Eagle Scouts, from left: Daniel Ricci, Ari Maki, James McSweeney, Julian Allison, Milo Haviland, and Joseph Yang
By Janice Llanes Fabry
There must be something in the water along our Sound Shore communities, because for the very first time in Mamaroneck’s Boy Scout Troop 2’s 101-year-history, six Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle this year. The boys, all Rye and Mamaroneck residents, will celebrate the highest achievement in scouting at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on June 9.
To put it in perspective, of the 2.3 million Boy Scouts in the United States, only five percent earn the highest rank. The tough, elusive climb to Eagle includes the completion of 21 specific merit badges (these boys have a tremendous surplus), leadership positions, official recommendations, as well as a service project that benefits a community. The project requires a lengthy and stringent application and approval process.
For instance, Rye resident Joseph Yang spearheaded the restoration and the beautification of the Sunken Gardens in Crawford Park in Rye Brook. Having deteriorated over time, the garden was covered in weeds and its surrounding benches and rock wall had fallen into disrepair. As a result, the project was divided into three phases: gardening (weeding, planting, mulching); rock repair; and bench restoration (power washing, sanding, priming, and staining.).
The planning process spanned several months. First, Yang’s plan underwent three revisions before obtaining Eagle Board of Review approval. Next, he made a presentation at a City of Rye meeting and obtained permission from the Town of Rye.
“My Eagle project gave me the opportunity to give back to the community and to utilize many of the skills I learned in scouting,” said Yang, who sought donations of labor and material to complete the job.
He and his fellow scouts have risen in the ranks together for 12 years and have cumulatively contributed 1,584 community service hours. For his project, Daniel Ricci restored the ecosystem at Otter Creek Preserve in Mamaroneck. Ari Maki beautified a Rye Nature Center trail. James McSweeney designed and constructed bridges for Rye’s Marshlands Conservancy. Milo Haviland restored the Haviland Cemetery in Harrison and Julian Allison created a history of Mamaroneck.
Scoutmaster Donna Ricci remarked, “It has been an honor to lead these scouts from Tiger to Eagle. I am truly proud of each of them and look forward to the great things they will do in their next adventure of life.”