Pittsfield: Three from Troop 8 earn Eagle Scout honor

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PITTSFIELD >> Three members of St. Mark's Boy Scout Troop 8 have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scout program.

The scouts are Basil Billow, Jacob Coles and John Collingwood.

Their Court of Honor was held Jan. 9 at First United Methodist Church. Guest speakers included State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Mayor Linda Tyer, Police Chief Michael Wynn, VFW Post 448 Commander Arnold Perras, and Hank Morris, VFW Post 448 service officer and chairman of the Eagle Scout youth programs.

Billow, son of John and Denise Billow of Pittsfield, started in Cub Scouts with Pack 1, earning his Arrow of Light. He crossed over into Troop 20 and later joined Troop 8. Billow has served as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, and troop guide. He is an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow.

His Eagle project worked in association with the Pocket Flag Project to send flags to U.S. Soldiers. He organized an event where 50 scouts, their families and friends folded 900 flags and inserted individual messages, prayers and well wishes to send along. They received donations from a number of local labor unions, businesses and individuals, and the local veterans agency arranged to package and ship the flags.

An avid sportsman, Billow is a member of the Lenox Sportsmen's Club and a skilled spinning and fly fisherman.

A 2015 Pittsfield High School high honors graduate, Billow is a member of the National Honor Society and a recipient of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship and the Rotary "Service Above Self" scholarship. He excelled in baseball, football, basketball and wrestling.

Billow is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management in Amherst.

Coles, son of Kathleen Coles of Pittsfield, began his scouting career in Pack 20 as a Webelos Scout where he earned his Arrow of Light. He crossed over into Troop 20 and later joined Troop 8.

Coles has served as assistant patrol leader, patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.

His Eagle project involved renovating and organizing storage space at Barton's Crossing shelter. Coles and his crew cleared out garbage and broken shelving units, cleaned the space and assembled new shelving units, making the room a safe and useful space for the residents.

A 2015 PHS high honors graduate, Coles is a member of the National Honor Society and recipient of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. He received high marks on the National Latin Exam and received the Business Student of the Year Award his senior year.

At PHS, Coles was an active member of the Finance Academy, Capital Gains Club, and the football and track and field teams.

He is a freshman at the UMass Isenberg School of Management studying business and looking to earn a sports management/marketing degree.

Collingwood, son of Bruce and Concettina Collingwood of Pittsfield, began his scouting career as a Tiger Scout in Pack 2. As a Bear, he transferred to Pack 1 where he earned his Arrow of Light. He joined Troop 20 and later transferred to Troop 8.

Collingwood was the choir leader and head soloist for Troop 20, a den chief for Pack 1 and a member of the Order of the Arrow.

His Eagle Project was completed at Springside Park. A chestnut tree orchard was constructed a few years ago and has undergone a series of plantings. The project consisted of preparing the orchard for the next planting season and making improvements for a safer environment for volunteers and visitors.

Collingwood is a 2015 graduate of Lenox Memorial Middle and High School. He participated in several school sports and travel teams including swimming for the Monument Mountain Co-op Swim Team.

As a senior, he was awarded the Berkshire County Swim Officials Sportsmanship Award which is given to one male and one female athlete of Berkshire County.

Collingwood is currently studying liberal arts at Berkshire Community College.


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