Eagle Scout project heats up Wilton flag ceremony

WILTON — Ian Kineon did not want to leave his mark as an Eagle Scout with a bench or a bridge.

He wanted to do something for an organization that has special meaning for him, and since he has played American Legion baseball for several years, he focused on the Charles Whipple Post 86 on Old Ridgefield Road.

“The Legion gives so much to the town,” he said, and the organization’s annual flag retirement ceremony is an important event on the post’s yearly calendar. That led him, a year ago, to decide to build a fire pit at the rear of the post’s property.

The fire pit, built of cinder blocks and fire bricks, made its debut at this year’s ceremony on Sept. 12. It was a pleasant surprise to many who had become used to the 55-gallon drums the post previously used, which often made the event a smokey affair.

Ian, who is a senior at Wilton High School, wrote up his proposal and created a preliminary design which he presented to the post, his troop — Troop 20 — and the Boy Scout hierarchy.

His initial design was too simple, he said, so he did some more research and decided he needed to start by pouring a concrete slab.

“I had to put a four-inch gravel base under it which consisted of cement, cinder blocks and fire bricks,” left over from a previous fire pit that fell into disuse years ago. “Then I poured my slab and got my fire bricks and cinder blocks and constructed the whole thing,” he said.

The end result measures 40 inches square on the inside and 64 inches square on the outside.

From the beginning proposal, Ian’s project took 150 hours to complete.

“This is what we really need for or annual flag retirement,” Post 86 Adjutant Tom Moore said. “It looks much nicer than the old chimney and drums that we used. It’s exactly what we wanted it to be.”