Fox Chapel Area junior reaches Eagle Scout status
By Sharon Drake
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
A court of honor will be convened for Ryan Breen on Saturday.
The Fox Chapel Area High School student, 16, will be recognized for achieving the Boy Scouts' highest rank, Eagle Scout. The event will celebrate qualities that display the meaning of scouting's ideals.
“I look to the (scout) law. That sums it up,” Breen said.
A scout aims to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
Breen recently organized a troop Olympics with events such as sock skating, basket curling and dodgeball.
“I've proved I'm able to lead people and plan things,” he said.
Completing the Eagle Scout requirements builds that confidence. Along with earning the prerequisite badges, the final hurdle is organizing a community-service project.
Breen tapped into a national movement to provide nesting habitats for chimney swifts. The chimney swift is a bird, about 6 inches long, and classified as “near threatened.”
There were many steps to building the chimney, which is a square structure that can house about seven bird families. Breen began by reading and learning about the project, as well as choosing a site. Then came the lists — needed materials, expected costs, a schedule for workers and a timeline.
“It was demanding and required a lot out of me,” Breen said.
After presenting his plans to the scouts, Breen began the first phase of prep work. He said it was a chance to work closely with his father.
Then he had work sessions at his home. The tower was built in pieces. The final phase was at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel, where the chimney was built.
One of the requirements for the project is to organize and direct volunteers, and Breen had the backing of his Troop 380.
“I had lots of support from the troop,” Breen said.
There were whole Saturdays the scouts and other volunteers worked.
Breen's mother helped organize the breakfasts and lunches.
What came out of this effort was a lasting addition to the community — a place for birds and a place for learning about them at an informational kiosk on the tower.
The final part of Breen's Eagle Scout project was his presentation before a board of review.
“It definitely made me nervous,” he said. “They ask you a lot of tough questions. I guess in the end, it was worth it.”
Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- O’Hara votes to seek bids for community center
- Gold medalist shares life lessons with Fox Chapel Area’s Dorseyville Middle School students
- Aspinwall seeks help collecting ticket fees
- O’Hara, Aspinwall, Fox Chapel, Sharpsburg join forces to save on street paving costs