CRUMPTON — Antonio Miranda, “Tonito,” was born in Panama, moved to the United States when he was 5, and became a Cub Scout when he was 6. Ten years later, at age 16, he attained the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. Tonito lives with his family outside of Crumpton in Queen Anne County.
His Scouting journey, from Cubs to Scouts to Eagle, has been filled with excitement, learning, community service, leadership opportunities and special recognitions. Sudlersville Scout Troop 175 honors Tonito’s accomplishments and contributions.
There are many aspects of Scouting, many of which are acquired through earning merit badges. Tonito said he had “so much fun learning different things” that he earned 18 merit badges in his first year as a Scout. Twenty-one is required for Eagle; 13 are required and eight more are the Scout’s choice. In total, Tonito earned 46 badges. The 13 required badges are listed first; the additional 33 won were Tonito’s choice from a list of over 130: Durability; Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the Community; Citizenship in the world; Swim; First aid; Emergency preparedness; Food; Family life; personal fitness; Communication; Staff management; Camping; Chess; Pets; Wood carving; The Woodcraft; Study of reptiles and amphibians; Fishing; Motorboating; study of insects; Pottery; Seek and rescue; Metal work; Public health; Medication; Astronomy; study of birds; Horse riding; Kayak; Fingerprints ; Art; archery; Rifle Shooting; Shotgun shooting; railway ; Animation; Basketry; Engineering; Invent; Signs, signals and codes; Canoe Kayak; Gardening; Golf; entrepreneurship; and car maintenance.
Tonito says the riding was the most fun and memorable because of how much he learned about horse care and how much he got to do in the field. He remembers a horse, “that made the funniest expression every time we painted it. It was really funny. He also noted metallurgy and powerboating as favorites.
Tonito had the great honor of participating in a World Scout Jamboree, usually held every four years in different locations around the world. The 24th World Scout Jamboree, “Unlock a New World”, was held in West Virginia from July 22 to August 2, 2019. He says it was his most memorable Scouting experience as many Scouts from many countries around the world there participated. There were over 150 different countries and over 45,000 scouts.
Tonito said, “During this time I realized that I was part of the biggest youth organization in the whole world. We celebrated together our heritages, our cultures and our friendships, regardless of our linguistic and political barriers. We have the power to make this world a better place. »
He said he will keep this memory all his life.
Other great memories include summer camps, hiking, “Klondike” camping in the snow, Camporees, and Wreaths Across America.
Another aspect of Scouting, and required for Eagle, is leadership, both in the training received and the opportunities presented. The formal leadership training Tonito has received includes: National Youth Leadership, Lodge Leadership Development, Den Leader Training, World Scout Jamboree Leadership Training and Youth Protection Training.
The leadership positions he has held include: Deputy Patrol Leader, Scribe, Patrol Leader, Deputy Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Librarian, Hideout Leader for Webelos, Senior Patrol Leader, and Representative of the Order of the Arrow.
Community service is an essential aspect of Scouting. Tonito has logged nearly 500 hours of community service including cleanups, the Sudlersville Elementary and Middle School Backpack Program, Make a Difference Day, Triathlon, Order of Arrow services, tree planting, packing meals, Eagle Scout projects, helping with food pantries, and as senior leader helping local Cub Scouts.
Project Eagle is the final step towards the realization of Eagle. This includes planning, fundraising and leading a team to complete a project that benefits the community. This is the culmination of a Scout’s leadership training and requires considerable effort.
Tonito had a few ideas for his Eagle project, and then COVID-19 hit. He immediately saw an urgent need to help people, especially those with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly in nursing homes, hospitals and the community. Seeing a great need for personal protective equipment, he got to work and devised a plan to design, manufacture and distribute quality masks. He contacted staff at the Resorts at Chester River Manor nursing home who were delighted to learn he was to receive 500 cotton face masks.
With volunteers from his troop, his church youth group and church adults, he began to produce masks. He not only hit his goal of 500 masks, he produced 200 extras which he donated to the Autumn Lake Retirement Home and the Kent County Department of Social Services.
Todd Miller, Administrator of Resorts at Chester River Manor, said: “The quality, creativity and meticulousness of the product created by Mr. Miranda and his troupe is second to none. He incorporated fabrics and patterns ranging from patriotic to pure art. It is this patriotism and these works of art that have put a smile on the face of our community.
Tonito became an Eagle Scout on September 16, 2020, but his court of honor was delayed due to the pandemic. His family felt safe to bring people together a year later and were able to officially celebrate September 25, 2021. Current and former Scouts and leaders, community members, friends and pastors gathered outside by a nice day at home. Scouts from Troop 175 presented the colors and conducted the Pledge of Allegiance. Scouts, Scout leaders and community members participated in a comprehensive program that recognized Tonito’s journey to Eagle.
Eagle Scouts have the option of awarding a Mentor Pin to someone significant in the Scout’s journey. Tonito gave his pin to Dr. Paul Simonetti who had been with Tonito since the day he started as a Cub Tiger.
Tonito said, “Mr. Paul has always supported, encouraged and helped me to believe in myself during my Scouting career. Thanks to him, I set myself the goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.
He also presented thank you pins to troop leaders: Calvin Dawson, who Tonito says helped him grow as a leader, guiding him and helping him improve; Joni Melotti, who made him feel safe and fun when he was away from his parents; and Patti Carter, for her encouragement and support. He thanked the Scout parents who helped and supported the Scouts and the troop. He thanked his youth pastor, Caitlan Gartland, and all of his church members for their support and love over the years. Tonito gave special pins and thanked his parents, Cindy and Richard Thorp, for the Scouting opportunities, experiences, memories and friendships developed.
When Tonito was asked what being an Eagle Scout means to him, he replied, “Becoming an Eagle Scout means becoming a better person at home, at school, at church and a better citizen and learning to do my best and be prepared. It means accomplishing a goal I had since I was a Cub Scout. It means hard work, dedication, discipline and sacrifice to be able to achieve my goal. A long road of great experiences, learning, growing as a person, having fun and creating memories. It means accomplished the highest rank in Scouting. I’m so proud of it.
Tonito also said, “Looking forward, I think being an Eagle Scout can help me at every stage of my life. It can help after graduation, in college applications and job interviews, as it shows that I can focus on something and accomplish it even if it takes years of learning, of hard work and dedication. I have the ability to set and achieve my goals. I’m also part of the Order of the Arrow, basically Scouting’s honor society.
After graduating from Queen Anne County High School, Tonito plans to go to college to study biomedical sciences. Her goal is to become a biomedical researcher to help improve people’s health. He has been accepted to Loyola University and is awaiting news from Johns Hopkins, his first choice.
Additional Scouting awards and recognitions include: Arrow of Life Award, Webelo Super Achiever Awards, Scout World Conservation Award, Scout Leave No Trace Awareness Award, God and Family Award, God and Church Award , the Pinewood Derby Best Spirit Award, Totin’ Chip and Firem ‘n Chit Award.Den Chief Award and Message of Peace Award.