Local Boy Scout Troop 149 has awarded 33 Eagle Scout ranks over its 53-year history – and this weekend, the troop will bestow the prestigious award upon six more young men: Brian Finnegan, Justin Stanwyck, Paul Rachwalski, Joshua Wiktor, Delaney McGuire and Joseph Walano.
The Eagle Scout ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 18 at 15052 S. Archer Ave. in Lockport.
According to Boy Scouts of America, the rank of Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. A Boy Scout must progress through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life before becoming an Eagle Scout – as well as live by the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life, earn 21 merit badges, serve six months in a troop leadership position, take part in a Scoutmaster conference and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
But perhaps the most important and publicly recognizable task an Eagle Scout must complete is to “plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community,” popularly known as his Eagle Scout project.
Local Scouts and Their Projects
Brian Finnegan joined Troop 149 Feb. 15, 2005, and earned his Eagle rank July 5, 2012. For his service project, Brian led an effort to replace the old fence and install a drainage system at the veteran’s memorial garden at the Lockport American Legion. The new navy-style fence provides an aesthetic accent and barrier protection for a memorial that beautifully honors America’s veterans. Brian graduated from Lockport High School in 2012 with high honors and is currently studying environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Justin Stanwyck joined Troop 149 Feb. 21, 2006, and earned his Eagle rank July 30, 2012. Justin’s project restored a natural walking trail that runs through the wooded south side of the Lemont Park District. The extensive project required rebuilding bridges, installing culverts and clearing fallen timber. Justin will graduate from Lemont High School in May with high honors and is planning to attend Stanford University in the fall to study engineering.
Paul Rachwalski joined Troop 149 Feb. 21, 2006, and earned his Eagle rank on Oct. 15, 2012. For his service project, Paul organized an effort to restore the wooden decks and wheelchair ramps attached to the cabins at Shady Oaks Camp for children and adults with disabilities, in Homer Glen. His project will help maintain the structural integrity and longevity of the decks and ramps, which provide safe access for the campers and enhance the camp’s aesthetics. Paul will graduate from Lemont High School in May with high honors and is planning to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the fall to study engineering.
Joshua Wiktor joined Troop 149 Feb. 21, 2006, and earned his Eagle rank on Nov. 8, 2012. Josh’s project re-fabricated and beautified the main flagpole area at Shady Oaks Camp in Homer Glen. His project beautified the camp and revitalized the opportunity for flag ceremonies and other activities. Josh will complete his independent study program and begin his college coursework in the fall.
Delaney McGuire joined Troop 149 Feb. 21, 2006, and earned his Eagle rank on Nov. 8, 2012. Delaney’s project involved fundraising for and leadership required to install a cedar rail fence at Shady Oaks Camp in Homer Glen. His project provides a measure of safety for the campers, helps reduce maintenance costs and enhances the natural beauty of the property. Delaney will graduate with high honors from Lemont High School in May and is planning to attend the University of Illinois in the fall to study business.
Joseph Walano joined Troop 149 Feb. 14, 2006, and earned his Eagle rank on Nov. 8, 2012. J.P. led the effort to repaint the main barn at the Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport. The project will help maintain the barns longevity as the ranch continues to serve the community by providing a fun and educational environment for area youth. J.P. will graduate from Lockport High School with high honors in June and is planning to attend University of Illinois in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering.
Cumulatively, these Scouts have earned 200 merit badges; volunteered more than 400 hours in their community; spent 667 nights camping “under canvas” and hiked nearly 1,000 miles. All have been elected by their peers into The Order of the Arrow, which is considered the “national honor society of Scouting.” They have also earned awards such as the Arrow of Light, World Conservation Award, Mile Swim and the Zero Degree Camping Award.
Editor’s note: The above information was provided by Evelyn Walano.
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