Three Eagle Scouts from Troop 31 achieve Boy Scouts highest rank
In a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony held June 13 at the United Methodist Church, Boy Scout Troop 31 of New Canaan honored three boys -- Nils Andersson, Traug Keller and Evan Shapiro -- each of whom had successfully completed the requirements to achieve Scouting's highest rank, accomplished by only 5 percent of all Boy Scouts.
Each of the Eagle Scouts earned more than 21 merit badges and ably demonstrated Scout spirit, service and leadership by completing extensive service projects that each Scout plans, organizes, leads and manages.
Andersson, son of Lars and Marian Andersson, is a 2011 graduate of New Canaan High School and plans to attend Western Connecticut State University in the fall. Andersson's Eagle project involved building a walkway around the Gospel Garden at St. Mark's Church. The garden annually provides 500 pounds of fresh vegetables to the New Canaan Food Bank. The design and construction of the walkway -- using mostly recycled materials -- has improved accessibility for garden volunteers. A member of the Order of the Arrow, Andersson has enjoyed his 12-year scouting experience, and noted camping trips, including adventures in Florida, Scotland and the 100th anniversary of Scouting at last year's National Jamboree, among his favorite memories.
Keller, son of Traug and Connie Keller, is a 2011 graduate of Fairfield Preparatory School and will attend Texas Christian University this fall. Keller's Eagle project involved organizing and spearheading a boys clothing drive for the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Organization based in Greenwich. An active volunteer with Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Traug's fondest memories of his years in Troop 31 include cookoffs, dodge ball, the annual ski trip and the Boy Scouts of America High Adventure Sea Base Camp in the Florida Keys.
Shapiro, son of Larry and Darlene Shapiro, is a 2011 graduate of New Canaan High School and will enter Carnegie Mellon University in September. Shapiro's Eagle project focused on the needs of New Canaan's senior citizens. Working with the Red Cross and the town of New Canaan, Shapiro developed a senior citizen contact list -- noting their specific needs -- and an emergency kit, which involved developing, packing and delivering the kits to New Canaan's senior residents. In addition to serving as a Red Cross volunteer, Shapiro enjoyed the scout leadership training programs, Boy Scout summer camp and a special trip to the 31st Scottish International Patrol Jamborette at Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland, in 2008.
"This is a lifetime achievement which each new Eagle will both remember and benefit from their entire lives," Troopmaster Bob Eason said. "The Eagle community is a unique group and with it comes responsibility -- responsibility to forever hold oneself up to the standards and values of an Eagle Scout and to give back to Scouting just as the many Scouts, friends, family, leaders and others gave to them as they made their way to becoming an Eagle Scout."
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Information about Troop 31 is available at http://newcanaan31.mytroop.us/.