Brooklyn Park Scout wins chance at national honor Teen to represent state for patriotic organization

January 29, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Society, Sons of the American Revolution, says Brockston W. Posner-Smuck is the state's top Boy Scout, and that might be enough to win the young man a much-desired college scholarship.

Brockston, 16, learned two weeks ago that he qualified for a first-place scholarship award of $5,000 or a second-place award of $1,000 from the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, in Louisville, Ky.

"At first I really couldn't believe it, and then it settled in," said Brockston, an Eagle Scout. "I'm really proud of myself."

The Brooklyn Park junior at Mount St. Joseph High School has been a Scout for 11 years and has earned 38 merit badges. He is junior assistant scoutmaster in Troop 121, which has 13 members.

He will receive the medal and trophy of the John Eager Howard chapter of the Maryland Society, Sons of the American Revolution, at the society's annual George Washington birthday luncheon Feb. 17 at Towson Golf and Country Club.

Brockston beat out eight others to represent Maryland. Candidates were evaluated in 10 areas, including merit badges, self-development and school and community activities. His community work includes making food baskets for the needy and cleaning the grounds of St. John Lutheran Church, the troop's sponsor.

"He measured high in almost every factor because I recall he won with about a 91 or 92 average" out of a possible score of 100, said Walter G. Finch, a member of the selection committee.

Brockston said that when he was a baby, his grandfather, David Bastien, sang Scout songs to him instead of lullabies. Such memories helped him become a Scout, he said. His grandfather is assistant scoutmaster of his troop.

An shy youth, Brockston said scouting has helped him be more extroverted, taught him to respect others and become a leader.

Brockston takes honors classes at Mount St. Joseph and maintains a 3.8 grade-point average. He plays trombone in the school band, is a member of the National Honor Society and is on the forensics team.

He has not picked out a college, but he said he plans to study law or medicine.

His mother, Genevieve T. Smuck-Posner, 36, is a bookkeeper at Harry Smuck & Sons in Glen Burnie, a construction company her great-grandmother started in the 1920s. Brockston works with his mother in the family business. His father, Paul S. Posner, 47, is a pharmacist with Pharmastat in Dundalk.

The couple are proud of their son, and his mother said she tells him that even if he doesn't win, "just the fact that you're representing Maryland is quite an honor."

For the scholarship competition, Brockston researched his family's genealogy and found that his great-great-grandmother, Teresa Smuck, bought land in the area during the Roaring '20s. She owned a barrel factory, a grocery store and a bowling alley.

The slot machines she operated in her store and bowling alley made her the first person in Anne Arundel County to have legalized gambling, Brockston said.

"It was really something because in those days women couldn't even vote," he said.

Brockston also had to write a 500-word essay on an event or person from the American Revolution. He found his subject, Dr. Benjamin Rush, while browsing through the stacks at his school's library.

Rush, a scholar, educator, treasurer of the U.S. Mint, first surgeon general of the Continental Army and publisher of the first chemistry textbook in America, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Brockston had never heard of Rush in his history classes.

"I found him a very interesting person because he was very dedicated to his cause of liberty and democracy," said Brockston. "He would go against any opposition whether local or otherwise. He didn't back down. He was devoted to the cause of freedom."

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