Three county teens achieve Eagle Scout status

Scouts BSA Troop 347 welcomes three new Eagle Scouts: Ryan James Eaton, 18, of Brighton Township; James Hodges Oginsky, 18, of Genoa Township; and Alexander McWilliam, 18, of Hamburg Township.

The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank within Scouts BSA.

Eaton, Oginsky, and McWilliam join other distinguished Americans who have become Eagle Scouts, including former President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, cinematographer Steven Spielberg, and US. Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan.

“This is a significant achievement for these young men,” said Scoutmaster Jeff Haggerty. “Since its creation in 1912, only 4 percent of Scouts have attained the rank of Eagle.”

Each Eagle Scout candidate must earn 21 merit badges; successfully plan, lead, and complete a service project benefiting the community; and hold a troop leadership position.

(L-R) Ryan Eaton, Bodie Borich, Alex McWilliam, and Collin Faeth of Scouts BSA Troop 347 construct a new access entrance for the Lyon School in Brighton Township.

Ryan Eaton led 25 youth and adult volunteers in a service project at the historic Lyon School in Brighton Township. The project benefited the Brighton Area Historical Society and included expansion of a wheelchair access ramp and deck, removal of a concrete stairway and steps, and elimination of a fire hazard by addition of a second wheelchair-accessible entrance.

As a result of this project, the school museum is now more accessible to visitors, including many elementary students, who now can more safely enter and exit the building.

A 2020 graduate of Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard High School, Eaton is currently studying business at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.

Eaton is a guitarist and has served as the Youth Representative on the Administrative Board of Brighton First United Methodist Church. He is the son of James and Lisa Eaton of Brighton Township.

James Oginsky (center in blue) leads preparation of a meteorite display table with members of Scouts BSA Troop 347 as part of his Eagle Scout project.

James Oginsky led a service project for the Longway Planetarium in Flint, involving 28 Scout and adult volunteers in the creation of two display cases for the display of meteorites and related graphics and information cards.

Included in the display is a fragment from the meteor that burst in the skies over Michigan on Jan. 16, 2018, and was observed in seven states and Ontario. Oginsky completed his service project despite restrictions on activities imposed in response to the COVID-19 virus.

As a result of this project, visitors to the Longway Planetarium, including many students throughout the region, will have expanded opportunities to observe meteorites and learn about them.

Oginsky is a 2020 graduate of Brighton High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society and the world champion varsity robotics team. Currently pursuing a major in aerospace engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, he is the son of Anna and Daniel Oginsky of Brighton Township.

Alex McWilliam (right) presents an outdoor produce distribution cart to Gleaners Food Bank.

Alex McWilliam led a service project benefiting Gleaners Community Food Bank in Howell, Michigan. Managing Scout youth and adult volunteers, McWilliam constructed an outdoor mobile produce cart with bins to facilitate the distribution to food bank clients of fresh fruit and vegetables, including some donated by McWilliam’s family farm.

This service project will increase access to healthy produce for those in need and enable access to food outside of regular food bank hours. McWilliam completed this project despite restrictions on activities imposed in response to the COVID-19 virus.

A 2020 graduate of Brighton High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society and the world champion varsity robotics team, McWilliam is currently majoring in computer science at Michigan Technological University in Houghton Michigan. He is the son of David and Sherry McWilliam of Hamburg Township.

About Troop 347

Scouts BSA Troop 347 — founded in 1999 — includes 49 Scouts, and is chartered by St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Brighton. Each year since its formation, Troop 347 has been recognized as an exceptional unit, earning the Gold Level in Scouting’s Journey to Excellence planning, performance, and recognition program.


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