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Area teens reach elite status

| Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003

Two young men joined Boy Scouting's elite Saturday. In a ceremony at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Alan Colvin of Connellsville and Dan John of Leisenring received their Eagle Scout ranks from Troop 183, Leisenring. St. Vincent de Paul RC Church sponsors the troop.

Alan Colvin, a 16-year-old junior at Geibel Catholic High School, joined Cub Scouts at age 8 and worked his way steadily up the ranks. Hundreds of commuters see his Eagle Scout project daily. He installed bricks around the aluminum sign at Immaculate Conception RC Church, so the sign would match the building.

"It was the biggest thing I ever got myself into," said Colvin. He has bigger plans, too. He is applying to West Point and wants to "make a career out of the military." What he has learned in Boy Scouts will serve him well.

Dan John, an 18-year-old senior at Connellsville Area High School, painted a building at a Brownsville park. He found out about the project through his scoutmaster, Marty Vinoverski.

John joined Scouting in second grade and, looking back, said that going camping was his fondest Scouting memory. Following graduation, John plans to become an electrician.

"I'm going to try to get an apprenticeship," he said.

Vinoverski congratulated the young men, but found their advancement bittersweet.

"Alan and Dan brought a lot of character to the troop. The troop revolved around them. Alan was senior patrol leader for two-and-a-half years. Dan was his assistant. It's hard to lose them."

Scouting leads to maturation, especially for the 5 to 10 percent of Scouts who earn the Eagle rank.

"When they get their Eagle, they've taken a step into adulthood. They are now two young men. They've matured and the Boy Scout requirements have helped them on their way to become the young men they are today. Hopefully, all they learned in Scouting will continue through their lives," Vinoverski said.

In addition to receiving their Eagle Scout ranks, Colvin and John also received citations from Connellsville Mayor Judy Reed, state Rep. James Shaner, state Sen. Rich Kasunic and the Connellsville American Legion Post 301.

George Piovesan, commander of the 24th District of the American Legion, presented the young men with Good Citizen citations from the district. Jim Dunn, post commander, presented Good Citizen citations from the post. The legionnaires also presented citations to Chris Cromo and Joseph Phillips, who earned their Eagle ranks last year. Phillips could not attend the ceremony.

Cromo, 19, attends Penn State-Fayette, majoring in chemistry. He plans to become an experimental chemist.

"I want to find something that no one has found yet," he said of his career.

Cromo, a Connellsville resident, installed a flagpole at the DL&V fire station for his Eagle project.

Piovesan, a Marine Corps veteran, is also an Eagle Scout and an Explorer Scout. He talked about the support the American Legion has provided to Scouting since 1911, and his own experience.

"Scouting helped me when I went into the Marine Corps," Piovesan said.

Being raised with the Scout traditions of obedience, honor, duty and friendship, he said, will help all Boy Scouts in their future lives, no matter their career choice.

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