. Falco’s father died when he was 9 years old and his mother, Roberta, decided to put him into Boy Scouts to provide him with positive male role models.
“When Mike joined Troop 22 he was a shy boy who could not make eye contact or carry a conversation for more than a few minutes,” said Scoutmaster Paul Kelley. “The other scouts opened up and welcomed him as one of them, and he responded by taking part in the program and developing his social skills.”
Kelley said Troop 22 is a medium-sized group with 13 to 20 scouts at any given time.
“We run a boy-chosen and boy-led program, with the exception of a few events set by Council,” he said.
At Cranston East, Falco has become active as a freshman counselor, often assisting them with their projects, dances and activities.
Falco’s Eagle project involved planning a collection of gently used books for patients at the VA Hospital in Providence. The collections were taken at Cranston East, where he involved faculty, students and scouts in completing the project. Approximately 250 books were delivered to the VA Hospital.
“I chose the VA since I have been by it so much and then I decided to help our veterans with books to read, all donated by the community,” said Falco. “I would like to thank my mom who has supported me as well as my scoutmasters and their positive influence on my life.”
As part of the ceremony, Falco was presented with a certificate from the Veterans Administration for his dedication to the men and women who serve this country.
Falco has held many leadership roles within Troop 22 over the years, such as patrol leader and assistant scout patrol leader. He has earned 34 merit badges and received special awards during his scouting career such as the Order of the Little Red Wagon and the Founder’s Award last January.
Now 18, Falco is an assistant scoutmaster and encourages the younger scouts to do their best to advance and he works well with them, according to Kelley.
Falco plans on attending college or some type of post high school education as he is interested in mechanics and has enjoyed tinkering with cars for some time now.
Regardless of what his future holds, Falco is pleased that he got this far in the Scouts.
“Becoming an Eagle was both an honor and privilege and I know I have come a long way in the past six years,” said Falco. “I practice the Scout Oath and Pledge all the time, both in and out of scouting. To follow them has helped me outside of Scouts into the world I live in.”