NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Boy Scout Troop 137 in New Fairfield is boasting an amazing accomplishment: The troop produced 10 Eagle Scouts in just eight months.
Those 10 new Eagle Scouts celebrated their huge Eagle Court of Honor on July 16 at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
The boys earned the highest rank in Scouting, an achievement consistently attained by troop members.
Troop 137 has twice, since 2002, celebrated 10 new Eagle Scouts in less than a year’s time.
Many of these scouts have been on the trail to Eagle for 12 years, since becoming Tiger Cub Scouts in first grade.
More impressively, a few of the 10 joined in middle school, leaving them just a few short years to learn the program, and earn all the ranks, merit badges, leadership and complete the service projects needed to earn Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with each one of these Scouts, and they all exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. I’ve always called this group a ‘force for good.’ Get these 10 young men together, plus many of the other troop members, and they can complete a service project in short order,” Troop 137 Advancement Chairperson Gerri Youngblood said.
Each scout had to complete rigorous requirements, including 21 Merit Badges, some very involved that include required study of Citizenship (Community, Nation and World), Personal Management, fitness and outdoor badges, Communications and others that push the scouts to learn to lead.
The capstone of the Eagle rank is the Service Project. This is where all the individual skills learned come together as the scout leads the group in completion of his chosen project. Often spanning years, these service projects have benefitted the entire community of not just New Fairfield, but many of the surrounding towns.
These 10 Eagles have collectively been responsible for projects totaling in excess of 1,500 hours of service to the local communities.
From projects reshaping Old Quarry Nature Park/Center in Danbury, to building the new Community Garden in New Fairfield, to building new picnic tables on the Appalachian Trail in Sharon, the Boy Scouts have worked hard to make the communities a better place to live.
“Two service projects completed by these Eagles stand out in my mind: The trail marking and sign installation project led by Eamon Flaherty at Bear Mountain Reservation corrected a dangerous situation where hikers were getting lost due to the lack of clear trail marking," Youngblood said.
"The other, a food drive for St. Edward Church in New Fairfield, led by Eagle Sean Wall, amassed over 8,000 pounds of food and thousands of dollars of donations that were turned into grocery gift cards and given to the church for distribution," she said.
"The food collection alone filled every major food bank in the Danbury area, all at the critical time of Thanksgiving. The impact of both these projects are enormous for the community, and it amazes me that a bunch of teenagers can pull these projects off,” added Youngblood.
In attendance at the Court of Honor were local and state-level dignitaries, and Connecticut Yankee Scout Council leaders, including state Sen. Michael McLachlan, First Selectman Susan Chapman, and Assistant Scout Executive Jonathan Glassman, among many others.
The troop's work is not done. With more scouts working to finish up projects, the troop is hoping for at least two to four more Eagle Scouts by year's end.