Eagle Scout John Setford III stands next to his Eagle project, a Zen garden, at the Apshawa Elementary School.
BY PATRICIA KELLER WEST MILFORD - John C. Setford III, a sophomore at West Milford High School and a member of Scouts BSA Troop 44, chartered through The West Milford Presbyterian Church, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on Jan. 23. To earn the rank of Eagle, a scout must complete all rank requirements, earn at least 21 merit badges, and demonstrate leadership and community service by organizing and carrying out an approved Eagle Service Project in their community. John earned a total of 35 merit badges. “The day Johnny stepped through Troop 44’s doors, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he would reach Scouting’s ultimate goal of Eagle Scout,” Will Cytowicz, Scouts BSA Troop 44 scoutmaster said. About the Scout “Johnny”, as he is best known to his friends, teachers, and fellow Scouts, is the son of John C Setford, II and Janep Yang. “Scouts have helped mold him to be the responsible young man he is today, the older Setford said. "We are extremely proud of him and the adult he is becoming." In addition to Scouting, Johnny keeps himself (and his parents) busy with the many additional activities and clubs he enjoys being involved in; including: the West Milford High School Highlander Bands, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band, as well as performing in WMHS Musical Theater productions and plays. He is a member of the WMHS Italian Honor Society, and is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, currently working on his third degree black belt. Project to benefit a school in the community For his Eagle project, Johnny completed a Zen Garden for West Milford's Apshawa Elementary School, the same school he attended during elementary school. “When Johnny first approached me about an Eagle Scout project, he had many great ideas. Apshawa was looking to incorporate more of a peaceful space into an area between the two sections of the building," Apshawa School Principal Stephanie Primavera said, "We thought a mindfulness garden would be the perfect place for students to read, reflect and spend some time with classmates. We met quite frequently about the project and he kept me updated every step of the way. Johnny was extremely organized and professional from start to finish. He has an incredible work ethic and we are so proud that he chose to complete the garden where he used to call home.” Grateful for the help he received through generous donations, volunteer time, and guidance from Troop 44 Scout Master Will Cytowitz and other Scout Leaders, the Scout Board Committee, Joseph Christen, Principal Primavera, Miss Warren, Apshawa School, Apshawa PTA, Chris Kelly, the West Milford Board of Education Maintenance Department, Jim Weinbrecht Inc., Braen Stone, Excelsior Lumber, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, friends, family, the West Milford Community, and fellow Troop 44 scouts, Johnny was able to complete his Eagle project in September of 2018. “On the day of his Eagle Court of Honor, he will be receiving a badge and pin in honor of his accomplishment”, Cytowicz said; “However, the badge and pin don’t tell the story of the countless hours that he’s dedicated to the troop and community, the younger scouts that he mentored along the way, the sacrifices and balancing of his overextended schedule with his scouting commitments, and the extensive knowledge that he acquired. Johnny embodies Scouting Spirit and Cheerful Service and it is with great honor that we announce that Johnny Setford has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.” The Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony for John “Johnny” C. Setford III will be held on May 19 at the Troop 44 Scout House on Union Valley Road.