A Boy Scout will be doing his Eagle Scout project this Sunday in Ballston Spa.
Which doesn’t sound so remarkable, barely even newsworthy, except that Edward Rock and his dad were burned out of their Malta home — and basically lost everything — less than two weeks ago.
Their house on Eastline Road, not far from Route 67 and a popular Stewart’s shop, was hit with a devastating fire while they were away on the morning of June 18.
Eddie and his father, Doug, lost everything from important papers to Eddie’s Boy Scout uniform. (His mother died when he was 4 years old, and a family photo of the three of them was found in the ashes.)
Despite the heartbreaking personal losses, the 17-year-old member of Ballston Spa’s Troop 1 will carry out his planned Eagle Scout project this Sunday, as part of Ballston Spa Family Fun Day. That event, an annual tradition for nearly two decades, will be held at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds starting at 3 p.m.
The father and son are both Irish fiddlers. They had just played at a family friend’s funeral and were on their way to the grave site when word came that their house was on fire. Despite the efforts of Round Lake, Malta Ridge and Ballston Spa volunteer firefighters, the old wood-frame house was gutted.
The destruction was so complete that an official cause couldn’t be determined, though investigators think the fire was started by an electrical problem, according to Round Lake Fire Chief Frank Mazza.
A local Scout official said Eddie lost his computer, all of his clothes, his Scout uniform, and all the merit badges he had earned over the years. The Eagle Scout paperwork, too.
At first, Eddie didn’t want to complete the Eagle Scout project, even though it is the highest achievement a Scout can aspire to. His father, however, persuaded him to persevere.
Eddie’s project is a Military Awareness Fair, to be one of the many activities at Family Fun Day. Military organizations will have educational displays and offer skill demonstrations.
If the past is any indication, Family Fun Day will be attended by hundreds of people, because the weather forecast looks good.
The fire also struck just as Eddie Rock was reaching another milestone achievement for teenagers — successfully completing high school.
Last Monday, he graduated from BOCES with a certificate in heavy equipment operation, and on Wednesday he walked across the stage at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with other members of the Class of 2014 at Ballston Spa High School.
The Boy Scouts have set up an account for donations to the Rock family. Contributions can be made to “Rock, the Rock House Fund” at any Ballston Spa National Bank branch, or mailed to the bank at PO Box 70, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.