30 September • 2012 Virginia Nieuwsma • On-Campus Event
At the heart of the St. Vladimir's Seminary campus stands Three Hierarchs Chapel. While most of the congregants of the Chapel are seminary students, faculty, and staff, others from the surrounding community of Crestwood and beyond also call Three Hierarchs their spiritual home.
Long-time member Bettye Malone is one such person. For over thirty years she has participated in the life of the Chapel, contributing her soaring, professional soprano voice to the choir throughout many of those years. Ms. Malone brought her children to church school and eventually, her grandson Skye Andrew Malone, an altar server at the Chapel since the age of eight, and also an avid Boy Scout. Currently, Skye is member of Yonkers Troop 4 (Westchester Putnam Boy Scout Council).
On Sunday, September 30, 2012, friends and family gathered in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium at 2:30 p.m. for Skye's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Only two percent of Boy Scouts reach the Eagle Scout level, and along the way they must accumulate twenty–one merit badges and complete a major service project, all by the time they are eighteen years old.
"Skye Andrew Malone has spent his entire life as part of our chapel community and it was pure joy to see him honored by his spiritual family and the Boy Scouts at an event that is really rather rare. We are all very proud of him," said The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, seminary Chancellor/CEO.
The Eagle Scout ceremony included the Scout Presentation of Colors, the flag pledge and the Scout Oath, presentation of the Eagle Scout medals, and a charge given by fellow Eagle Scout Dn. Evan Freeman, SVOTS Class of '09. Mr. Sean M.A. Hatfield, Esq., journeyed from Wichita, Kansas to deliver the keynote address.
"This will become increasingly meaningful for you in the years ahead," said fellow Eagle Scout Hatfield. "It's a long road to become an Eagle Scout, but in earning that rank, you have demonstrated to your troop, your friends, and family, and to your community, outstanding qualities of leadership and dedication."
Attorney Hatfield pointed out that 2012 is the 100th year anniversary of Eagle Scouts in America, and thus a propitious time for Skye to achieve the honor. "It is a very special time to be called into this rather exclusive group," he noted. "For 100 years Eagle Scouts have been the gold standard of youth and community leadership. Recently The Wall Street Journal compared earning an Eagle Scout rank to that of earning a 'doctorate in boyhood.'"
The Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project requires each scout to lead a team in a collaborative effort demanding hours of labor and organization. Skye and his seven other workers corrected a flooding problem on the Seminary's front campus, completing the project in two phases. First, he and his crew installed a drainage pipe, and then, they constructed two new benches to replace a fast-decaying marble bench. The team logged over one hundred hours on the beautification effort, the results of which will be enjoyed for many years.