Casto earns Eagle Scout

BRIDGEPORT – T.J. Casto of BSA Troop 109 Bridgeport earned his Eagle Scout rank on June 30. . He is the son of Michelle Casto of Bridgeport and Joseph Casto of Rushville, Ohio.

He was honored with an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony on Oct. 4 at the Bridgeport Masonic Lodge with family and friends in attendance. During the ceremony, he awarded Eagle Scout Mentor pins to his grandparents, Linda and Douglas Howell of Bridgeport and Michael Coey of Shadyside, to show them his appreciation for all their support over the years.

TJ entered scouting as a Cub Scout in the first grade and has worked his way up through the ranks earning the Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts and then transitioning to Boy Scouts which began his journey through the ranks to Eagle. He attended the Fort Steuben Scout Reservation Summer Camp since he was a Cub Scout and earned his 5th year logan as a Boy Scout. TJ was tapped out into the National Honor Society of Scouting called the Order of the Arrow and is a brotherhood member.

As a Boy Scout, he earned 38 merit badges and has held office as a quartermaster, troop guide, chaplain aide and an OA representative. He is a graduate of St Joseph Central Grade School in Wolfhurst and a 2009 graduate of St Johns Central High School in Bellaire. He is a freshman residing on campus at Wheeling Jesuit University majoring in chemistry. TJ is a member of St Josephs Catholic Church in Wolfhurst.

His service project was to tear down two existing foot bridges and reconstruct two new foot bridges at the LA Youth Camp in St Clairsville. Both bridges were damaged in the floods of 2004 and were unsafe with rotted foot boards and no handrails. He tore down the old bridges, reset three new electric poles for bases on both bridges and then added all new treated decking boards to walk across and completed each bridge with a set of handrails for safety. His project took place on May 15-16 with the help of fellow scouts and family and friends assisting. The project took a total of 231 man hour of which hespent 55 hours of his own planning and carrying out the project.

TJ would like to thank the following local businesses for their contribution to his project: Drs. Fausto and Sharon Lazo, Thomas Insurance, Pro Builder Supplies, Lowes in St Clairsville, Booth Chiropractic, Bridgeport Masonic Lodge, Deluxe Toy and Hobby, South Central Power, Whistle Post Inc and Angelic Home Care. TJ would also like to thank Rob Crowe and Troop 212 of Shadyside for planning his Court of Honor and assisting Bridgeport’s new scoutmaster Frank DePalma with the ceremony. Also a special thanks to BSA District Executive Melissa Reinbold and Bellaire Troop 111 Scoutmaster Dan Lofton for speaking at the ceremony.

The Eagle Scout Award is the highest rank awarded in boy scouting, only five percent of all boys who enter scouting ever achieve the rank of Eagle. An Eagle Scout is looked up to as an example and therefore exemplifies character and leadership.