Eagle Scout does project at church

LAFAYETTE. Aiden Arias manages a three-fold community service project indoors and outdoors at Unity of Sussex County .

Vernon /
| 21 Feb 2024 | 09:53

Aiden Arias of Highland Lakes, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 912 in Vernon, has achieved the organization’s highest rank, Eagle Scout.

The Court of Honor was held Feb. 3 in the sanctuary at Unity of Sussex County in Lafayette.

After the ceremony, family and friends celebrated in Wakeman Hall, the church’s fellowship area named for Arias’ great-great-grandmother.

For his Eagle Scout project, Arias managed a three-fold community service project indoors and outdoors at Unity’s Mudcut Road property.

“I was very grateful the church gave me the opportunity, and it was a lot of fun. I never really did a big project like that,” he said.

First, Arias led a team that cleared the church’s former bookstore and boxed its contents so the space could be converted to a café-style meeting room with a fireplace and ample seating.

“I cleaned it out and did many tiny things,” he said.

The church is considering making the space available for public use.

Next, Arias assisted in wiring Unity’s building for Ethernet access. He climbed above the dropped ceilings and into the attic to pull cable wires through and into each room.

The church now has improved internet and WiFi connectivity.

The third phase of the project involved power-washing Unity’s patio area and furniture and prepping for stain and waterproof sealer.

“We wanted to celebrate Aiden for all the help he offered us, and we want to keep the memory of our benefactor alive, so we were glad to have hosted the ranking-up ceremony and the subsequent gathering here at our center. We’re so grateful for him and his family,” said the Rev. Shea Maultsby, senior minister at Unity of Sussex.

Arias’ maternal great-great-grandmother, Vivien Noble Wakeman, of the lineage that co-founded Barnes & Noble Booksellers, had been a member of Unity when the group was meeting in homes and storefronts.

In 1996, she donated the 10 acres of Lafayette farmland along with enough funds to build a structure. Ground was broken in April 1997, and on Sept. 6, 1998, the first worship service was held in the new building.

Shortly afterward, Wakeman Hall was dedicated in her name.

Arias has been a Boy Scout since fifth grade. A senior at Sussex County Technical School, he has been accepted to Stevens Institute of Technology and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“Those are my two main schools. It’s really hard to choose between them,” he said.