By Brandon Kathman
Boy Scouts of America
Two local scouts completed service projects at Orion Township’s Camp Agawam, fulfilling their final requirements to attain the rank of Eagle, the organization’s highest honor.
Brooke Muzzy of Troop 185G and Casey Houlihan of Troop 128 dedicated their summers to improving community access to the township’s property. While their projects were separate undertakings, the scouts assisted each other throughout the process. With the hard work completed, each scout will now go before a “board of review” and receive final approval for a rank attained by only 4% of youth in the program.
“It means everything to me,” Muzzy said. “I wanted to be part of it ever since I was six years old and my brother joined Cub Scouts. When I was 15, we formed Troop 185G; two and a half years later, here I am.”
Muzzy cleared new paths and installed benches along the lakefront at Agawam. According to Muzzy, this will provide patrons with a new opportunity to experience the lake’s natural beauty.
Furthermore, the scouts took special care to remove invasive plant life from the area as they worked.
With the final criteria met, it is almost certain that she will be the first female Eagle ever in Scouting’s local Pontiac-Manito District. Houlihan, who was present with Muzzy when she finished her project, said that he was glad he participate in her project as well.
“I just think it’s cool to see that girls are now recognized for doing the same things we’ve been doing,” Houlihan said. Houlihan’s project improved access to Agawam’s community chapel with the construction of an adjacent parking lot. The chapel’s remote placement on the property meant that few made use of the space. Furthermore, dead trees and ground wasps made the area difficult to reach on foot.
Houlihan said he hopes the new lot will allow Orion residents to use the space more frequently. Troop 128 Scoutmaster John Petrycia explained it was especially meaningful for the youth to complete their projects at Camp Agawam, which remains a popular campground for local scouts and families alike.
“Both projects allow the community to better experience and enjoy Agawam, which we’ve used for many years,” Petrycia said. “I think the Eagle projects are a two-for-one benefit for the community.