Boy Scout Troop 457

SOUTH FLORIDA COUNCIL
 

Hurricane District
TROOP 457

 

 

Boy Scout Troop 457 is the largest troop in the South Florida Boy Scout Council, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. The troop’s active scouts range from 100 to 150 from year to year and the adult leaders range from 50 to 60.

The Troop was honored by Palmetto Bay Mayor and Village Council, May 7, 2012. Pictured, l to r, are Former Councilman Howard Tendrich, Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, Councilman Patrick Fiore, Troop Committee Chairwoman Julie Ziska, Scoutmaster David Ziska, Daniel Carr, Gabriel Pardo, Neal Simmons, Jay Castro, Erik Hanson, Nicholas Dominguez, Paul Nunez, Christopher Perse, Nicholas Gonzalez, Adam Stebbine, Zachariah Cosner, Kevin Ellenburg, Councilwoman Joan Lindsay, and Former Vice Mayor Brian Pariser. (not pictured: Scout Jason Dannelly. See more photos in our Facebook Gallery.

Troop 457 is led by David and Julie Ziska. David is Scoutmaster for the Troop and has been a scout leader for 32 years. Julie is the Troop Committee Chairman and Counselor to Eagle Candidates. She has 29 years of scouting leadership experience. The Ziska’s twin sons Kenneth and Brian Thelen started as cubs at Pinecrest Elementary School. In 1986 the family joined Troop 457 and after their twins became Eagles in 1993 the Ziskas continued their work with Troop 457.

The troop has become a legend for its outstanding success in helping young men attain the rank of Eagle Scout. With this year’s 13 Eagles Troop 457 will have advanced 251 scouts to the rank of Eagle Scout. The Troop regularly advances 12 to 16 scouts to Eagle rank on a yearly basis.

Their leadership and dedication has earned the Ziska’s many special scouting awards. They have each been honored with the Distinguished Citizen Award, the James E. West Award and the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest service honor that can be awarded at the council level.

The Troop’s activities include frequent camp outs, summer camps, white water rafting, scuba diving, canoeing, repelling and the high adventure treks to Philmont and the Canadian Northern Tier. Besides focusing on outdoor activities and rank advancement Troop 457 focuses on having a “boy led” organization where the scouts plan and run the weekly meetings.

Many of the boys in Troop 457 have grown up together starting in first grade as Tiger Scouts in Cub Scouting. In Boy Scouts becoming an Eagle takes a lot of time. The boys work together for years earning merit badges and rank advancements and before they can earn Eagle rank they must complete an Eagle Scout Service Project. In Troop 457 the boys are very supportive of each other and of each year’s Eagle candidates.

It is customary for 80 to 100 scouts and scout parents to be present working on an Eagle candidates project on the project day. The Eagle Scout Projects completed by this year’s Eagle Scout candidates racked up more than 8,000 hours in community service.

Eagle Scout Publicity Outline

Daniel B. Carr
• School: Miami Killian Senior High School (11)
• Activities: Home Repairs, Video Games
• Interests: Football, CAD, Architecture
• Awards: DAANS Award, St John’s Sportsmanship Medal, Honor Roll, BSA Service Star (5 years)
• Future Goals: Architect
• Community Service: Varied, participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow
• Eagle Board of Review: March 22, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Order of the Arrow Representative
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure:
• Eagle Project: Saint John’s Episcopal School (January 28, 2012)
I held my Eagle Scout Project at St. John’s Episcopal Church and School in Homestead. I attended school there, my father teaches there, and we are members of the church. For the project, we repaired a cement sidewalk that had been broken by tree roots; and built and stained 13 wooden benches. In a barren area between the classroom buildings we created a butterfly garden, planted many other native plants and flowers; installed benches and new walkways. We imported soil by the truckload to enrich the garden. Finally, we created a landscaped outdoor classroom complete with podium.
The project ran smoothly, and the result has been much appreciated by the teachers, students, parents, and parishioners.

Jose E. Castro, III
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: Palmetto Orchestra – Principal Violist, Vice President FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America),  Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Suniland Hockey, Kempo Karate (red/black belt)
• Interests:  Music, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Viola, Roller Hockey, Sailing
• Awards: Principal’s Honor Roll, Palmetto High School Freshman Music Award and Outstanding Sophomore Music Award in the Advanced Orchestra, FBLA District Competition 2nd Place Business Communications, FCAT Sunshine State Scholar Award, Qualified for National Hispanic Merit Scholar, BSA Service Star (5 years)
• Future Goals: to pursue a major in Physics and/or Electrical Engineering
• Community Service: Team Captain in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life 2011 and 2012, participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, MPHS Mu Alpha Theta
• Eagle Board of Review: February, 23, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure:
• Eagle Project: Coral Reef Park (December 10, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Leadership Project took place at Coral Reef Park. It consisted of mulching and landscaping the picnic areas, building benches and repairing the wooden fence surrounding the park.  We had an amazing turnout with exactly 101 volunteers. Everyone from the adult leaders to the youngest scouts performed the assigned tasks. We all worked together to complete the project just in time for lunch.
Coral Reef Park is a center of activity, offering a mile-long track for jogging and cycling, as well as multiple fields for sports. On any given day you can see scores of people making use of the park facilities. It’s a fantastic park full of happy memories, and I wanted to improve it in any way that I could.

