Sixteen-year-old Wilton Boy Scout Troop 20 member Matthew Johnson recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout after building two picnic tables for Woodcock Nature Center.

“I decided to build picnic tables for Woodcock Nature Center because I know how great of an organization Woodcock is,” said Matthew, a junior at Wilton High School, “and I knew they were in need of more tables.”

The tables he built will be used during the nature center’s summer camp and school programs.

Matthew said the most challenging part about his Eagle Scout project was getting stores to donate materials.

“Since many of them were far away and I couldn’t get there in person, I had to call to ask for donations,” he said. “It was difficult to speak to the right person and make sure they had what I needed over the phone.”

Despite the challenges he faced, Matthew said the best part was “finishing the picnic tables and seeing the manifestation of all [his] hard work over the years.”

Although it took him just two days to prepare the wood and construct the picnic tables, Matthew said, his entire Eagle Scout project took about three to four months.

In addition to the physical work of building the tables, Matthew 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. Matthew completed both before the start of this school year.

The final step in his Eagle Scout journey was to appear before an Eagle Board of Review, which determined the quality of his scouting experience and decided whether he had fulfilled the requirements for the rank of Eagle.

Matthew passed the review in October and received the Eagle Scout Award during a Court of Honor ceremony at Comstock Community Center last month.

“To me, Eagle Scout means that I am a leader and a role model to fellow scouts, peers and other members of the community,” said Matthew.