Ada Eagle Scouts honored after overcoming pandemic obstacles

Kent County

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — After a year of separation and added challenges, a local Boy Scout troop recognized seven new Eagle Scouts during an outdoor ceremony in Walker Sunday afternoon.

The scouts being honored are part of Boy Scout Troop 290 from Ada.

“It’s probably one of the best moments we’ll have in our lives,” Eagle Scout Thomas Sypien said.

Troop leaders said earning the Eagle Scout award, the highest recognition available to Boy Scouts, is always an honor, especially given the additional obstacles brought on due to the pandemic.

Assistant Scout Master Jim Gadziemski said the scouts rose to challenge.

“They really took the ball, and they created a program using Zoom, using outdoor meetings and hikes to keep the scouts active and together,” Gadziemski said.

Boy Scout Troop 290 from Ada is honored with the Eagle Scout award during a ceremony in Walker on May 2, 2021.

The Eagle Scouts spoke about the added responsibility of keeping others and themselves safe while earning the merit badges needed to achieve this honor.

“One example is … I did three merit badges with my neighbor and one of them was personal finance,” Eagle Scout David Wasilewski said. “So, I sat down on Zoom with her and talked with her about investing in different credit card options and things like that.”

The ceremony was a point of pride for parents and troop leaders.

“You just stand back and you look at them and it’s like wow, these are the future leaders of our country and they’re doing amazing things,” Gadziemski said.

Boy Scout Troop 290 from Ada is honored with the Eagle Scout award during a ceremony in Walker on May 2, 2021.

For many of the newly-named Eagle Scouts, one of the best part of the day was being all together again after so long apart.

“It’s been so long since I’ve seen all of my friends faces,” Eagle Scout Clayton Beard said. “It’s just so unreal and surreal I would describe it as.”

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