The Eagles have landed! Three Boy Scouts from Wilton Troop 20, Ryan Carlson, Nicholas Johnson and Jackson Walker, earned the rank of Eagle and were celebrated for their accomplishments in an Eagle Court of Honor on March 5 at St. Matthew’s Church. Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain.
Masters of ceremonies for the evening were Ryan and Nicholas’ brothers, Life Scouts Sean Carlson and Matthew Johnson. Connecticut State Sen. Toni Boucher gave the invocation and also presented each of the three Eagle Scouts with a citation from the State of Connecticut congratulating them for their dedication, hard work, and commitment required to reach the rank of Eagle. Each of the boys also received congratulatory certificates from The White House and Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
During the ceremony, each Eagle Scout gave a speech detailing his experience during the past six years as a Boy Scout. In addition, the boys’ parents spoke about each of their son’s trail to Eagle, from the first time they dropped him off at summer camp to watching him grow into a young man needing to tackle a challenging leadership position, including guiding younger scouts in the execution and completion of his Eagle service project.
An Eagle’s service project represents the culmination of years of acquired scouting skills from project inception, planning and design, fundraising to source the project materials, logistical planning, and management of the volunteer corps on the job site. Service projects are designed to benefit the local community while challenging the scout to demonstrate a full range of leadership qualities.
All three boys from Troop 20 worked on their projects during May and June of 2015.
- Walker’s project involved constructing four raised flower beds for the School Sisters of Notre Dame so that handicapped senior citizens would be able to enjoy the natural benefits of gardening while providing the sisters with fresh grown vegetables, flowers and other agricultural produce.
- Johnson chose to build a toolshed at Trackside Teen Center for the Wilton Garden Club‘s use. The Garden Club works with senior citizens and other volunteers to grow fresh produce that is then donated to local food pantries.
- Carlson rebuilt part of the Woodcock Nature Center’s Yellow Trail boardwalk, which leads to a lookout area over a marsh. It is used extensively for summer camps and school programs and was unstable, rotting and unsafe to use.
In addition to the physical work required to complete these projects, each boy had to write an extensive project summary as part of his Eagle scout application, which was then reviewed by the National Boy Scouts of America. All three Scouts were able to complete their applications before they began their junior years at Wilton High School in August 2015. The final step was to appear before an Eagle Board of Review, which determined the quality of each scout’s experience and decided whether he had fulfilled the requirements for the rank of Eagle. In December 2015 all three boys passed their Eagle Board of Review, signaling their honorable achievement and high level of accomplishment.