Three new ‘Eagles’ land in Wilton

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.
Masters of ceremonies for the evening were Ryan and Nicholas’ brothers, Life Scouts Sean Carlson and Matthew Johnson. State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) 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 U.S. Sen, Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

During the ceremony, each Eagle Scout spoke of his experience during the past six years as a Boy Scout. In addition, their parents spoke of their sons’ trail to Eagle, from the first time they dropped them off at summer camp to watching them grow into young men needing to tackle challenging leadership positions, including guiding younger Scouts in the execution and completion of their Eagle service projects.

An Eagle's service project represents the culmination of years of acquired scouting skills from project inception, planning and design, fund raising 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 last May and June. Jackson 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 vegetables, flowers and other agricultural produce.

Nicholas Johnson chose to build a tool shed for the Wilton Garden Club at Trackside. The garden club works with senior citizens and other volunteers to grow fresh produce that is then donated to local food pantries.

Ryan 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, the boys had to write an extensive project summary that is included as part of their Eagle Scout application, which is 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. The final step was to appear before an Eagle Board of Review whose purpose is to determine the quality of each Scout's experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank of Eagle. In December 2015 all three boys passed their Eagle Board of Review.