Zachariah Adam Cosner
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: Debate Team, History and Environmental Science Competitions
• Interests: swimming and fencing
• Awards: scholastic writing awards, debate and Model UN, BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: College and a Law Degree
• Community Service: participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow
• Eagle Board of Review: April 5, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership:  Quartermaster
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier, Philmont
• Eagle Project: Girl Scout Camp Mahachee (January 7, 2012)
My project began early on the morning of January 7, 2012, at Girl Scout Camp Mahachee; a verdant little corner of history resting just off Old Cutler Road, across from Fairchild Botanical Tropical Garden. After a breakfast of bagels, coffee, and doughnuts (all donated by local bakeries), we began work at 8 AM, working hard until the project’s completion later that day.
Over the course of my project I directed the removal of many invasive strangler vines from the hardwood grove the campers refer to as “Rock City,” volunteers mulched the picnic area, and constructed, installed, and painted: a pair of benches along the path to the main lodge, 6 trash can holders; and 2 sets of cubbies for the main bath house.

Jason Andrew Dannelly
• School: Miami Killian Senior High School (11)
• Activities: High School Jazz and Symphonic Bands,
• Interests: Scouting, Camping, Music, Drama, American Sign Language, trading card gaming, family activities, hanging out with friends
• Awards: BSA Service Star (6 years), 28 special awards related to scouting, Tae-Kwon-Do black belt
• Future Goals: College and training as a firefighter – paramedic, small business owner
• Community Service: currently 1,261 community service hours on 96 community service projects including numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow (Brotherhood), Christ Fellowship Youth Group
• Eagle Board of Review: March 28, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier
• Eagle Project: Kendall United Methodist Church (March 3, 2012)
My Eagle Project took place at Kendall United Methodist Church. I had to schedule my project in two parts because of a schedule conflict. Part 1 was February 25. Part 2 was March 3, 2012. I had the option of landscaping, building office shelves, or painting the parking lot spaces and the parking lot wall. I chose the parking lot option because it seemed like a lot of work and perfect for my large troop.
My project was a tremendous success! There are no words that can describe my gratitude.  Thank you KUMC, Troop 457, and to every participant that helped me achieve my goal. Lastly, thank you Mr. and Mrs. Ziska for being there since I joined Troop 457.
• Additional:  5 years of scouting Leadership positions including Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, OA 1st Vice-Chief, OA Representative, Den Chief. Three BSA summer camps: Camp Woodruff, GA; Camp Raven Knob, NC; Camp Daniel Boone, NC

Eliah Nicholas Dominguez
• School: Belen Jesuit Preparatory School (10)
• Activities: High School Track Team; Basketball
• Interests: Drums, Scuba Diving, & Boating 
• Awards: Excellence Math Award, BSA Service Star (5 years)
• Future Goals: Doctor/Medicine
• Community Service: Baptist Hospital Volunteer, participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow
• Eagle Board of Review: April 19, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Troop Guide
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure:
• Eagle Project: Montgomery Botanical Center (February 4, 2012)
My Eagle Scout Service project was completed on February 4, 2012 at Montgomery Botanical Center and it was a great success. We painted the storage building, built a fence around the perimeter of the building, and planted Ficus Repens Eventually they will grow and make the storage building fit in with the rest of the garden. We mulched much of the surrounding area and installed an aluminum roof to the back of the storage building. 
My project benefited The Montgomery Botanical Center and its research in Palm Species and Cycad Propagation. My success was made possible by generous donations and support from Troop 457, and friends and family who provided me with hard work, skill and dedication.

