Daniel Jiritano recently completed the project that would allow him to reach the highest achievement a scout can receive, but he did it not just for the honor, but also for the cause.
Jiritano, a Kings Park resident and part of Commack’s Boy Scout Troop 125 took on the task of constructing an incline/decline staircase as well as a wheelchair accessible sand table for the Children’s Center at United Cerebral Palsy in Commack.
“I chose to do my project for UCP because, having a mild form of cerebral palsy myself, I personally understand the conditions the children experience,” said Jiritano. “It felt good to contribute to the community and give them the opportunity to better their lives.”
The center previously had an incline/decline staircase constructed by an Eagle Scout almost 30 years ago. A total of 378 hours, from the planning stage through its completion, was logged into the project and took Jiritano, along with the help of 38 additional scouts and 13 adults to complete it.
The majority of the funds necessary to complete the project were raised during a bake sale held in March at St. Joseph’s Parish. The sale was so successful, that even after subtracting the expenses incurred for the project he was able to present the UCP a check for more than $800.
Jiritano began scouting in the second grade as a Wolf Scout with Cub Scout Pack 125 in Commack where he went on to earn the Arrow of Light, the only badge earned as a Cub Scout that can be worn on a Boy Scout uniform. He joined Boy Scout Troop 125 in 2006 where he quickly rose through the ranks to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in just five years.
“Scouting is much more than earning merit badges and going on camping trips. It is also about the friends you make, the opportunities it holds, and the memories and skills that remain with you for the rest of your life. It is a great honor to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and be a member of Troop 125,” said Jiritano.
A junior at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, Jiritano is also involved in extracurricular activities at school including the Environmental Club, Spanish Club and the Peace & Justice Club. He has not yet decided on a career path or which college he plans to attend after graduation.
Jiritano said that Boy Scouts has taught him a lot over the years including tying knots, lighting a stove to cooking a meal on a camping trip as well as teaching others how to perform tasks for themselves.
“Not all scouts join with the intent of earning the Eagle rank, but I do encourage everyone to try to succeed. If you are motivated to do so, then never give up at it because it is an accomplishment well worth the time, effort and hard work put into achieving this goal of reaching the highest rank that Boy Scouts can offer.”