Fanwick named Eagle for work at Weir

Max Fanwick of Wilton was presented with the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 16, at Congregation Beth El in Norwalk. Max is a member of Troop 15 in Stamford, sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans of America.

Max attained Boy Scouting's highest rank following completion of his Eagle project, in which he and a corps of volunteers replaced foot bridges and a walkway at Weir Farm National Historic Site.

"I was searching for an Eagle Scout project and wanted something that would be used on a daily basis and have a positive impact on the community," he told The Bulletin. Last fall while walking in the Town Forest with a friend, he saw the devastation to the trails and environment in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm. He wrote up a proposal and submitted it to town hall. He was told there is was a civic group already planning a cleanup, "but they suggested I contact Weir Farm because they were in the same situation," Max said.

After meeting with Greg Waters, a park ranger at Weir, Max's project took shape. He targeted two existing foot bridges that needed replacement — one that had sunk into a stream and was restricting water flow, and the other over a dam spillway that had severely rotted out and was falling apart. He also built a walkway that allows people to cross over muddy spots where a bridge is not required.

The project was completed over the course of several days in February and mid-March with the help of 25 to 30 young people and 10 adults.

At the Eagle Scout Court of Honor Max presented his mentor pin to his grandmother on behalf of his grandfather, Ernie Fanwick, who died a week before Max's 18th birthday and just as Max had completed his project.

"My grandfather and uncle were both Eagle Scouts," Max said. "From an early age he pushed me into scouting, took me to meetings, helped me and was with me throughout. He was able to see most of the project," Max said. "He died on a Wednesday and the project was signed off that Friday."

Max has been involved in four other Eagle Scout projects during his six years as a Boy Scout. He also spent two years as a Cub Scout.

Max graduated Wilton High School this year where he ran track and was active in both Model Congress and the debate team. This fall he will attend Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire on an academic scholarship. He plans to major in political science and environmental studies. He spent the summer as an intern on both the Jim Himes for Congress Campaign and the Ted Hoffstatter for State Representative Campaign.

Attending the Court of Honor were Wilton Second Selectman Hal Clark, Selectman Ted Hoffstatter and Rabbi Ron Fish of Congregation Beth El. Mr. Clark spoke on behalf of Wilton and Rabbi Fish gave the invocation.