Montini Catholic High School in Lombard congratulates senior Devin Chiaramonti for earning his Eagle Scout rank. Devin is a member of St. Pius X Troop 140 in Lombard and received his Board of Review regarding this prestigious ranking on Sunday, September 20th. (Currently, no official ceremony is planned at this time due to Covid 19 regulations.)
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. The designation "Eagle Scout" has a long history since its founding over one hundred years ago. Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. The requirements necessary to achieve this rank take years to fulfill. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges in fields such as first aid, citizenship in the community, nation and world, communication, personal fitness and emergency preparedness to name a few. According to the Boy Scouts of America, an Eagle scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit - "an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages."
"Scouting has been with me my entire life," said Devin. "I joined in the first grade in 2009 as a Cub Scout and stuck with the program until I bridged over to Boy Scouts in the winter of 2014 (5th grade)."
It was a special grade school memory that drove Devin to choose the Eagle Scout project he completed this past summer. "I built a 'Ga-Ga' Ball pit at my grade school, St. Pius X," he said. "I chose to do this project because I remembered everyone in school wanting to play itwhen I was in junior high, but we would never be able to convince the teachers to let us set up tables to play. I decided that even though my time playing Ga-Ga at Pius had passed, I could give the kids there an opportunity to play." Devin planned, fundraised, and managed the project on his own. "Surprisingly, building the pit was only a quarter of the work. The rest was dealing with approvals, filling out paperwork, getting signatures, and then writing post-project reports."
(Despite its unique name, Ga-Ga has nothing to do with the famous pop singer. It is a variant of dodgeball that is played in a "pit". The game combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands, and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the waist.)
"The kids absolutely love the Ga-Ga pit!" said St. Pius teacher and Montini alumna, Amy Tharp Georgitsis '84. "It's the highlight of their recess break. With limited access to many organized outdoor games due to the Covid pandemic, they have become very resourceful and are using the pit in creative ways. Many have commented that it's the only game that they have, and they are very grateful that it is here for them!"
Devin is grateful to his friends for encouraging him during his journey to become an Eagle Scout. "My friends encouraged me to get this project, saying that they did not know anyone who had become an Eagle. They helped me stay on track and focus on what was needed. My instructors made me realize just the amount of work it actually takes to earn the rank, and how great it looks on a college resume and to future employers!" Devin is one who likes to get involved. During his time as a Bronco he has jumped into many activities including Broadcasters, Lacrosse, Set Crew, Sound Crew and Robotics. He is also a member of the Peer Ministry Team.
He plans on majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois, credits his parents for their constant support throughout his years as a scout and especially during his journey to Eagle Scout status. 'Without my parents, I would have never gotten to where I am today. They have supported me through my entire journey to earn this, from encouraging me - whether I wanted them to or not - to helping me plan, and even funding as well. They were pivotal to my success and I could never thank them enough."
Devin views the Eagle Scout ranking as a life lesson in dedication, perseverance, and knowledge. "It's not something that you can earn in a few months. You have demonstrated that you know things such as First Aid, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Cooking, Camping, What it means to be a citizen at the world, national, and local level, Environmental Sciences and how to protect ecosystems, communication skills, and being prepared for anything. On top of all that it shows you know leadership skills and how to teach others." Prospective Eagle Scouts are required to take up a leadership position in some form and teach all the skills mentioned to younger scouts. "It is not just a title either, it's a show of character. Every Eagle Scout I have ever met has been the person who you know you can depend on, whether it be you need someone to help with a project you're working on over the weekend, you need someone to help you with school, or just be someone who you can turn and talk to and know they won't laugh and be there to help. It's a show of maturity, that you can stick to work towards a goal that may take years to accomplish. "
"Becoming an Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that tells the world that one has had good morals, an excellent work ethic and great values instilled in them" said Montini Catholic President, Jim Segredo. "These qualities are very hard to find these days. Devin has always been one of those students ready to jump in and help out whenever needed. He can always be counted on and we were quite proud to hear the news of this wonderful achievement!"
Devin Chiaramonti is the son of Nicholas '84 (Montini alumnus) and Suzanne Chiaramonti. He is a 2016 graduate of St. Pius X Parish School in Lombard and is a member of St. Pius X Parish.