Eagle Scout of the Year honored in Westfield

eagle scout pinWESTFIELD—The city can now boast about another notable resident—the American Legion Department of Massachusetts Eagle Scout of the Year Jonathan Huntley.

Huntley, 18, of Westfield, was honored for the award at the American Legion Post 124 last night, in front of family, scout masters past and present and public officials. In addition to honoring Huntley, the Post also made donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield and handed out several certificates of appreciation.

Jonathan Huntley, center, with his parents Dave and Susan Huntley

Jonathan Huntley, center, with his parents Dave and Susan Huntley

“I’m honored to receive this award and I’m grateful for everyone that made this possible,” Huntley said to those in attendance last night.

Huntley began his career in the scouts in the first grade, where he started as a cub scout. From there, he entered the boy scouts in the fifth grade, then eventually became an Eagle Scout at age 13. According to Huntley, he was the youngest ever to reach that rank. He also said this award wouldn’t have happened without the American Legion baseball teams and Gene Theroux, former assistant coach to the team and current commander of the Sons of the American Legion.

According to Huntley, his experiences throughout the program have given him skills that he can use going forward in life, especially those that he learned while pursuing his 21 merit badges to complete his Eagle Scout training.

One merit badge was more difficult than any of the others, though.

“Citizenship in the community was the hardest because we had to interview city leaders and attend city council meetings,” Huntley said, which at age 13 he noted, are very difficult tasks to do.

In addition to the merit badges, Huntley also had to perform a service project. That project ended up being to put up a flag pole at the First Congregational Church in Southampton, as well as retiring over 200 US flags.

Jonathan Huntley poses with Rep. John Velis after receiving a citation from Velis and the state's House of Representatives

Jonathan Huntley poses with Rep. John Velis after receiving a citation from Velis and the state’s House of Representatives

“Jonathan is an extremely intelligent and outgoing young man,” Joe Mitchell, former scoutmaster who oversaw Huntley when he first earned his Eagle Scout, as well as Westfield’s city advancement officer, said. “He possesses a level of maturity and natural leadership skills that are unsurpassed for an individual his age.”

Also honored at the ceremony was Kellie Brown, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. She was given a certificate of appreciation for her work with the Kiwanis Club at the Park of Honor for veterans in front of South Middle School in Westfield. Additionally, the Boys and Girls Club was given three $295 checks from American Legion Post 124, Sons of the American Legions Squadron 124 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 124.

Also given certificates of appreciation that were on hand were Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan and Massachusetts Rep. John Velis. These two, in addition to state Sen. Don Humason, who was not in attendance, also awarded Huntley with citations from their respective offices.

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