Surprise Guest at Eagle Ceremony
January 6th, 2012 became a special occasion last Friday as it was declared “David Melvin Day”, a tradition from the town to new Eagle scouts at the time of their award ceremonies.
The Eagle Ceremony at the First Church of Christ on Friday night was fraught with friends and family of David Melvin, who finished his Eagle Project last spring. The project, necessary for the rank of eagle, was the construction of a wooden pathway on a muddy trail near Terry’s Plain Road. The Simsbury Land Trust, who wished to provide easier access to further trails, funded the project. David and his crew hand-carried the boards through the property of Tim Ellsworth, who graciously allowed them to use his property as a staging area.
Of course, the crowning surprise of the evening was the unexpected guest. Many political figures send congratulatory letters to Eagle Scouts, from the high school principal to the Obama’s. But no one expected it when US Senator Richard Blumenthal showed up in person to congratulate David and his achievement. Delivering a heartfelt speech to the community and shaking hands, supporters and opposition alike were able to respect his presence at the ceremony and his appreciation of Scouting.
Not to be outdone, John Hampton gave a speech expressing congratulations from the town of Simsbury and his hamlet of Tariffville, as did Commander Leonard Lanza, who represented both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
As Scout Campfire coordinator, David’s reflection speech didn’t disappoint with hilarious nostalgia of past scout adventures and mis-adventures.
Troop 76 Scouts "Fly Like an Eagle"
All 14 members of the 2011 graduating class earn Scouting's highest rank
Nationally less than 5 percent of all Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. In Simsbury’s Troop 76, about 40 percent of scouts reach this highest rank.
Whenever any scout reaches Eagle, it’s quite an accomplishment. However, Troop 76’s high school seniors have something more impressive to celebrate. The 14 troop members who are graduates of Simsbury High School Class of 2011 have all attained the rank of Eagle.
This is truly a tribute to Troop 76’s program because many troops struggle to keep boys active throughout their high school years. Troop 76 does this through an array of aggressive activities and camping trips.
This accomplishment also shows the level of commitment and determination that these scouts have, because Eagle is not easily attained. The requirements to attain the Eagle rank include holding a leadership position within the troop, earning a minimum of 21 merit badges including 12 eagle required badges, and showing that the scout lives by the scout oath and law in his daily life.
The scout also has to participate in troop activities, and finally each one of these scouts had to complete a service project that demonstrates the leadership skills they have learned in the troop and also benefits the community.
The projects that this group completed benefited the community in many different ways. From a flagpole to honor veterans, to a garden at St. Francis, to redoing a room for book collections at the library, to a trail kiosk, and nature trails, to a meditation garden, all these projects benefit the community in many impressive ways.
Eagle Scouts >