MANCHESTER – Bobby. Kevin. Sean. Kyle.
Four sons. Four Eagle Scouts.
It’s a Friday afternoon and 80s pop music is blaring over the speakers at the local McDonald’s. Three of the four sons and father Kevin are seated toward the back, beverages in hand.
The whole family attended Kyle’s “Court of Honor” – the ceremony where the scout receives his Eagle badge – in December. Sean, 23, who is in the Army, flew out from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State but returned after the holidays. Bobby Miano, 31, is a custodian at the Regional Day School in Jackson. Kevin, 27, was just hired as a Class II special officer with the Manchester Township Police Department. Kyle, 18, graduated from Manchester Township High School in June and is now starting his second semester at Rowan University in Glassboro.
Boy Scout Troop 350 has been a big part of the lives of the Rembach family. Bobby Miano, 31, was the first brother to join the Scouts, back in the late 90s. He joined because he thought it was cool and enjoyed camping trips.
“Normally, I should have been the first one done,” Miano said. “I was behind. I was kind of lazy. But then I decided to move on and become an Eagle. But the reason I became an Eagle is because I realized that I wanted to get everything done and be done with it.”
The painted hawks leading up to the high school are Bobby Miano’s Eagle Scout work. While the actual painting was completed in a day, like all Scout projects, the planning and executing took months to finish. The school’s booster club funded the $500 hawk stencil, on the condition that Bobby donate it back once the stenciling was done.
Bobby had Down syndrome. While would-be Eagle Scouts must finish their project by their 18th birthday, disabled Scouts can complete their projects at any age. Bobby finished his project at age 25, unaided, the elder Kevin Rembach said, although he would have been allowed to receive aid if wanted.
A steam locomotive used to travel from Whiting to Tuckerton, delivering seafood from the coast to inland. The line was also tied into the Pennsylvania Railroad. The thing about steam locomotives, though, is they could only go in one direction: forward. Hence the turntable, which did exactly what it sounds like it would do; the engineer would set the locomotive on the turntable, and physically turn in until it faced the other direction to go back. But when the railroad closed, the wooden turntable fell into disrepair and ruin.
Sean Rembach’s project in Whiting on Lake Road was to identify, clean, and fence-in where part of that turntable existed. A sign marks where it stood, his father said. A military policeman now, Sean would like to return to New Jersey and become a State Trooper.
Kevin Rembach Jr. joined Cub Scouts in third grade. That troop disbanded due to lack of membership, and he wasn’t quite old enough to join Boy Scouts, but shadowed older brother Bobby at his meetings. He joined Troop 350 at 11.
“I was always looking up to the older boys. They were getting into high school and doing some of the bigger camping trips, like camping alone, planning projects that they would do,” Kevin said. “The older boys that I looked up to that entire time, it was a great group of guys that came before us, and I witnessed one of the first ones make their Eagle Scout in the history of the troop. It felt like rapid fire after that. That same group of friends, they all accomplished it. I knew that I wanted that for myself.”
Growing up, the brother played soccer with the Lakehurst Manchester Soccer Association. At one point, the Association built a new snack shack with a large cement slab next to it, but no tables.
Kevin Rembach Jr. solicited donations and created a plan to provide tables as his Eagle Scout project. There were six tables, but vandals being vandals, the tables were vandalized. There are four still standing today.
Kyle was featured in the June 30, 2018 edition of The Manchester Times for his Eagle Scout project. He solicited funds to create a plaque and pedestal with the names of those from Manchester who served during World War II. There existed a wooden plaque with those names; it was lost to time and exists only in a photograph now.
Kyle had a bronze plaque and granite pedestal created, which now sits at the World War II Veterans Memorial Park on Lake Road in Whiting.
Earning his Eagle Scout badge was “bittersweet,” Kyle said.
“I finally completed something I had been doing for seven-and-a-half years, finally seeing it through, finishing something that I started so long ago, becoming the fourth one in the family,” Kyle said.
Kevin Rembach Sr. got involved in Scouts because of Bobby’s disability. He helped the Troop leaders at that time understand Bobby, while also helping Bobby, who because of his Down syndrome couldn’t keep pace with the other boys. When Kevin Junior joined, he pitched in to help with Bobby.
“I’m really proud,” Kevin Rembach Sr. said.
According to The National Eagle Scout Association, “Eagle Scout” was not at first considered a rank but was a special award for earning 21 scout badges. (Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910.) The requirements morphed through the years. More than 50,000 boys earn the Eagle Scout Award annually, with the 2 millionth Eagle Scout named in 2009.
Although no one had an exact number that afternoon at McDonald’s, they all agreed their troop, relative to other troops, had a high percentage of those reaching Eagle Scout.
“I just want to say that it has a lot to do with the leadership and dedication of the parents, but it’s not only parents. It starts as parents donating time,” Kevin Jr. said. He pointed his father. “He doesn’t have any kids left in Boy Scouts anymore, but he hasn’t missed a meeting since [Kyle graduated Scouts]. He sits on the Board, and he’s not the only one. There are a lot of parents who have donated a lot of time and a lot of their skills to helping those boys, and none of this would be possible without them. I learned a lot from some of my first leaders there – stuff that wasn’t even required. They’re just a wealth of knowledge. They work Monday to Friday and they spend their weekends in the woods with you, teaching you stuff. I remember my father and a bunch of other leaders going on their own camping trip just to get certified, because we didn’t have people that were certified to do this. They sacrificed a lot of their time and money and did everything they could for that troop, and that’s why it is so successful.”