By Libby Hopkins

Eagle Scout_P1020099aJoining the Boy Scouts can be an amazing and life-changing event in a boy’s life. It develops their imaginations and express their feelings, along with becoming aware of their own potential. These are just some of the reasons Stevie Cilenti of Valrico joined the Boy Scouts four years ago and has become positive force in his life and has helped him give back to his community as well.

“Since joining the Boy Scouts, I have realized that it will have an impact on the rest of my life,” Cilenti said. “My long-term goals are to attend Embry Riddle, join the ROTC and get a degree in aerospace engineering.”

Cilenti is involved with various community organizations Brandon Youth Theatre, Tampa Bay HEAT, and Youth in Government in addition to the Boy Scouts. His Tampa Bay HEAT organization got involved with Warriors for Christ Paintball Charity (WFC2) last year and Cilenti found that he enjoyed playing paintball, which lead him to get more involved with the charity. When the charity’s paintball course was vandalized a few months ago, Cilenti wanted to help fix the course for the charity and help him earn his Eagle Scout ranking with the Boy Scouts.

“I was looking for a good cause for my Eagle Scout project and since the course was destroyed by vandals, I decided Eagle Scout_1DSCN2832then to do my project for WFC2,” Cilenti said.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the scouting program. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating scout spirit through the Boy Scout oath and law, service and leadership.

This includes an extensive service project that the scout plans, organizes, leads and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the scout.

“I began planning the construction part of the project in December and in that process I met with a lot of people for advice and received donations from local businesses,” Cilenti said.

Eagle Scout_DSCN2933aHe organized over 50 volunteers to help him clean up and repair the course. He will complete his project by the end of March.

“This has been a major accomplishment for me,” Cilenti said. “I am one step closer to earning my Eagle rank by the end of the year.”

For information on the Warriors for Christ Paintball Charity, visit


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.