Three Darien Boy Scouts achieve Eagle rank
Darien Boy Scout Troop 53 Scouts Brian Gorey, Michael Parkhurst, and Brendan McMaster were celebrated at an Eagle Court of Honor on Oct. 5, for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting.
The Eagle rank requires years of commitment to Scouting and community service, culminating in leading a large service project to benefit a community organization. Along with Scouts, family, and friends, the ceremony was attended by town and state officials, including Connecticut State Senator Bob Duff, Connecticut State Representatives Terrie Wood and Matt Blumenthal, and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
Brian is a senior at Darien High School and has been an active Scout since joining Cub Scout Pack 55 in second grade, where he especially enjoyed participating in the Pinewood Derby, cake bakes, and overnights at the Museum of Natural History and the Intrepid. After crossing over to Troop 53, Brian became active in the troop’s core outdoor program and loved sharing his fishing skills with other Scouts during his favorite warm weather campouts including Pattaconk and “Water Weekend.” He also advocated to reinstate the Troop’s winter ski trip which has been a well-attended program addition. Brian attended Camp Sequassen summer camp five times, where he learned to sail and scuba dive and helped lead Troop 53 to victory in the Ultimate Frisbee tournament. Brian has held many leadership roles within Troop 53 including Den Chief, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Quartermaster, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. Brian also values the service component of Scouting, including participating in food drives for Person-to-Person, placing flags for Memorial Day, and contributing to other Scouts’ Eagle projects. He is also a four-year member of the Youth Community Fund of Darien. For his Eagle service project, Brian led a group of 21 volunteers to build and install a 16-foot-long replacement trail bridge at the Watson Symington property for the New Canaan Land Trust. Outside of Scouting, Brian is on the Darien High School Varsity Soccer and Ski teams.
Michael has been a Scout for six years, joining his older brother John as a member of Troop 53. He enjoyed the Scout campouts, especially weekends at Pound Ridge which provide a balance of work and play, honing individual cooking skills, and orienteering. A favorite annual activity is placing flags and wreaths at St John’s cemetery in Darien on Memorial Day and Christmas to honor the servicemen laid to rest there, including his grandfather. Michael enjoys teaching younger scouts and has held many different leadership roles within the troop including Den Chief, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. For his Eagle service project, Michael wanted to give back to an organization that had personal meaning to him. He chose to organize, clean and paint the back storage rooms at The Depot Youth Center, leading a team of volunteers to complete the project on a tight timetable. Outside of Scouting, Michael enjoys playing computer games and is a competitive fencer. He finished eighth at the 2019 Connecticut State Championship, made the US Honorable Mention All Star team, and has qualified for the Junior Olympics. He also started a team at Darien High School which came in second place in their very first State tournament. He hopes to continue fencing in college, and take with him the lessons and values learned from Scouting.
Brendan joined Cub Scouts in first grade, starting in Pack 161 and moving to Pack 155, where he particularly enjoyed participating in the Pinewood Derby and pumpkin carving contest. He earned his Arrow of Light and Super Achiever award before crossing over into Troop 53. Brendan has been an active participant in weekly meetings and campouts, and really enjoyed taking hiking and biking trips with his troop, including participating in the Maine High Adventure trip in 2018. He attended Camp Sequassen five summers and became a proficient archer during his time there. For Brendan’s Eagle Scout service project, he led a team of Scouts and parents who in total contributed 206 man hours to design and create a prayer labyrinth at St. Luke’s Church. Outside of Scouting, Brendan has many interests including swimming, chess, and fencing. He most recently won third place at the Connecticut junior varsity fencing tournament. Brendan is a junior at Darien High School and plans to continue to participate actively in Troop 53 to help lead the younger scouts as they work towards learning new skills and earning their ranks.