Kevin Eric Ellenburg
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: 3 year Wrestling Letterman High School Wrestling Team, Kempo Karate (Red/Black Belt)
• Interests: Guitar, Ukulele and creative writing
• Awards: qualified for National Hispanic Scholar Award to be received senior year, BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: to major in Economics and/or Engineering
• Community Service: Costa Rican animal sanctuary four weeks in summer 2011, organizing volunteer trip to Costa Rican animal sanctuary and sustainable farm for summer 2012, volunteer counselor karate summer camp 2009, 2010 and 2011, volunteer camp counselor for cub scout camp, volunteer DuMond Conservancy regularly on weekends sophomore year and junior year, participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects, over 1,000 community service hours
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, National Eagle Scout Association, Writer’s Café, MPSH Mu AlphaTheta, Interact Service Club, German Club
• Eagle Board of Review: November 30, 2011
• BSA Troop Leadership: Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier, Philmont
• Eagle Project: DuMond Conservancy at Monkey Jungle (October 15, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project on October 15, 2011 enriched the DuMond Conservancy, a non-profit primate research organization located within Monkey Jungle. My project included constructing a rehabilitation enclosure for Owl Monkeys, refining and flattening the trails connecting all the other monkey enclosures with mulch and installing solar lighting near each of these enclosures.
Leading over 70 people and completing this 731 man-hour multi-layered construction/landscaping project truly made me feel accomplished. I am very thankful to everyone that volunteered and I will never forget the experience.
• Additional: Wrote a story about the dangers of feeding wild monkeys that was published in Quepolandia, a local Costa Rican magazine, two BSA Summer Camps: Camp Old Indian, SC and Camp Daniel Boone, NC,  5 years of BSA leader positions, 36 BSA Merit Badges

Nicholas F. Gonzalez
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: Flag Football, Table Tennis, Historian of Distributive Education Clubs of America
• Interests: Reading, Acoustic Guitar, Chess, Photography, Video Gaming
• Awards: 2010 Turkey Bowl Award (Chess), 2011 District Business Management Award (DECA), 2012 State Business Management Award (DECA), BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: Business/Law
• Community Service: Alexander Montessori Day Camp (CIT), participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Italian National Honor Society, United States Chess Federation, The Health Occupational Student Association, Distributive Education Clubs of America 
• Eagle Board of Review: January 11, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier, Philmont
• Eagle Project: Zoo Miami (September 17, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Project consisted of planting over 100 Gumbo Limbo trees and constructing a 10 x 20 foot greenhouse in the browse field at Zoo Miami. The zoo grows vegetation to feed the animals in a browse field. A variety of herbivorous animals eat the Gumbo Limbo tree, such as gorillas, zebras, and giraffes. The trees were over twelve feet tall and were planted successfully.
The construction of the greenhouse consisted of installing an exoskeleton of planks onto recycled telephone poles that were installed the week before. This frame was then covered with green mesh. Five 10-foot long shelves were constructed in order to house the young seedlings inside the greenhouse.

Erik Anders Hanson
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: High School Lacrosse Team, Taekwondo (2nd Degree Black Belt)
• Interests: Lacrosse, baseball, hockey
• Awards: Most Improved Award (Palmetto Lacrosse), BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: Doctor/Medicine
• Community Service: Walk Now for Autism, Relay For Life, Alexander Montessori Day Camp (CIT), participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), Italian Club, Order of St. John (acolyte)
• Eagle Board of Review: January 25, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier (Crew Leader), Philmont (Crew Leader)
• Eagle Project: Christ The King Lutheran Church (October 29th, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project took place on October 29th, 2011 at Christ the King Lutheran Church; located at 11295 Southwest 57th Avenue, Miami, Florida. It consisted of four parts. First, we constructed two light boxes. Second, we beautified the front entry of the church with an Ixora hedge. Third, we constructed two kayak trailers and fourth, we beautified a gazebo by planting Liriope around it and sealing the deck.
My project wasn’t completed on the project day; it took two months of post-project work to complete it. My dad and I worked hour after hour, day after day to complete everything. Overall, my project taught me several valuable lessons in leadership and became a major event in my life that I will never forget.

Paul Alejandro Nuñez
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: High School Volleyball Team, Ocean Bowl Team
• Interests:  Fishing, cars, Formula 1 racing, building and flying model airplanes
• Awards: BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting and Philmont
• Future Goals: Chemical Engineering and/or Dentistry
• Community Service: participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Amnesty International Club
• Eagle Board of Review: February 23, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Philmont
• Eagle Project: Coral Pines Park (December 17, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Project was completed on December 17, 2011 at Coral Pine Park in Pinecrest, Florida. The project consisted of four phases with a group leader for each phase. First, we removed evasive plant species from the protected woods area. We then planted 5 small trees around the park that were supplied by Pinecrest Botanical Society. We mulched the perimeter of the woods and planted nearly 50 small tress inside the park.
Constructing two natural wood park benches and placing them along the soccer field to give parents a place to sit capped off the project. Overall, my project was very successful in beautifying Coral Pine Park.

