Boy Scout Troop 31 of New Canaan honored Eric Philip Evensen at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony Monday, March 29, at the United Methodist Church. Eric is the son of Philip and Deborah Evensen of New Canaan.

To achieve the rank of Eagle, a Scout is required to earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout spirit, service and leadership -- which includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages. According to the Boy Scouts of America, only about 5 percent of the more than 2.8 million scouts have achieved the Eagle rank.

Currently a senior at New Canaan High School, Eric's Eagle Scout project involved the installation of two boardwalks totaling 40 feet in the Bristow Bird Sanctuary next to Mead Park. New Canaan's Department of Public Works approved Evensen's project proposal and generously supplied advice and the materials -- 480 screws, 120 boards and 16 beams -- while Eric supplied the leadership, design and ability to marshal 20 volunteers over eight days of construction and installation. Among the many resources utilized to accomplish his project, Eric credits his grandfather, Arthur Ramhorst, for his guidance and electric table saw.

As first a Cub Scout and then Boy Scout over a 12-year period, Eric always aspired to achieve the highest rank in Scouting.

"My dad was an Eagle Scout, so continuing the tradition was something I also wanted to do," he said. Having accomplished his dream, Eric appreciates what his journey has taught him. "I was glad to be able to do my part and add to the legacy that is of an Eagle Scout. This experience has given me confidence to go on and take on the next challenges in my life," he said.

Eric's experience in giving back to his hometown hasn't ended with his Eagle project.

"Subsequent to the completion of his Eagle Scout Project, he has come in with several other ideas to help the Town: a proposed bikeway and parking layout along South Avenue as well as ideas on how to improve pedestrian safety at the high school," Tiger Mann, assistant director of Public Works, said. "Eric was very energetic, committed to his Eagle Scout Project and a pleasure to work with from the project's inception to its close," Mann added.

New Canaan Selectman Robert Malozzi and Connecticut State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) were among the distinguished guests to pay tribute to Eric and his family, which included his mother and father, sister Rebecca, grandparents and uncle.

Information about Troop 31 is available at and interested boys are invited to speak to Scoutmaster Bob Eason at any of Troop 31's weekly meetings on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church on South Avenue.