Bristol Eastern sophomore, Riley McKenney, was recently awarded the highest rank in scouting. The Eagle Scout award, is the highest attainable rank in the Boy Scouting program. Less than 5 percent of all scouts attain this rank in their scouting career. The award is a performance based achievement, and the scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. The scout must hold positions of leadership, give back to his community through service, and uphold the ideals of scouting in his everyday life. Finally, the scout must plan and lead an extensive service project that has a lasting impact on his community.
Riley is an honor student at Bristol Eastern High School. He just finished his second season with the Eastern lacrosse team. Additionally, Riley is a member of the Boy Scouts’ Order of the Arrow, which is scouting’s national honor society. A scout becomes a member of the Order of the Arrow only through being elected by his fellow scouts.
Riley’s Eagle project focused on revitalizing the bird populations at Barnes Nature Center and Indian Rock Nature Preserve, here in Bristol. He led other scouts, youth, and adult volunteers, in constructing nesting boxes and predator guards for several declining species of birds, including the Eastern Bluebird. As part of his project, he also led the building of Wood Duck and Screech Owl boxes.
A press release said, “Riley would like to thank all of his volunteers and individuals who made donations so that he could complete his project. He would like to especially thank the store manager at the Southington Lowes, Patrick Roy, for his support of Riley’s project. Mr. Roy, an Eagle Scout himself, was excited to help the scouting program thrive.