Boy Scout Troop 63 honored four scouts in a specially convened Court of Honor. The Boy Scouts of America presented the Eagle rank to Ryan Metzger, Matt Whitehill, Brendan Purcell and George Tucker.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program. To earn this very distinguished award an Eagle Scout must have completed at least 21 merit badges, advanced through five lower ranks and demonstrated ideals of achievement, initiative and leadership including designing, organizing and conducting an extensive service project that benefits his church, synagogue, community or school. Fewer than five percent of Boy Scouts nationwide attain this illustrious rank.
Ryan’s Eagle project, which he named “Scouting For Refugees,” was a charity drive for refugees who are resettled in the New Haven area by the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS). The project consisted of three coordinated charity drives. First, scouts from Troop 63 distributed flyers to almost every home in Woodbridge with a list of items needed. They collected the donations a week later. Second, he designed and constructed special donation boxes which were placed in the Woodbridge Town Library, Woodbridge Town Hall, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, B’nai Jacob Synagogue, and Milford Pediatric Group. The final component was direct solicitation of retailers, where he went to over twenty retail stores and requested donations for the project. Over 3,200 toiletry and household cleaning items were collected for refugees in total which was the most successful drive in IRIS history.
Matt’s Eagle project consisted of refurbishing the Fitness Stations on the Fitzgerald Property in Woodbridge. The Fitzgerald Property is in the center of Woodbridge (also known as the cornfields). It is a very popular place for people to walk and garden (at the public gardens). Along the perimeter of the walking path are 10 fitness stations part of the Fit Trail. Since the stations were installed over 20 years ago, nothing has been done to clean or refurbish the stations. Before the project, the stations were falling apart, dirty, and one was even missing. As a team, he successfully washed each station, installed the missing station, and replaced an entire station. The end product is cleaner, more attractive, and safer fitness stations.
For Brendan’s Eagle project, he made substantial improvements to the Gregory Roberts Memorial Trail, which is owned by the Town of Woodbridge and managed by the Woodbridge Land Trust. The project included the design and construction of a bridge over a stream and a boardwalk of 80 feet over a muddy section of the trail. The project also included clearing and re-blazing of this half-mile trail to its intersection with the Blue Trail, making it passable and enjoyable for Woodbridge residents.
For George’s Eagle project he created cold frames to go on three raised planting beds at Massaro Community Farm. The cold frames will be used to keep the plants in the raised beds warm and therefore extend the growing season. Organized in 2008, Massaro Community Farm, Inc. is a nonprofit, certified-organic farm in Woodbridge, CT. It is committed to supporting the legacy of farming, feeding its neighbors in need, and building community through events and hands-on education for all ages. Committed to sustainable farming methods, the Farm is a place of inclusion where everyone is welcome to be a part of building a legacy for future generations.
Scoutmaster John Zeek presided over the Court of Honor. Presentations were also made to the parents of the Scouts recognizing their dedication, involvement and perseverance in motivating their sons on this extraordinary multi-year effort. Honored guests included Woodbridge First Selectman Ellen Scalettar and State Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. who presented each scout with Town and State citations.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is the largest youth organization in the U.S. with nearly 3 million youth members and 1.1 million registered adult leaders. For over 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Troop 63 is one of the oldest Boy Scout Troops in the Connecticut Yankee Council. Our Troop was founded in 1963 to bring scouting to boys in the Woodbridge, Bethany and surrounding communities. Chartered by Our Lady of Assumption Church, but open to all scouts, Troop 63 quickly became known as the “outdoor troop”. Active all year, our outings include all types of camping, hiking, backpacking, skiing, canoe trips, white water rafting as well as cultural events such as visits to historical parks and battlegrounds and much more. We also plan and participate in Community service projects each year.
Troop 63 meets Monday nights from 7:00 pm – 8:30pm. Meetings are held at Our Lady of the Assumption “Mother” Church located at 1700 Litchfield Turnpike (Rte. 69) in Woodbridge September through April and at the same time outdoors at our own Camp Whiting May through June. Troop 63 welcomes all boys ages 10 and up or who have completed the fifth grade. Stop by and see what we’re all about. For more information visit our web site at http://www.troop963.org or email Troop63CT@gmail.com.