WANTAGE — The room buzzed as Wantage Committeeman Ronald Bassani was about to speak to Wantage Boy Scout Troop 153 about community service.
Bassani knew first-hand about the subject, having previously served as Sparta Board of Education president. He also is a former mayor and committeeman of Wantage Township.
The boy scout troop regularly meets on Thursday nights at Church of the Good Shepherd.
Bassani reminded the Scouts of their own vision statement which emphasizes becoming responsible, participating citizens and leaders, guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Specifically, the Scout Oath emphasizes duty to God and country, plus helping others at all times. Earlier at the meeting, many of the scouts received their Scout Sunday badges after actively participating in a church service.
During the presentation, Bassani told the Scouts had already made a huge step in community service by being part of the Boy Scouts of America. Previously, some of the Scouts have volunteered in their communities and food pantry.
The committeeman also warned that many people will not get involved because they say they do not have enough time, or they are too busy. He encouraged the boys to, “raise your hand,” and be involved.
Bassani also invited the young men to the next Wantage Committee meeting, scheduled for Thursday, March 20.
“I urge you to come see how your government affects you. Come see your government at work,” he said. "If you are doer, people look to you. You can start as an assistant coach, and then you become the head. All, because you say, 'I want to be involved.' Plus, you'll get a lot out of it, and hold your head high."
Finally, he asked the scouts who was working toward the Eagle Scout rank. He explained that he has two small companies, and when he looks at a résumé of an Eagle Scout, the Eagle Scout “jumps out” at him. He knows it took a lot of work to achieve, and that that the young man who has achieved that rank is intelligent and driven.