Gabriel Alejandro Pardo
• School: Christopher Columbus High School (11)
• Activities: High School Volleyball Team, Key Club President, Marist Youth
• Interests: football, basketball, working out, swimming
• Awards: principal’s honor roll, Marist Achievement Award, BSA Service Star (6 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: Doctor/Medicine
• Community Service:  organized a Respect Life Walk, tutor for underprivileged and disabled children, participation in numerous Troop 457 service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow
• Eagle Board of Review: April 9, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Chaplain Aide
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier, Philmont
• Eagle Project: Saint Catherine of Siena (December 3rd, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project was held at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church on December 3rd, 2011. The major parts of my project consisted of the following: removing rubbish around the rectory, planting a variety of beautiful plants, and painting the six hundred foot North wall, which was tagged with graffiti. We also mulched different areas to enhance the image of the church.
A total of 79 people showed up throughout the day to help out and they worked a total of 325.5 man-hours. Everyone involved in my project gave his or her maximum effort and my project was unquestionably a huge success.

Christopher Edward Perse
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: High School Baseball Team, Howard Palmetto Khoury League Baseball, High School Debate Team, High School Newspaper
• Interests: Fishing, College Football, Jet Skiing and Off-Roading
• Awards: National History Bowl Team 11th grade, Cilli Most Improved Award (Howard Palmetto Baseball), BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: Business Entrepeneur
• Community Service: Flag Football Coach, Volunteer Camp Counselor 5 Star Baseball Camp summer 2010 and 2011, participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Amnesty International, German Club
• Eagle Board of Review: March 22, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Troop Librarian
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier (Crew Leader), Philmont (Crew Leader)
• Eagle Project: Chapman Field Park (November 20, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Service Project was held at Chapman Field Park on Old Cutler Road. My project included the construction of a handicap accessible ramp leading up to the park’s concession stand and a platform for the concession stand grill. My project also included the weather proofing of picnic tables and benches as well as the beautification of the parking lot and other park areas.
The park has always been a part of my life. I played Howard-Palmetto Khoury League Baseball there from sixth grade through my freshman year of high school. It was at Chapman Field that I became the baseball player I am today. I want to thank Troop 457, my family and friends, and everyone who volunteered to make this project such a huge success.

Neal Kent Simmons
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities / Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Science National Honor Society, German Honor Society, Interact Service Club, DFYIT (Drug Free Youth In Town), DECA (Distributive Education Club of America), Writer’s Café, Impawvisation, Amnesty International
• Interests: Guitar, Art, Hiking and Swimming
• Awards: Honor Roll, BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting, Northern Tier and Philmont
• Future Goals: Business or Law
• Community Service: Volunteer camp counselor for Cub Scout Camp, Dade County Parks and Village of Palmetto Bay; participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects, over 1,000 hours in community service
• Eagle Board of Review: January 19, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Senior Patrol Leader
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Northern Tier, Philmont
• Eagle Project: Good Hope Equestrian Training Center (November 5, 2011)
My Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project was at the Good Hope Equestrian Training Center located at 22155 SW 147th Avenue in the Redlands on November 5, 2011. Good Hope assists mentally and physically challenged adults and children to help improve their physical and emotional well-being. My project consisted of rebuilding the wheelchair accessible horse mounting ramps; refurbishing the chicken coop; planting, weeding and mulching three butterfly gardens and rebuilding a fence.
The project was a huge success with over 100 volunteers in attendance and a total of 672 man-hours.  I received donations from 60 contributors and was able to donate additional funds to my beneficiary of nearly $900.

Adam Thomas Stebbing
• School: Miami Palmetto Senior High School (11)
• Activities: Flight Sergeant - Civil Air Patrol, President - Jewish Student Union, Varsity Track and Field, Varsity Cross Country
• Interests: Running, RC Planes, and Reading
• Awards: Wright Brothers Award (Civil Air Patrol), FCAT Sunshine State Scholar, Euro Challenge National Qualifying Team, BSA Service Star (5 years), several special awards related to scouting and Philmont
• Future Goals: Attend the United States Air Force Academy and become a pilot
• Community Service: Team Captain - Pinecrest 2011 Relay For Life, Vice President - USY (Bet Shira Temple Youth Group), participation in numerous Troop 457 Eagle Scout service projects, over 1000 community service hours
• Memberships: Order of the Arrow, Mu Alpha Theta, Science Honor Society, Eagle Board of Review: March 28, 2012
• BSA Troop Leadership: Quartermaster
• BSA Ranks: Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout
• BSA High Adventure: Philmont
• Eagle Project: Shake-A-Leg Miami (February 11, 2012)
My Eagle Scout Service Project took place on February 11, 2012, at Shake-A-Leg Miami, which provides accessibility to water sports for people with disabilities as well as to the entire community. My project consisted of creating wood and plastic storage cubbies, lifejacket rack covers and signs, garden beautification and clearance of pathways and trash on their island.
The project was a huge success with 90 people volunteering over 550 hours.  I learned a lot from the project about planning, budgeting, funding, preparation and leadership. I could not have done it without the help and assistance of many people. I was proud of the results and what my project was able to give to Shake-A-Leg.