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Eagle Scouts, St. Margaret student honored by Bel Air commissioners for their achievements

St. Margaret School fifth-grader Nicholas Tilghman is presented with a Student Achievement Award by Mayor Robert Reier.
St. Margaret School fifth-grader Nicholas Tilghman is presented with a Student Achievement Award by Mayor Robert Reier. (Courtesy of Michael Krantz, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Town of Bel Air began a new recognition program at the most recent town meeting, honoring all the Boy Scouts who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the last year.

Eagle Scouts are recognized during their ceremonies, Commissioner Edward Hopkins said at the May 4 meeting; however, by giving some public recognition at the town meetings, as well, the Scouts get more exposure to the public, to town staff and many others.

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"We're proud of your accomplishments," Hopkins, the father of three Eagle Scouts, said.

The first group of Eagle Scouts to be honored are all from Troop 777 at Bel Air United Methodist Church, where five Scouts - Joseph Caudill, Joel Davis, Drew Dyer, Justin Knoll and Andrew Visconti – reached the Eagle rank within the last year.

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After the couple of previous weeks in Baltimore, where kids in backpacks were seen causing trouble, that's the lasting image many people have of kids, Hopkins said, adding that he worked with a lot of bad kids when he was with the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

"You have reminded us of the goodness of you and that there are good kids in the community," he said, addressing the new Eagle scouts. "When I question what the future looks like, I look at the five of you and I have no fear whatsoever."

Hopkins asked each Eagle Scout to describe his project.

Joseph installed a 30-foot flagpole at Bel Air United Methodist Church, where the American and Christian flags fly. He also installed a solar light so they are lighted through the night and landscaped with rocks and bricks.

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Joel did his project at Harford Glen Environmental Center, where he placed signs at the trail head on the grounds. He landscaped around the signs and also added benches to the trail.

Drew replaced the sign at Bel Air United Methodist, which he said was "quite a hassle." He also planted trees and bushes and mulched.

Justin spread 26 cubic yards of mulch over the trail at Ring Factory Elementary School that connects two outdoor areas. He also replaced the tops of some of the benches, installed two chalkboards and removed a stump from the trail.

Andrew built a 96-square-foot path around the new bobcat sculpture at Bel Air High School so fans can walk around it or rub its paw for good luck. He also landscaped the area.

The town commissioners also recognized Nicholas Tilghman, a fifth-grader at St. Margaret School, with a monthly Student Achievement Award.

"He's achieved quite a few high recognitions," Mayor Rob Reier said.

His teachers and school administrators said Nicholas was an "exemplary" example for the award; not only is he an excellent student, "but he is a genuinely kind, caring and respectful person as well," according to the proclamation the commissioners gave Nicholas.

He is a positive role model and goes out of his way to help teachers and classmates. Nicholas' friends say he is "nice, funny, willing to share, fun to hang out with and laughs a lot," Reier read from the proclamation.

Nicholas is kind to others, "guards each person's dignity" and makes others feel loved; he is wiling to lend a helping hand, has a wonderful sense of humor, is conscientious about his work and tries his best, Reier said.

In addition to the proclamation, the commissioners presented Nicholas with a lapel pin.

Reier also noted the death of John Beilfuss, who was a long time member of the Bel Air Community Band.

After band founder Bill Humbert died, Mr. Beilfuss took over management of the Bel Air band shell, booking all the performances and uses of it, including concerts in the park and the Flag Day and Memorial Day ceremonies, Reier said.

"You don't really think about it, but thanks to him, we were able to conduct a number of events at the band shell," Reier said.

The commissioners also reappointed Deborah Haney to another three-year term on the Economic & Community Development Commission.

Commissioner Patrick Richards said Haney is a tremendous asset to the commission and he fully supported her reappointment.

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