Excellence in Youth: Connecting to God, Family, Church and Life

July 12, 2021 | | GNJ News

Michael Minenna, a 10th grade scout in Rockaway Township, NJ, and lifetime member of the UMC of the Rockaways, recently earned the God and Life religious emblem for Boy Scouts in grades 9 through 12. The religious emblem is offered through the P.R.A.Y. program for protestant youth. Having completed the entire sequence of four awards, he has completed the requirements for the prestigious and nationally recognized Four Star award.

To earn the Four Star from P.R.A.Y., a youth must have earned all four levels of the P.R.A.Y. Series (i.e., God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, and God and Life) while in the appropriate grades. The program allowed him to grow in his understanding of their faith and his relationship with God, his family and scouts of other faiths who have completed the programs.

An accomplished trumpet player, Michael was selected to be the Drum Captain for the Morris Knolls High School’s Golden Eagles marching band. He is a member of the high school Concert Band, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble and Musical Pit Orchestra.

Michael also volunteers with Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps, playing Taps for local veterans’ funerals, and he has been selected through audition to be a member of the North Jersey Junior Region Symphonic Winds & Orchestra and Area Band. For all these efforts, he was selected as the recipient of the 2020 Hanover Wind Symphony Junior Division Scholarship.

When not playing his trumpet, he is a member of the high school fencing team and is on the High Honor Roll. Michael is a Life Scout with Troop 160 in Rockaway Township and is currently serving as the elected Senior Patrol Leader. He will be working on his Eagle project this summer.

As a Scout, he volunteered with the Boy Scout Holiday Jazz Band, and as bugler for Rockaway Township Memorial Day services. Michael is a member of Order of the Arrow, attended National Youth Leadership Training and went to BSA Sea Base High Adventure camp.

As he looks toward the future, Michael is considering becoming a professional trumpet player, a music teacher, or working in national security.

More info about the P.R.A.Y. program is available at www.praypub.org.