Local Scout earns Eagle rank for community service at zoo

Daniel Goldsmith attains the rank of Eagle Scout.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Daniel Goldsmith, of South Orange, was honored at an Eagle Scout “Court of Honor” ceremony on Sunday, June 24, at which he attained the prestigious rank.

For his Eagle Project, Goldsmith, a member of Troop 60, coordinated all of the volunteer collection efforts on Friday to Sunday nights between Nov. 17 and Jan. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. During 23 nights of service — a total of 1,696.75 hours — Goldsmith led volunteer efforts that collected 334 bags of winter clothes, 187 bags of toys, 22,543 pounds of food and dozens of pairs of used eyeglasses.

Goldsmith, a rising Columbia High School freshman and member of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, joined the Cub Scouts in 2010 and the Boy Scouts in 2015; he has held the positions of den chief and troop guide. Troop 60’s charter organization is South Orange Elks Lodge No. 1154 and the troop is led by Jeff Bryant.

The Eagle Scout award is a performance-based achievement with high standards for acquisition. Not every boy who joins the Scouts earns Eagle Scout rank; only approximately 2.5 percent of all Boy Scouts are named Eagle Scouts. While most Scouts who earn the rank do so as upperclassmen in high school or even as college students, Goldsmith was able to acquire the rank through community service he completed while in the eighth grade.

“I think that earning Eagle Scout at a younger age will allow me to become a better troop guide because I can be more concerned about other people’s advancement than my own. I plan to stay involved with my troop, serving as troop guide and maybe in other roles as needed,” Goldsmith wrote in his “Statement of Ambitions, Life Purpose and Leadership.”

“For my Eagle Scout service project I did something that I hope had a meaningful impact on others. I was born with a chance for a great life. As I’ve lived my life, I’ve learned that not all have that chance so I want to do whatever I can to make sure everyone has a good chance,” Goldsmith, who has earned 56 merit badges, wrote.