Ninety-eight young men who reached the rank of Eagle Scout in Area 6 of the Laurel Highlands Council were honored Aug. 11 at the annual Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet.
Dr. John Uccellini, a Scouting volunteer from Indiana, was recognized as the Class of Eagle Scouts honoree, and the class for this year was named the Dr. John Uccellini Class of Eagle Scouts.
Scouts from Indiana, Cambria, Somerset, Blair and Bedford counties participated in the dinner held at Saint Francis University, Loretto.
“To become an Eagle Scout, a young man must complete at least 21 merit badges, hold a leadership position within his troop, and organize, plan and execute an Eagle Scout service project to benefit the local community,” said Michael Morrell, field director of the Laurel Highlands Council, BSA.
“Projects ranging from cleanup and restoration of local parks to arranging a quintet to play at local nursing homes benefit the local community and demonstrate the impact that one Scout can have on a community.”
Uccellini has served as the district advancement chairman for the Chestnut Ridge District, serving Indiana County, for 20 years. In that time, he has worked with and mentored young men who were working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. During his time as advancement chairman, he has worked with every Eagle Scout in Indiana County.
“I really love what I do in Scouting. I get to work with the best of the best,” said Uccellini in his acceptance remarks. Uccellini achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1972, in Troop 415 in Midland.
He attributes his understanding of leadership and sense of community service to his experience as a Scout in his youth.
Giving back to Scouting is an obligation of an Eagle Scout, he told his audience. He encouraged all of the Scouts in attendance to become involved in Scouting as adults when they have an opportunity.
Uccellini said he had about a 10-year hiatus from the Scouting program before becoming involved in the Indiana County area.
Uccellini also said that the Scouting mantra of “police the area” has impacted his life.
“As Scouts, we leave an area better than we found it. You don’t have to change the world, but wherever you find yourself, make the area a little better than you found it.”
Uccellini recently retired from the Indiana Area School District after a 35-year career in education. He and his wife, Hollie, reside in Indiana, and have three children.