Like all Boy Scouts working toward the Eagle Scout rank, Nick Cutrupi had to complete a service project. He set his sights on the Bordentown Little League, an organization that both he and his younger brother have participated in.
Cutrupi, a 15-year-old student at Notre Dame High School and Bordentown resident, raised over $2,300 to build a batting cage for the Bordentown Little League as a part of his Eagle Scout service project.
Cutrupi, who is a member of Boy Scout Troop 13 in Bordentown, invested over 228 service hours in the building of the cage that he now gets to see young athletes enjoy.
He has been involved with Boy Scouts for the past five and a half years, officially making Eagle Scout status last month. Eagle Scout is the highest rank that can be reached within the Boy Scouts of America, and it has been a goal of Cutrupi’s since grade school.
“Ever since I joined on the first day I knew I wanted to become an Eagle Scout,” saidCutrupi, who is a sophomore at Notre Dame High School and has been a Bordentown resident his entire life.
To become an Eagle Scout, a boy scout must first rise through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life Ranks, along with completing various merit badges and additional requirements, according to the Boy Scouts of America.
At least 21 merit badges must be earned including, 13 required badges, such as First Aid, Camping, and Personal Fitness.
A scout must be active in his Life Scout rank at for least six months leading up to his 18th birthday before making Eagle Scout rank.
While Cutrupi was at his Life Scout rank, he had to embark on completing one of the largest requirements in the journey of becoming an Eagle Scout, which is the service project.
It is considered the “ultimate application phase” of all the skills learned in scouting and employs the Scout oath of helping other people, according to the Eagle Scout workbook.
Cutrupi was inspired for a project idea after his younger brother, who plays for Bordentown Little League, complained about the difficulties of practicing his baseball batting skills.
He realized that if the league had a batting cage, it would be easier to practice hitting.
The Eagle Scout workbook requires a service project to be one that benefits another organization besides Boy Scouts such as a religious institution, any school or the world community itself, along with the project presenting “an opportunity for planning, development, and leadership.”
Cutrupi had played for Bordentown Little League himself, and he decided to help out the community of young local Bordentown ball players including his brother in honing in their batting skills for his project by building a cage.
“For most, the Eagle Scout service project becomes truly a defining moment in your quest for excellence,” says Robert J. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, in the workbook.
A batting cage is often a pricey investment, so Cutrupi went out in his community to solicit donations from local Bordentown businesses and companies along with holding a fundraising night at Chickie’s and Pete’s, he said.
An Eagle Scout project proposal must be approved beforehand. He began his project after the approval in September of 2018 and completed the building of the cage in late March.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life, building that cage,” Cutrupi says.
Although he put in over 228 hours of service into the endeavor, there are no minimum required hours for the service project according to the Eagle Scout workbook.
His fellow scouts of Troop 13, the Bordentown Little League, and members of his family assisted him in working on the cage after he received the materials for it from the manufacturer, he says.
The Eagle Scout workbook allows others to help in the completion of the project, as long as the Scout serves as its leader.
All $2,300 of the donations Cutrupi received went towards building the cage.
“Everytime my family, or I go to watch my brother play in Little League, I always see at least one person use the cage,” he said.
Outside of Boy Scouts, Cutrupi keeps active and is a member of the cross country and track and field teams at Notre Dame High School.
Outside of school and Scouts, he enjoys camping, skateboarding and hanging out with his friends.
Looking back on his service project and how much he enjoyed completing it, Cutrupi said, “I would love to help others with their projects, or even start a new one myself.”