Boy Scout Troop 5 Maplewood Named ‘Villager of the Month’ in South Orange

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From Troop 5 Maplewood BSA:

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J.: South Orange Mayor Sheena Collum and the South Orange Village Council honored a local Boy Scout Troop by naming the entire troop as “Villager of the Month” for the month of June 2024.

“We commend and thank the scouts of Troop 5 for their dedication, leadership, and community service,” Mayor Collum said. “The scouts of Troop 5 have made, and continue to make, a lasting positive impact on our community and on countless individuals through their Eagle Scout projects, which include, among other things, building a dugout at Cameron Field, wooden benches for our Rescue Squad, installing trail maps in the South Mountain Reservation, and cleaning and beautifying many of our South Orange memorials.”

Troop 5 Maplewood BSA is an active Boy Scout troop that has served Maplewood, South Orange, and surrounding communities since 1920. The troop, which is sponsored by the Maplewood Rotary Club, is youth led and is open to boys aged 11 to 17. Troop 5 has a strong outdoor adventure program that includes two weeks of summer camp in the Adirondacks, monthly outings during the school year, and high adventure trips. It also provides numerous opportunities for community service on projects organized by the troop and by individual scouts.

The proclamation, which was presented at the South Orange Village Council’s June 10 meeting, praises Troop 5 for demonstrating “outstanding leadership and commitment through recent Eagle Scout projects in our community.” More than a dozen scouts were named in the proclamation, along with the Eagle Scout projects that they have completed or are in the midst of completing.

See the full proclamation here:

South Orange Village Councilwoman Summer Jones, who read the proclamation, said this month’s pick is “really special because it’s a group of people.” The Villager of the Month award is an honor selected by the Community Relations Committee based on recommendations of individuals who have made a significant impact on South Orange, she said.

“I just want to thank you all,” Councilwoman Karen Hilton said, after the proclamation was read. “It’s just tremendous hearing about the projects that you guys have done. It’s really just a huge, huge benefit to our community and I know it takes hours and hours of your time.”

South Orange Councilperson Bill Haskins, who worked with Troop 5 on at least two of the projects, said the service projects not only improved physical structures in the community, but they also had a social impact as well.

“The interactions between the scouts and the community was really quite touching,” Haskins said, describing the reaction of a community member who happened to visit Founder’s Park while the scouts were cleaning a memorial.

“It was really impressive,” Haskins said, adding, “I look forward to working with you guys on future projects.”

Columbia High School rising senior Max Coey, who was the Troop 5 Senior Patrol Leader for the 2023-24 school year, represented Troop 5 at the South Orange Village Council meeting, which was held virtually.

“We just wanted to say thank you so much for this honor,” Coey said. “It means a lot for the community to see and to recognize and to understand the value of all the work that we do.”

Coey said the troop takes a lot of pride in the efforts it focuses on community service, adding that it gives him, and others in Troop 5, “a lot of joy to just give back.”

Scouts working on Eagle Scout rank requirements must plan and lead a project that is helpful to a local community organization. The scout will typically raise funds for the project and organize volunteers from the troop and the broader community to complete the project. Scouts often choose organizations and projects that are meaningful to them personally.

The scouts, and their Eagle Scout projects, described in the proclamation, included:

  • Jack Barnett of South Orange, who collaborated with the South Orange Rescue Squad in 2023 to provide new custom-built indoor and outdoor wooden furniture for their Sloan Street Headquarters.
  • Rome Brachfeld of Maplewood, who partnered with the South Orange Department of Public Works in 2024 to clean and restore memorials in South Orange, including the obelisk in Founders Park and the Veterans Memorial Rock in Meadowland Park.
  • Max Coey of Maplewood, who worked with the South Orange Department of Public Works in 2022 to construct dugouts for historic Cameron Field.
  • Henry Donat of Maplewood, who collaborated with Wyoming Presbyterian Church in 2023 to repair and repaint the exterior of a historic cottage used for meetings and counseling, along with other repairs.
  • Ola Fawole of Bound Brook (formerly Maplewood), who built and installed wheelchair-accessible picnic tables at Seth Boyden Elementary School in 2022.
  • Grant Huebner of South Orange, who rehabilitated seven public bulletin boards in Maplewood parks in 2022, including a complete replacement at Milo S. Borden Park.
  • Alexander Lopos of South Orange, who repaired orchestra instrument storage shelving and raised funds for the professional repair of cellos at Columbia High School in 2023.
  • Jacob Pross of South Orange, who constructed and installed four new Little Free Library book boxes around MAPSO in 2023.
  • Aidan Sheridan of Maplewood, who beautified the area around the South Orange Veterans Memorial Rock in 2023 by installing a new circle of paving stones.
  • Jacob Tinkelman of New Vernon (formerly South Orange), who built bookshelves and organized a book drive for the Winston School of Short Hills in 2021 and 2022.
  • Lukas Wurster of Maplewood, who built and installed six new trail maps in the South Mountain Reservation in 2023.

Additionally, current Eagle Scout candidates listed in the proclamation, included:

  • Chris Ferrell of Livingston, who is working to refurbish the M60 battle tank at the West Orange National Guard Armory.
  • Tim Van de North of Maplewood, who is working to renovate garden benches and install nesting boxes at the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association.

For more information about Troop 5, which meets every Thursday evening during the school year from 7-9 p.m. at Seth Boyden Elementary School, please email at or visit

For current activities, visit Troop 5 on Facebook at or on Instagram at (@troop5maplewood).

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