Saugertiesian Jordan Corvin, 18, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest distinction awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. His Eagle Scout Court of Honor will be held on December 9.
The path to the Eagle rank is not an easy one, with less than forur percent of members passing muster. In addition to earning a minimum of 21 merit badges (Corvin earned 31), potential candidates must also be leaders and active participants in their troop, carry out annual community service hours, and develop and execute a capstone community service project of their own design. Corvin, of Port Ewen’s Troop 26, met these requirements and completed a restoration of the grounds of his synagogue, Congregation Emmanuel, as his Eagle Scout project.
“It was four days’ worth of work,” said Corvin. “I picked the project because the area was kind of in need of work, kind of falling apart a little bit. The plants were dead, the benches needed to be re-stained and replaced. I felt it was necessary to have an outdoor place for the congregation to unwind and relax.”
Calling on fellow Troop 26 members, members of the congregation and his own friends, Corvin led the group in planting flowers, pruning trees, refurbishing benches, and topping off the outdoor area with fresh mulch and decorative stones. His work will be on display at the celebratory event at the congregation on December 9 at 2 p.m.
Charitable efforts have been a part of Corvin’s life from a very young age, even prior to his entry into the Scouts. Passing in and out of medical establishments in his youth, a six-year-old, hospital-bound Jordan was gifted an electronic train set. This gift struck a chord within him, and the following year, he wanted to give back that same care to others. His organization, Jordan’s Wish, has since been collecting and distributing wrapped gifts to local hospitals for the past eleven years.
“I wanted to give back to the community and all that,” he said. “My first year, we selected Westchester and put together 80 presents. Every year I’ve been adding a hospital onto the list.”
This year, Jordan’s Wish is working to pass along gifts to individuals at Northern Dutchess, Health Alliance in Margaretville and Columbia Memorial hospitals, and in the process of setting up additional dates for the Kingston and Benedictine campuses. Interested parties can get involved with the charity on Facebook.
“He said to me, ‘Mom, there are a lot of kids in the hospital that are bored. But the adults are really bored,’ ” recounted Jordan’s mother April.
Although the charity’s focus is on adults, Jordan’s Wish focuses on giving age-universal gifts that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike — or in the case of hand-knit hats and clothing even passed along to newborns in the family. “It doesn’t matter who you are when you’re in the hospital, you get a present. I honestly feel that, even if you are someone in a coma, at least your family can get the present.”
Corvin is finishing his final year at Rondout Valley High School and Ulster County’s Boces. He is looking forward to his impending graduation. He has already been accepted into the electrical construction program at SUNY Delhi.
“I’m already enrolled in a similar program at Boces, and I enjoy it,” Jordan said. “I enjoy working with my hands. I can’t see myself working behind a desk all day.”
“When Jordan came into our troop, he was younger and undisciplined,” said Craig Johnston, Corvin’s scoutmaster. “He’d be the first to tell you that. Now he’s a fine example of an Eagle Scout. He is quite a leader and has a lot of character and just everything you’d want to see in an Eagle Scout.”
Corvin undertook responsibilities that helped develop his self-confidence. “He was our senior patrol leader for a year which is our top role and reports directly to the scoutmasters,” added Johnston. “He followed the program, and it developed him into a leader that we were trying to develop him into. He’s learned that he can go off and make decisions and not get in trouble for it, and that’s boosted his confidence.”
Corvin looks back on the journey with pride and appreciation for the skills he’s learned along the way. “Becoming an Eagle Scout is a great honor,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the love and support of my family, my friends, my troop, my scout leaders and the volunteers who helped me with my project.”