Boy Scout Troop 270, which is sponsored by Newtown Congregational Church, awarded the rank of Eagle Scout to 11 of its troop members in 2013, setting a new troop record. The young men who achieved this rank during the past 12 months are Daniel Ansari, Jack Benedict, Sam Boland, Tyler Coleman, Chris Erikson, Nicholas Lafky, Karan Marwah, Matt Rosa, Henry Summ, Brandon Unger, and Jonathan Vaughn.
The previous record was six Eagle Scouts in one year, which was set in 2012.
Eagle Scouts must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and serve in leadership positions to earn the distinction. Candidates also need to complete a community service project to help local organizations. Only about five percent of all Boy Scouts earn the Eagle rank.
Following are brief descriptions of each Eagle Scout and his project, in the order that each Scout earned his new rank.
Chris Erikson is Troop 270’s 74th Eagle Scout.
Chris’s Eagle project was completed at Christ The King Lutheran Church where he cleared an island on the property, and created seating and a fire pit to be used by the congregation. To get to and from the island, Chris also built and installed floating walkway sections that could be removed during the winter.
The project benefits the congregation and youth groups of Christ the King Church.
Karan Marwah is Troop 270’s 75th Eagle Scout.
His Eagle Scout project consisted of managing a crew of volunteers to clear a trail to interconnect with the Al’s Trail system and constructing and installing an informational kiosk at the trailhead. The project benefits the public users of Newtown’s recreational trails.
Tyler Coleman is Troop 270’s 76th Eagle Scout. His Eagle Scout project consisted of creating a public picnic area at the Fairfield Hills Campus.
Tyler managed a crew of volunteers to clear a picnic area among a grove of pine trees. The volunteers pruned and removed branches, cleared and graded the ground surface and constructed and installed picnic tables. The project benefits the public by providing a convenient picnic area for visitors to the Fairfield Hill campus and recreational trails.
Jonathan Vaughn is Troop 270’s 77th Eagle Scout. His Eagle Scout project consisted of building two information kiosks for Newtown Conservation Commission.
The kiosks were erected at opposite ends of the walking path at the Fairfield Hills campus and are used by the conservation commission as a means to distribute information and provide general information about the park.
Brandon Unger is the troop’s 78th Eagle Scout.
Brandon’s Eagle Scout project consisted of making improvements to Newtown Forest Association’s Nettleton Preserve, including creating a border garden, creating interconnecting trails to West Street and Newtown Congregational Church, constructing two wetland bridge crossings, and creating three geocaches to promote trail use.
Daniel Ansari is Troop 270’s 79th Eagle Scout. For his Eagle Scout Project Daniel created and installed benches and raised beds in an open space at Newtown High School to create a new courtyard.
Nicholas Lafky is Troop 270’s 80th Eagle Scout and for his project he installed nine benches in groups of three in the playground at the former Sandy Hook School. The benches will be relocated at the new school or somewhere else in town in the future.
Jack Benedict is Troop 270’s 81st Eagle Scout. Jack’s Eagle project was completed at Trinity Church, where he designed and constructed a large outdoor labyrinth near the church’s memorial garden.
The concept for this project came during a Trinity Church Youth Group pilgrimage to South Dakota over the summer of 2012. While traveling through the Black Hills, the group visited an outdoor labyrinth, and Jack felt it would be a great gift to his church and his town. The labyrinth is open to everyone and offers a quiet place for walking meditation or prayer.
Matt Rosa is Troop 270’s 82nd Eagle Scout, and his project was to beautify and update the St Anthony Pro-Life Sanctuary at St Rose of Lima Church in Newtown.
He and his crew removed an asphalt walkway and installed two new paver walkways, power-washed the statue and retaining wall, weeded gardens and planted new perennials, and installed a new flagstone terrace in front of the statue of Mary, which was moved to a new location. In addition, a bench was also painted for visitors to the sanctuary.
Henry Summ is Troop 270’s 83rd Eagle Scout. His Eagle project consisted of building wheelchair accessible raised garden beds at The Victory Garden at Fairfield Hills. The new raised beds will help ensure that community gardening is accessible to everyone in Newtown.
Sam Boland is Troop 270’s 84th Eagle Scout; his Eagle Scout project consisted of constructing a multipurpose shed at the site of The Victory Garden. The shed allows for safe storage of gardening equipment, fertilizers, and other items that the volunteers might otherwise have to transport back-and-forth to the garden.