A fence repaired, an Eagle honored

Nick McCormick achieves Eagle Scout rank and provides much needed repairs to cemetery fence

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  • Photo provided Eagle Scout Nick McCormick stands in front of the fencing at St. Joseph Cemetery. Repairing and refinishing the fencing was his Eagle Scout project.

Nick McCormick, of Boy Scout Troop 114, appreciated the support of St. Joseph's community throughout his Scouting career and decided to restore a section of the wrought iron fence at St. Joseph's cemetery for his Eagle Scout project. The section along Germantown Road was most in need of repair and St. Joseph's had been asking for help restoring it for years.

The original section of fence had been standing for over 100 years. The bottom of the fence was obscured in overgrowth and portions of the fence had holes where rust had eaten through completely. Many of the bars had been knocked loose.

The first step was clearing the overgrowth along the bottom. Then Nick and his volunteers used a power washer, wire hand brushes and drill attachments to remove all the old paint and rust, down to the bare metal.

Nick really wanted to fix the loose pieces, but was advised that due to the age of the fence, any extensive repair work could result in more damage.

After the prep phase, Nick, with the help of fellow Scouts, friends, adults and family, got to work. They applied one coat of primer and two coats of Rustoleum enamel to 24 six-by-12 foot sections of the fence along Germantown Road and Koch Hall parking lot. The Rustoleum treated the existing rust and prevented further corrosion.

"It was very labor intensive; a lot of the fence had to be treated and you had to reach every area of the fence," said Nick. "It was a lot of hands-on and very intensive."

Mary Beth Ferriola, the business manager at St. Joseph's, said the parish is very appreciative.

"For years we hoped someone would do it, so we were so grateful when he took it on,' said Ferriola. "It was greatly in need of repair. It was very thorough and we very much appreciate the time and effort he spent."

And how did Nick feel when the project was completed?

"It was just a huge relief, to get it done, (after) so many years in Scouting and to climb the hill and reach the top of Eagle," said Nick. "It's really indescribable."

For his efforts, Nick was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor ceremony on May 20. The West Milford High School senior graduates next week - he is ranked sixth in his graduating class - and plans to attend Seton Hall University to study finance in the honors program.

A big thank youNick had many people to thank, including: Mr. Hanson, Mr. Kachler, Mrs. Cooper, and Mr. Oselador for working tirelessly to ensure that his project was finished in time; Scott Schlieper; the many employees of Home Depot and Lowe’s for their assistance and expertise; all of his family members, fellow Scouts, their parents, Scout leaders and friends for their countless hours of precise, intricate work in restoring the fence; and especially the parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church for their generous donations that made this project possible. Special thanks to Father Alek and Bob Sautter for their great support and guidance during the project.

- Ginny Privitar

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West Milford, NJ