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Whiz Kid: Ryan Paul Semendinger

The junior at Ramapo High has become one of a very select few to attain the rank of Eagle Scout

Name: Ryan Paul Semendinger

Age: 17

Grade: Junior

School: Ramapo High School

Accomplishment: Semendinger became only the 98th person ever in Boy Scout Troop 89, which has served the Wyckoff community since 1926, to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He accomplished this through his service project of restoring the historic barber shop building next to Zabriskie’s Pond for the Wyckoff Historical Society.

“The response from the community about my service project has been very positive overall,” said Semendinger, who completed the project on November 25th. “I still get a lot of compliments from people about it.”

Key to Awesomeness: Semendinger joined the Boy Scouts as a first grader and eventually became a Scout in April of 2005. After earning additional accolades including his Tenderfoot badge and the rank of Life Scout, he found himself in a position to earn the Eagle Scout rank, considered to be the highest honor in Boy Scouts.

The application process for his Eagle Scout service project to be approved was lengthy, requiring approval from the local board and regional committee. After several weeks, Semendinger was given permission to begin the project in the middle of October. 

“The barber shop definitely wasn’t in the best condition when we got there,” said Semendinger. “There were signs of damage to the wood and a leaky roof, among other things, so it was quite a big refurbishment.”

Over the course of five weeks, Semendinger spent 220 hours in total working on restoring the barber shop. In addition, he also led a team of 40 people in the project that consisted of 10 adults and 30 kids who were part of Troop 89.

As part of the total hours spent on the project, Semendinger also spent time trying to fundraise the restoration. He ultimately raised $421 for the restoration of the barber shop, a considerable amount of the overall cost for the project.

“In addition to the money, we also had some supplies donated to us,” said Semendinger. “All of the gravel was donated by Bergen Brick and Tile, which totaled almost $200.”

What’s Next: Although Semendinger can’t earn a higher rank than what he currently has, he said that he will continue to try and earn more merit badges in the future.

In addition to his work in Troop 89, Semendinger is also a member of the Wind Ensemble at Ramapo High School, and has played on the soccer and track team over the course of his high school career.

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