WOHS senior earns title of Eagle Scout

Photo Courtesy of Sharon Keigher
West Orange Elks Exalted Ruler Cathy Lodge and John Caplanis at the Court of Honor ceremony.

John Caplanis reached the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

This event was formally commemorated on March 8, at the The Eagle Court of Honor for Troop 2 at the West Orange Elks Club.

Caplanis, a senior at West Orange High School, moved through the scouting ranks over many years. Beginning as a scout in 2017, he moved up to tenderfoot the next year and steadily climbed the ranks of; second class, first class, star, and life before becoming an eagle scout. This accomplishment was achieved after earning 21 merit badges, patrol leadership and national leadership training.

His Eagle Scout Community Service Project combined his compassion for animals with his willingness to serve his local community – building shelters for the cats of West Orange’s Trap-Vaccinate-Neuter-Release program.

A few years ago, Caplanis decided to help care for cats beyond his home pets. He volunteered with WOTVR, assisting in the trapping of local feral cats and transporting them to a veterinarian. His Eagle Scout Community Service Project inspired him to build insulated shelters for WOTVNR’s feral felines, allowing these outdoor dwellers to safely survive the winter.

The path to Eagle Scout takes years of work, only 5% of all Scouts achieve this rank. Butch Melhorn is a committee chair of Troop 2 and a trustee of the West Orange Elks.

He recognized the magnitude of this achievement and requested the donation of the Elks Hall to hold the official Eagle Court of Honor. In attendance were several Elks Officers as well as Exalted Ruler Cathy Lodge. Caplanis’ Troop 2 is sponsored by the Kelly School PTA.