Brad Kaufman’s road toward Eagle Scouting began in 2004. It was then that the Lynbrook native joined the Cub Scouts and fell in love with the program. Now, eight years later, Kaufman has achieved the organizations highest rank.
“Being an Eagle Scout is a tremendous honor and getting to that level [was] a great challenge worth pursuing,” he told Patch.
The Eagle Scout process is not an easy one. Before being bestowed with the honor, Kaufman needed to obtain multiple badges that recognized his proficiency in categories such as first aid, emergency preparedness, and family management. He also had to complete a community project. That’s where Eric Patysiack came in.
Patysiak, the director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre, sent a list of possible on-site projects to a group of potential (or rising, as they're known) Eagle Scouts. One of those projects, building a walkway in front of the center, was of particular interest to Kaufman.
“The path was definitely needed,” Kaufman said. “The area was in rough shape before I cleared it out. [It had] weeds and an ugly-looking plant patch.”
With Patysiak’s blessing, Kaufman moved on to the proposal phase of his journey. The plan needed to be presented and approved by four people, including Scoutmaster Steve Muller, before any construction could begin.
“The biggest challenge, besides the actual execution of the project, was finding time during the school year to work on my proposal,” Kaufman said.
After his plan was approved by the necessary powers, Kaufman sought donations from local businesses to help offset the cost of the project. Lynbrook’s and Oceanside’s Oceanville Masonry donated supplies and The Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Organization - Family Lodge 467 donated funds, according to Kaufman.
The rising Eagle Scout solicited his friends, fellow scouts, and CSTL employees to help with the labor. They worked four seven-hour work days to complete the project.
Despite those long hours, Kaufman looks back at the building process as the highlight of the project.
“My favorite part of the process was building the path with my good friends,” he said. “It added levity to the situation and allowed for productive work.”
Those friends included Lynbrook Troop 336 members Sebastian Percy, Derek Colannino, Michael Jensen, Marty Jensen, Matthew and Jason Holquist, and students Joe Cappadonna, Tim Hung, Matthew Paris, Ben Ingerman, Jesse Bua, and Griffin Kreit.
Since completion, Kaufman has heard nothing but good things about his work.
“Eric [Patysiak] and his staff are very grateful,” Kaufman said. “I can imagine those who frequent Tanglewood Preserve notice, use the new path, and are able to enjoy it. It’s much better than the dirt and weeds that were there before.”