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Robbie Rafanelli Earns Eagle Scout Status!
Posted 03/22/2018 02:51PM

Another young achiever at Montini Catholic, senior Robert Rafanelli, was recently congratulated for achieving Eagle Scout Ranking.

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 the the Boy Scouts of America website, 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."

"My Eagle Scout Project was to build two, 2x4 slow-grazer horse feeders for a stable called Hanson Center in Burr Ridge," explained Robbie. "They provide horse rides to people with mental disabilities."

Robbie volunteered at Hanson Center over the summer and was inspired to base his Eagle Scout Project on their needs. "I asked them if they had anything that I could do for them," he said. Robbie found out that some of the center's current feeders were in disarray and needed to be replaced. After getting the project approved by Hanson Center and the BSA, he then ordered the custom steel grates and the instructions for building the feeders. "One of my dad's friends provided the tools needed for the project. Then me, my dad, my friend Dylan, and my dad's friends built the feeders." Thinking that the project would involve multiple days before completion, Robbie and crew were very happy to be able to get the job done much faster than expected.
"We were able to build both of then in one day," he said. "A few days later we dropped the feeders off at Hanson Center!"

"My dad (Rick Rafanelli) has really been the one to pushed me anytime I slacked off," admitted Robbie. "He was also the one who helped with the finances and technical parts of my project. He knew the hard work would pay off in the end."

"My mom (Cara Rafanelli) has helped motivate me through the harder parts of becoming an Eagle Scout," he added. "Both of my parents and my sister have been very supportive of me throughout my mission."

"Another person who inspired me was my grandfather who passes away in 2014," said Robbie. "We were very close and I promised him that I would make it to Eagle and I kept that promise."

Montini alumni, Warren Dawes '16, who achieved the Eagle Scout ranking as a senior at Montini, explained the trials and tribulations needed to achieve the prestigious ranking. "Trying not to be cliche, the trail to Eagle takes a lot of determination and a never-give-up attitude. It is so easy to drop out of Boy Scouts at any point during your scouting experience, but those who stick with it and earn the rank of a Eagle Scout can enjoy the pride that comes along with the achievement. Advancing from a beginner scout to Eagle takes a lot of persistence and a positive attitude that you can and will be successful in all you undertake. A scout must be able to accept failure and hard times, and learn from their mistakes to become a better scout. For a scout to be successful, he must be able to keep up on merit badges and rank advancements that help him along the path to Eagle."

"Becoming an Eagle Scout means that I have achieved something great in my life," said Robbie. "The journey to becoming an Eagle Scout has help me grow in smarts and maturity."

"We are so honored to have Robbie in our midst here at Montini," said Principal Maryann O'Neill, who is always thrilled and honored to be invited to all the Eagle Scout ceremonies of her students. "He is an inspiration to us all and we are so very proud to have him as a vital member of our Montini Catholic family."

Robert Rafanelli is from Indian Head Park and attended St. John of the Cross Grade School in Western Springs. He is also a member of St. John of the Cross Parish.

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