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Two boy scout profiles.
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NAME: Eric Sidelko
GRADE: Just graduated from Orange County High School; will be a freshman at the University of Virginia in August and plans to major in finance.
BOY SCOUT RANK: Eagle Scout. "I got involved when I was 5 or 6 as a Tiger Cub. Now that I'm older, I'm more like [a leader] to the younger guys." Helped stop erosion in Wilderness battlefield for his Eagle Scout project in October 2011. "We dug trenches and filled them to collect water to stop erosion. Then we laid down gravel over the trenches. The planning took about two months. My whole troop helped with the project, which took about two days of work for four to five hours each day."
FAVORITE PART OF SCOUTS: "I really like canoeing." Last summer his troop went on a weeklong canoeing trip to northern Minnesota.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Leading scorer on the OCHS academic team, ran on every OCHS track team (indoor, outdoor, cross country), treasurer of OCHS Spanish club, co-captain of OCHS engineering team. "I like staying busy."
WHAT I LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THE AREA: "There's so much to do. We have battlefields and historic sites here, then you're an hour from the beach, an hour from skiing it's great."
LESSONS I LEARNED FROM BOY SCOUTS: "Well, survival skills will be useful. But mostly the leadership aspect. I mean, if you can get a bunch of 10- and 11-year-olds to do something, you can do anything."
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NAME: Jeffrey Gaioni
GRADE: Just graduated from Riverbend High School; will be a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall, majoring in biology. Hopes to eventually go on to medical school to become a doctor.
BOY SCOUT RANK: Eagle Scout. "My parents got me into it when I was 5 or 6. They pushed me to continue, even when it was hard." He knew it would be great for a resume or a college application someday to say he was an Eagle Scout. Installed wooden benches around Chatham Manor this January for his Eagle Scout project. "Collectively, it took us about 130 hours. I split half the benches to install one Saturday, and half to do the other Saturday."
FAVORITE PART OF SCOUTS: The experiences outdoors. Four years ago, he went to New Mexico and hiked more than 100 miles of the Rocky Mountains. Two summers ago, he went to the Florida Keys to sail. "It's a lot of cool stuff I'm learning to do. If I weren't in Boy Scouts, I wouldn't have done it."
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Music. He sings and plays guitar. "I play at open-mic nights, and I played at Riverbend talent shows." He has been playing guitar for eight years.
WHAT I LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THE AREA: "The ability to do virtually anything. Going bowling, seeing a movie, going shopping downtown, eating at any restaurant--there's a wide variety
LESSONS I LEARNED FROM BOY SCOUTS: "Integrity is important, and commitment will get you far. Sticking to one thing for a long time is a good thing."