From left: Mike and Beth Cullen; Eagle Scout “Mac” Cullen; Scoutmasters Michael Flynn and Glenn Gardiner.

At a recent  Scout Troop 3 Newport  Court of Honor, 16-year-old Michael Albert “Mac” Cullen was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.  Son of Beth and Mike Cullen, Mac’s connection with Newport runs deep: his grandfather, the late Albert “Mac” McManus, was a 1939 Rogers High School graduate and his great aunt, the late Jane McManus, was a long-time Newport City Clerk. 

For his Eagle Scout project — sponsored by the Town of Portsmouth’s Emergency Management Agency — Cullen designed, installed, and tested a resilient mesh data network connecting Aquidneck Island with Providence emergency agencies.  Communication resilience has long been of interest and Mac earned his FCC amateur radio license at age 11. In June, at the invitation of RI Lt Gov Dan McKee, Mac briefed the RI Emergency Management Advisory Commission on the capabilities of the system. 

Attaining Eagle rank is the capstone achievement in Cullen’s nine years in local scouting.  Beginning in 2010, Mac joined Middletown’s Cub Scout Pack 77. Four years later, he crossed over to Troop 3, choosing to join his hometown troop. During his time with Troop 3,  he earned 35 merit badges and enjoyed many leadership opportunities including Order of the Arrow, National Youth Leadership Training, Patrol Leader, and recently completed a year-long term as  Senior Patrol Leader. In July, Mac was one of 40,000 international scouts attending the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where he served as a patrol leader for Rhode Island’s Troop 104. 

A student at Bishop Hendricken High School, Mac works hard  to maintain an A average and has earned several service and academic achievements including: junior class vice president; founder and captain of Hendricken’s award-winning CyberPatriot team; president of the mock trial club;  member of the model legislature; co-founder and president of the school’s amateur radio club; first-place grant and NUWC Innovation Award for his RI State Science Fair physics project ; and is a member of the national Spanish and English honors societies.  Rugby is his favorite sport and he’s looking forward to the start of the next season playing defense on the varsity team and preparing for matches in Durban, South Africa. 

In his free time, Mac is working towards earning his private pilot’s license. He’s already flown solo, has over 60 takeoffs and landings in his logbook and completed his night flying requirements.  Deeply interested in military and civic service, Mac’s future plans include applying to military academies and university ROTC programs. Cullen looks forward to a career in aviation and aerospace engineering.

Scout Troop 3 Newport meets every Tuesday at 7pm, at the Elks Club, 141 Pelham Street, Newport.  Since 1947, 90 Troop 3 scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle. Mac is proud to be the 91st.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...