By Janee Law
After leading an effort to rejuvenate a flooded donation room at the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center, and following years of service in the Boys Scouts of America, 18-year-old Kyle Sambolin was named an Eagle Scout – a ranking only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts nationwide attain.
On Monday, Sambolin, of Melville, who is a member of the BSA Troop 106, will officially be recognized with the Eagle Scout Award at the Huntington Elks Lodge.
He is “excited,” but also a “little nervous” because he has to give a speech at the ceremony.
Sambolin said he feels like his “work has paid off.”
To earn the Eagle Scout ranking, Sambolin had to obtain 21 merit badges and complete a community service project before he turned 18 years old on June 30.
Sambolin officially became an Eagle Scout on Aug. 10.
“Kyle is very dedicated. Like all the scouts, it takes a lot,” said Flerida Duchatellier, committee chair of Troop 106. “It’s something that helps them grow and really apply everything they have learned up to now and he did it very well.”
Four years ago, the donation room at the Northport VA, which is run by the Elks Lodge, was flooded. Clothes in the room had to be thrown away, and the room was emptied.
Sambolin, who said he wanted to rejuvenate the donation room, held a car-wash fundraiser and two clothing drives at the Elks Lodge. The money raised, which was $375, was used to buy bins to store the new clothes, and build shelving units in the donation room.
“Kyle is an extremely dedicated and upstanding young man,” said Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, who donated personal items and a box of clothes from the 10th district office. “It makes me proud to see that young people understand the tremendous sacrifices made by members of our armed forces and are doing their part to support them.”
Sambolin was among a team of Troop 106 members that completed a total of 168 hours for the project, which took place in June.
With their hard work, the room was revitalized and filled with over 100 bags of clothes, shoes and toys.
“I felt like I did something really good for veterans and I felt like I was giving back,” Sambolin said. “I just felt proud of myself. I was able to get all these clothes and all these donations and give them to someone who needs them more than I do.”
Starting Cub Scouts in first grade, Sambolin has been part ofTroop 106 for eight years and has held several leadership positions. This includes patrol leader at 14 years old and then senior patrol leader 16 years old.
A June 2015 graduate of Half Hollow Hills High School East, Sambolin is attending SUNY Cortland to study math.
The award ceremony for Sambolin, will take place at 195 Main St. in Huntington on Jan. 11.
“Not every scout gets the Eagle,” Sambolin said. “A lot of them quit or just don’t make it or age out, so I feel proud that I’m able to get it. I feel good about it.”