That phrase is part of the Boy Scout Oath which reads: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
While all the 40 words of the Boy Scout Oath can easily describe Joshua Regan, those seven words most embody the 18-year-old Roselle Park resident, especially in his current endeavors.
The Boy Scout, who is also a member of Roselle Park’s First Aid Squad, completed his Eagle Scout project last month and took some time to sit down and discuss it along with other aspects of his spirit of volunteerism.
“I wanted to give back to the community,” Joshua said quietly about why he chose such an undertaking of creating and cultivating a garden in front of the First Aid Squad building located on Laurel Avenue.
Joshua first joined as a Cub Scout and even though he and his family had been camping since he was born, it was when he was a Webelos Scout that Joshua discovered that it was one of his true joys. He reflected, “I realized I love camping. That’s what really made me want to join Boy Scouts.”
Ever since then, Joshua has advanced in the Boy Scouts to, finally, work at achieving the highest rank attainable in the organization: Eagle Scout.
Candidates for Eagle Scout must fulfill requirements in areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Along with specific test that must be passed, at least 21 merit badges must be earned with 13 of them being a requirement. These include First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. Additionally, a proposal must be completed and then presented for review.
In asking why Joshua picked a garden and the First Aid building, he explained, “I chose this project because people who go on calls, police, firemen, EMTs, sometimes they have stressful calls. It’s not always easy for first responders so I wanted to give them some place to sit down and breathe [to] relax after a stressful call and reflect. Even [to] people of the community I wanted to give something. Everyone can use it, it’s nature. I love nature.”
So over the span of months, Joshua raised funds and did research as well as asked for guidance on what and how to plant.
On April 10th, Josh put a shovel into the earth around the First Aid sign to start work on the garden. Unbeknownst to him until it was pointed out during our conversation, April 9, 1967, was the day the First Aid building was dedicated. It was as if subconsciously he was connecting both aspects of his volunteerism with the garden. He dug the dirt, laid the mulch, then planted Boxwoods, Ice Blue Junipers, Sea Green Junipers, Bar Harbor Junipers, and Daylilies. A bench is located in front of the garden to allow visitors to sit and relax. Even though the planting has been completed, Joshua still checks on his garden to clear any debris that the wind might have blown and make sure that his nursery has sufficient water and maintenance.
As a member of the First Aid Squad for 2½ years, Joshua understands the need to just get back to a place of calm after a tough call.
“I need a second to think about this,” he said when asked how he would describe the feeling after responding to an emergency situation that leaves one teetering on an emotional tightrope without a net. After some time, he responded quietly, “It’s like a sinking feeling… It’s hard to put into words.”
And the garden is Joshua’s way of offering something that goes beyond words to bring someone’s spirit up.
As for what drew him to join the First Aid Squad and become an EMT, the young man explained that being from a family of First Aid volunteers – his father, mother, sisters, and brother have all been on the squad – and being a Boy Scout gave him the foundation on how to volunteer for his neighbors. He remarked, “I just like to help out with my community.”
Looking forward, Joshua wants to pursue a career in law enforcement – to continue helping others through service. As for now, Josh still loves camping. Just a tent and a fire to reconnect with nature and give himself a reset. The garden on Laurel Avenue is his way of bringing a piece of that feeling to Roselle Park.
Joshua’s Eagle Scout Board of Review is later this month.