Truman Yardley and Ryan Brown, who are both 18 and recent graduates of Pierson High School, are the latest members of Sag Harbor’s Troop 455 to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
The two were honored at a Court of Honor held at the Sag Harbor Firehouse on Wednesday, July 28, that brought together family and friends, Scouting representatives, and local lawmakers or their representatives.
Truman, a son of Ken and Mimi Yardley, who has been involved in Scouting since he joined the Cub Scouts, is the third member of his family to achieve Scouting’s highest rank. His older brothers Max and Harrison are also Eagle Scouts.
Ryan, the son of Jeff and Kathleen Brown, got a later start, becoming a Scout when he was in sixth grade.
Like all Eagles, both young men earned a minimum of 21 merit badges, with at least 13 of them from a core group required of Eagles, such as First Aid, Camping and Personal Fitness.
They were also required to plan and complete a community service project.
For his project, Truman constructed a pair of lending library kiosks at the Sag Harbor Elementary School, with one containing books for children in kindergarten through second grade and the second, which is erected on a slightly taller pole, containing books for children in grades three through five.
Ryan consulted with Jeff Robertson, the manager of Mashashimuet Park, and Frank Quevedo, the executive director of the South Fork Natural History Museum, and constructed six birdhouses for eastern bluebirds and two bat boxes in the park.
“Truman has been in it from the very beginning,” said Scoutmaster Chris Remkus. “His family is dedicated to Scouting. He’s very bright, and absolutely driven.”
Of Ryan, Mr. Remkus said, “Although he had a lot to do to catch up, he was absolutely dedicated and incredibly well organized.”
Truman will attend Georgia Tech this fall, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering, with a long-term goal of working in the aerospace industry. Ryan, who is undecided on his future plans, will attend Providence College, where he said he was looking forward to sampling a variety of liberal arts courses.
Both pointed to the bonds they created with their fellow Scouts as major highlights. “It’s a brotherhood, like the military,” said Truman, while Ryan noted that in Scouting, “you get to know people on a different level.”
Sag Harbor Mayor Jim Larocca, one of several dignitaries to speak, said he, too, had felt that bond, most keenly when he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. “Brotherhood and loyalty as expressed in Scouting probably made the difference every day of my life in that part of the world,” he said.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said it was an honor as a public official to attend Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. “It’s a special thing. We are really proud of you,” he said, while adding that the honorees had the responsibility of continuing to serve in leadership roles in the community that had given them so much support.
Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni recalled Scouting as having provided him with “some of the greatest adventures” of his life. He said Truman and Ryan would remember the adults who served as their mentors and urged them to pay it forward.
Tim Green, who is the council commissioner of the Suffolk County Council for Scouting, noted that only 4 percent of Scouts achieve Eagle. But he said Long Island produces 85 percent of the Eagle Scouts in New York State.
Mr. Remkus said Troop 455 has two more members aspiring to become Eagle Scouts, his son Troy and James Farrell, but he said the troop, which has experienced ebbs and flows in its membership over the years, is currently down to six members.
He encouraged Sag Harbor’s youth to explore Scouting, noting that the group engages in a wide variety of community service activities, from helping clean beaches, maintaining public trails, and volunteering for fundraisers like the Katy’s Courage run, the Sag Harbor Lions Club’s annual Christmas tree sale, and food drives for the Sag Harbor Food Pantry.
But, he added, the Scouts also have plenty of fun activities, from hikes and overnight camping, skiing, white water rafting, mountain biking, camping, and go-carting.