Langhorne Eagle Scout’s project greets visitors to Middletown’s Veterans Memorial Park


by Robin Prestage

A depiction of the Revolutionary War seems an appropriate place to begin a walk through Middletown Township’s Veterans Memorial Park, built to honor those who served and sacrificed for their country through more than two centuries since independence.

The image is a reproduction of a photograph of re-enactors at the township’s tri-centennial celebrations in 1992 and is featured on one side of a new wooden signboard erected close to the park’s entrance as an Eagle Scout project by Kyle Denton, of Langhorne’s Boy Scout Troop 21.

The other side of the signboard lists those benefactors who contributed to the creation of the park, on a site alongside Veterans Highway (Route 413) on part of the property once occupied by the township’s administrative offices and that now houses the highways department.

On achieving Life Scout status in late 2011, Kyle began to think about a project for his elevation to Eagle Scout, a significant and challenging honor reached by less than two percent of boys who join a Boy Scout troop.

Seeing a new signboard at Washington Crossing Historic Park inspired the idea that a similar signboard at Middletown’s new Veterans Park might be a suitable Eagle Scout project.

“Once you reach Life Scout, you have six months to decide on an Eagle Scout project,” said Kyle, 18, in his family home in Middletown. “A certain number of service hours and merit badges are required. Most notable is the service project itself. You have to go out into your community and find some sort of need to fulfill or add to.”

Important requirements of the service project are for the Scout to demonstrate leadership and management skills, budgeting and fundraising abilities and collaboration with others on the work to be done.

Kyle submitted his design blueprints for the signboard, which featured a shingle roof, for approval to the local Scout council and the township and then started getting together his team, which included his older brother Bradford and other family members, friends and fellow Scouts.

Hardware chain Lowe’s, which supports Scouts’ and other community projects, gave a 20% discount on the materials, while the shingles for the roof were donated by local contractor and roofer Ralph Graber. Levittown carpenter Bill Hein helped out with some of the specialized cuts.

All together, the project took nearly six months from start to its completion. Kyle says that in the past few years he has worked as a team member on about six projects for others seeking Eagle Scouts honors, including building park benches, a practice wall for a soccer team, painting and repairing a gazebo at Washington Crossing and work at a local church.

Among Kyle’s merit badges are those for archery, citizenship in community, communications, environmental science, first aid, public speaking, space exploration and swimming. He has attended Scout summer camps nearly every year since 2005.

An Eagle Scout Court of Honor acknowledging his elevation to Eagle Scout was held at Langhorne United Methodist Church in May and guests included James Peet, chairman of Middletown Township Veterans Committee, State Representative Frank Farry and US Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick.

Also taking part in the award ceremony were Scoutmaster Peter Menninger and other members of Langhorne Troop 21, as well as the Rev. John Lutz, pastor of Langhorne United Methodist Church and representatives of Boy Scouts of America.

Kyle’s parents are David and Linda Denton and he has two older sisters. His father is a patrolman with Middletown Township Police Department and a Navy veteran of the first Gulf War.

Kyle graduated this summer from Neshaminy High School and in September begins a two-year course in general studies at Bucks County Community College.

PHOTO CAP: Kyle Denton next to the signboard he built for his Eagle Scout project