Names, Ages: Christopher Doerr, 16 and Andrew Steinbeck, 17
Accomplishment: Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest Boy Scouts of America rank.
Key to Awesomeness: The was filled with family, friends and community members on Sunday as two PHS students marked a major accomplishment—Christopher Doerr and Andrew Steinbeck were each named Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America.
For both teenagers, scouting has been a rewarding experience as well as a family tradition.
"It's always been in my family," said Doerr, whose father, uncle and grandfather are all Eagle Scouts.
Steinbeck is quick add camping is the best part of being a Boy Scout, and according to the ceremony's program, both have spent a good amount of time outdoors since joining the troop in elementary school.
Doerr has camped 38 nights, hiked 77 miles and contributed 48.5 hours of service. Steinbeck has spent 73 nights camping, hiked 79.8 miles and given 37.7 hours of service.
The pair were honored by their fellow Troop 12 scouts and scoutmasters at a ceremony that included traditional elements such as a reciting of the Scout Oath and the candle lighting, but also personal touches that reflected each of the scouts' personalities and accomplishments.
Family, friends and local officials spoke on their behalf, noting the rarity of their accomplishment and the bright futures both high school students have.
In order to be named Eagle Scouts, Doerr and Steinbeck each had to complete a community service project.
For his, Doerr chose to build a hutch and gate for a group of ducks that live at Westchester Hills School 29 in Yonkers, where his mother works.
"The students care for over a dozen ducks that were hatched as part of the special education curriculum," he shared.
Doerr identified the safety and inaccessibility issues of the ducks' cage and spent a few weeks building a new hutch and gate for the ducks and students to enjoy.
"I felt really accomplished," he said. "It was really cool and a lot of fun to do."
For his project, Steinbeck wanted to give back to the church that has hosted Troop 12 "as long as I've been here."
He tackled a Sunday School classroom in need of repairs.
"I made two shelves, I re-tiled the ceiling, buffered the floors and repainted the walls," Steinbeck said.
Though he ran into difficulties after the first shelf collapsed in a manner "like out of a cartoon," the classroom is now complete and ready for student use.
Watching older scouts earn become Eagle Scouts and working hard toward a goal made the Eagle Court of Honor extra special for the pair.
"It sounds cheesy, but it's like a victory day," Steinback reflected. "It's taken so many years to get to this point."
Added Doerr, "It means a lot. I am proud to represent the troop and I feel like I made my parents proud."
New York State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (D-92), Westchester County Legislator Michael Smith's (R-District 3) Aide Anthony Amiano, Pleasantville Deputy Mayor Mindy Berard and Mount Pleasant Supervisor Joan Maybury were just a few of those who commended the scouts for their hard work.
Amiano announced the Westchester County Legislature's formal recognition of Doerr and Steinbeck, while Berard said Wednesday would be named "Andrew Steinbeck Day" and Thursday, "Christopher Doerr Day" in the village.
Even though Steinbeck and Doerr have reached the highest Boy Scouts rank, it isn't the end of the road for either teen.
"After I turn 18, I will become a junior assistant scout master in this troop, so when I'm back home [from college], I can come to a meeting," Steinbeck said.
Doerr, too, said, "I am going to stick with it as long as I can."