Boy Scout from Lilly attains rank of Eagle

Courtesy photo Josh Koval of Lilly earned his Eagle Scout award after completing a project at Lillydale Cemetery.

LILLY — Josh Koval, 13, of Lilly has achieved the Boy Scouts’ highest rank, Eagle Scout. Josh is a member of Ashville Boy Scout Troop 2221 under the leadership of Scoutmaster Mike Pettenati. Josh is the first Eagle Scout that this troop has produced.

He is the son of Rick and Brenda Koval. Josh is an eighth-grade student at Penn Cambria Middle School, where he is in the gifted program.

Josh began his scouting career as a Wolf Cub with Loretto Pack 26 and then transferred to Ashville Pack, where he continued through Cub Scouting to achieve the highest award, the Arrow of Light.

While a Cub Scout, he took first and second places in his troop’s Pinewood Derbies then went on to take third place in the district derby.

As a member of Troop 2221, Josh has held leadership positions, including senior patrol leader and scribe. He has earned 43 merit badges so far.

He has earned his EQT STEM Achievement Award, the Railroad and Gettysburg Heritage Programs Awards and his Religious Emblem, God and Church Award.

Josh has attended many camp outings, including igloo camps where he camped in a tent in nine-degree weather. He has attended two summer camps that lasted seven days each.

Josh and his troop have completed several service projects to help the community, such as building and releasing fish habitats, helping veterans fish, cleaning up three beaches at Glendale and helping the VFW by removing flags from cemeteries.

Josh and his troop have attended many competitions such as First Aid and Klondike. His troop placed fourth at a first aid meet and recently took first place at a Klondike competition.

For his Eagle Scout service project, Josh built a sign for St. Luke’s Lutheran Church’s Lillydale Cemetery because it never had one. The sign is mounted on a 7-foot-by-7-foot brick frame with solar-lit crosses on the top and a solar spotlight.

Under his direction, his crew — which included Bob Whitsel, his grandfather Bob Hufford and his sister Savana — completed the project that took more than 373 hours. Josh is a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.

He reached his goal of Eagle Scout on Nov. 22 after his board of review and received his Eagle Scout badge during a court of honor ceremony on Feb. 11 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church with Mike Pettenati as master of ceremonies, assisted by Josh’s fellow Scouts and Pastor John Palko. His sister Savana read a poem titled “The Eagle.”

Josh plans to continue in Boy Scouts to earn his Eagle Palms and to continue to assist his fellow Scouts, church and community. His troop presented him with a lifetime membership to the National Eagle Scout Association.

To show his appreciation to the troop for all their help, Josh presented it with a new portable grill.