MORGANTOWN — Daniel Kaddar always knew he was going to be an Eagle Scout.
So he’s had plenty of time to ponder the service project that would be the capstone on that achievement.
“I always thought when I was coming up in Scouts that I wanted to have an original project. I wanted to do something special that really impacted the city of Morgantown,” he said.
By all accounts, he has.
Kaddar’s Eagle court of honor ceremony was held Sept. 10 at the Tree of Life Congregation — the synagogue he’s attended since he was a Cub Scout, and the recipient of his eagle-worthy efforts.
The University High School senior lined up support from donors including March-Westin, Biafora Landscape Development and Affordable Landscaping and marshaled the labor of friends, family and fellow scouts to transform the South High Street synagogue’s curb appeal.
“It’s a great gift to the synagogue,” Rabbi Joe Hample said. “This was a huge project for a 17-year-old kid to coordinate. I’m just dazzled. … I’ve been here 11 years. I’ve known him since he was a little squirt. Now he towers over me. It’s amazing to see the kids grow up and what they can accomplish.”
Hample explained Tree of Life, like most synagogues across the country, has made security a priority.
“The congregation recently had a grand window and doors and security system installed. Once that was done, the front landscaping wasn’t looking too hot. So, I went to the annual board meeting in December of 2022, and they loved the idea,” Kaddar said.
Chuck Joseph is the Scoutmaster for Troop 93. Before his son got involved in Scouts, Joseph became aware of Kaddar when the young boys crossed paths in youth sports.
He said it was impressive, but not a surprise, to see the amount of community support Kaddar was able to bring to the project.
“It’s not all about that finished project. Yeah, that’s nice. We want it to be nice and be useful and help a nonprofit. But really, it’s about the coordination it takes, the leadership you have to learn and demonstrate on the fly, the problem solving,” he said.
“But Daniel is just a really exceptional young man, and I do mean exceptional. He’s a hard worker and he’s very intelligent. I have no doubt that whatever Daniel chooses to do in life, he’ll be successful.”
Right now, Kaddar says he’s focusing on his senior year. He’s a captain on the UHS boys’ soccer team and will help captain the Hawks’ lacrosse squad come spring.
After that, he’s leaning toward sticking around and attending WVU. He has a dream of one day being a trauma surgeon.
Just like he had a dream of being an Eagle Scout.
“This has been something that I’ve dreamt of since I was six years old, when I started as a Tiger Cub Scout,” he said. “It’s something that’ll always stick with me. There’s a common saying that some people were scouts. They’ll say, ‘Oh, I was a Boy Scout. I used to be a Boy Scout.’ But if you get to the rank of Eagle, you’re always an Eagle Scout. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I’ll always be an Eagle Scout.”