2017-03-20 / Front Page

A rare honor

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Unity teen achieves Eagle Scout rank after outdoor classroom project

UNITY — Eight years of work culminated in 18-year-old Jeremy Dewey, of Unity, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremony at Unity Elementary School on Sunday.

A crowd of about 90 — including four fellow Eagle Scouts — took their seats in the elementary school gymnasium to watch Dewey, who started as a cub scout at age 9, accept the badge.

“He’s always been very self-motivated. When he decides he wants to do something, he does it,” said Jeremy’s father, Michael Dewey, who was there along with Jeremy’s mother, Ann, his aunt Laurie Cook, sister Rachel Dewey and grandmother Millie Towle.

Dewey is currently in his first year as a double major studying computer technology and computer science at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

In addition to climbing the ranks within the Boy Scout Troop 316 and attaining the required merit badges, Jeremy Dewey had to plan, organize and complete a project. In a nod to his time as a student at Unity Elementary School, Dewey chose to construct an outdoor classroom and multi-use space.

“Every day I asked if we could have class outside,” Dewey said of his time at the elementary school. “I’m really excited to see how [the school] uses it as time goes on.”

After receiving approval from the Eagle Review Board and School Board to go forward with the project, Dewey met with a number of local businesses.

“Luckily, I live in a community where people are generous,” he said.

Businesses and organizations contributing to the project include L.E. Week and Sons, Kiwanis of Claremont, Osgood Construction, Carroll Concrete, Gardener and Sons, Lumber Barn, Home Depot, Lavalley’s Building Supply, Lambert Building Supply, Lambert Auto, and Dewey Construction.

Work on the project began in December 2015, with a concrete slab being poured at the north end of the school as the foundation. The wood open-air structure was put up in roughly a week in mid-June 2016.

Unity Elementary School Principal Chip Baldwin said the school is planning to add benches and a podium, using the outdoor space for a variety of purposes including outdoor classroom activities, and a concessions space for sporting events.

“Having him come back to do something for his school is touching,” Baldwin said.

An active scout himself, Baldwin said Dewey was a great student and should “be proud for the rest of his life.”

“It really speaks to the character of young men. He embodied that when he was here,” Baldwin said.

According to Troop 316 Scoutmaster Peter Merritt, Dewey is the second scout in the last four years to have achieved Eagle Scout rank, with Newport’s Patrick Hennig achieving the rank in 2015, 30 years after the last scout to achieve it.

“It’s a very rare honor,” he said.

After receiving a citation of congratulations from Gov. Chris Sununu, read by Rep. Skip Rollins, Dewey addressed the crowd.

“I told my parents I would do it no matter what,” Dewey said. “I finally achieved the goal I have set out for after eight years.”

“Our country has had a great past. You can help make the future even greater,” said Committee Chair Chad Howe to Dewey. “I charge you to undertake your citizenship with solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best.”

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