Sgt. Mike Monteith of the United States Air Force Sergeants Association and leader of Cub Scout Pack 75, remembers Matt Chubb's earliest days as a scout, when he and his friends would run around their meetings at the United Methodist Church of Absecon.
Even at the age of 6, Monteith recalls, Chubb showed glimpses of the leader he would someday become.
On Nov. 15, Chubb was promoted to Eagle Scout in the very same church hall in which he began his scouting career a dozen years earlier.
"I'm so proud of him," said Chubb's father, Paul, after the ceremony. "He worked for so many years in Cub Scouts with Pack 75, and now completing his Eagle Scout with Troop 76, he's just worked so hard, and he's been diligent over the years to pursue it and just continue on when things came up with school and sports."
A parade of prominent community members spoke at Chubb's promotion ceremony, including Monteith, Absecon Mayor Pete Elco and Atlantic County Freeholder John Risley.
Chubb also was presented with certificates from U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama, among others.
Chubb was modest in accepting the honor, saying he owes his fellow scouts and his parents, Paul and Karen, a debt of gratitude for helping him advance to Eagle Scout.
"It's a great honor and I'm very privileged to be an Eagle," Chubb said. "Only 2 percent of scouts actually get to that rank, so it's quite an accomplishment, and the community and my family have definitely encouraged me to get to this point, and I thank them for that."
Chubb earned 37 merit badges on his road to Eagle Scout, far surpassing the 21-badge minimum required to achieve the rank. For his Eagle project, he and his fellow scouts built a fitness trail with five exercise stations through the woods at the Absecon schools complex off Pitney Road. The fitness trail was made possible through a grant from the Absecon Education Foundation and donations from community businesses.
In addition to scouting, Chubb plays soccer and baseball and is a standout scholar at Pilgrim Academy in Egg Harbor City, where he is a senior.
While juggling all his activities has been a challenge, Chubb said, the character he developed through his years of scouting went far in helping him achieve balance in his efforts.
"One of the most valuable lessons I learned has been my patience," Chubb said. "It's been a true test through many years, dealing with some of the younger scouts, but it's been really fun and I've enjoyed it."
Chubb will remain with Troop 76 as an assistant scoutmaster, a duty he has been performing in all but name for a few years now, his scoutmaster, Tom McGee said. Following high school, Chubb hopes to attend the United States Naval Academy.
While this goal is certainly a challenge, McGee said, it's one he believes the Eagle Scout is well-suited to meet.
"I could see him doing anything he wanted to do," McGee said. "I know that he is interested in going to the Naval Academy, whether that turns out to be something he can do, but I think at this particular point in his life, he could choose to do anything and accomplish it very easily."
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