Last month, Troop 35 held an Eagle Court of Honor to celebrate the accomplishments of its four latest Eagle Scouts, Andrew Orner (son of Margaret and David Orner), Johnathan Stimpson (son of Tina and Kevin Stimpson), Daniel Cone (son of Barbara and Anthony Cone) and James Heyne (son of Cathy and Henri Heyne). Eagle is the highest rank in Scouting, attained by only 5% of Scouts nationally, requiring demonstrated leadership in the troop, a minimum of 21 merit badges and the completion of a community service project that benefits an organization outside of Boy Scouts.

The recent completed Eagle Scout projects adds to the growing list of more than 200 Eagle projects completed by the Darien Troops, Troop 35 and Troop 53, since 1928.

For his Eagle Project, Andrew Orner created a library and resource room for St. Charles Borromeo Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The library and resource room was intended to provide a safe environment for the middle school aged children of the parish to read and study. Andrew guided multiple teams that organized, cataloged and labeled the books, painted the room, installed book shelves and carpet, as well as creating a computer-based library system to check-out and track the books.

In response to Darien’s parks’ tables and benches gradually deteriorating; Johnathan Stimpson led a team in September, 2016 that restored 15 tables and benches at Tilley Pond and Cherry Lawn Parks.  Each table and bench was cleaned, sanded down, repainted with environmentally-safe paint, and repaired, a process that took dozens of volunteers spread over multiple weekends. His project aims to save the town money by precluding the need for a more costly replacement effort in the future.

In June 2016, Dan Cone completed his Eagle Scout Project. Dan’s Eagle Scout Project involved the restoration of the South Norwalk Community Center.  Long neglected and often abused the community center had fallen into disarray.  Dan and his volunteers spent 122 hours inspecting and then cleaning, repairing, sanding and painting the walls of the second floor of the building. Dan not only assisted with the prep work and painting, but he also guided both adult and scout volunteers on proper painting techniques. 

In the summer of 2016, James Heyne learned that the St. John Community garden was in need of renovation. The exiting beds were quite large, which made it hard to weed and walk between the plants without stepping on them plus small animals were invading the gardens and destroying the plants. James drew and executed plans that included cutting the existing four 12’ x 12’ beds in half, creating eight beds and building two new boxes for a total of ten. To sturdy the flimsy fencing, holes were dug and posts were cemented into place, then a heavy gauge wire was pulled tight and stapled to the posts. Finally, the pièce de résistance included James incorporating a unique system designed to prevent the animals from entering the garden from beneath the fence. With over 130 volunteer hours, James’ Eagle Scout Project helped provide the community and members of St. John Church with a beautiful place to garden and fresh vegatables for the rectory.

Every one of these Eagle Projects is fine testimony to the character and leadership of each these young men. With two Boy Scout Troops, three Cub Scout Packs and a co-ed Venture Crew that call the Scout Cabin on West Avenue their home, Scouting remains both a vibrant and integral part of the town and community.