By Emily Drooby
Three members of a Boy Scout troop sponsored by Saint Anastasia Catholic Church in Douglaston have all risen to the rank of Eagle Scout, an achievement for which the trio was recognized during a ceremony.
For parishioner Ryan Cahn and his friends, it was a special accomplishment indeed. An average of only two percent of Boy Scouts have advanced to become an Eagle Scout since the rank was started in 1912.
But when it came to Cahn, being a Boy Scout is a family tradition, so much so that Ryan’s own father was his Scoutmaster.
“My dad was a Boy Scout and he only got to ‘Star’, so I wanted to beat him. That was a lot of source of inspiration,” said Ryan of what motivated him to keep climbing the ranks.
“I figured this would be something, hopefully he would get something out of it, like i did,” said Marc Cahn, Ryan’s father and Scoutmaster.
With his father at his side, Ryan Cahn not only advanced past the rank of Star Scout, he went all the way to the top, now an Eagle Scout.
“The day of his Court of Honor may have been one of the best days of my life,”said Marc of the ceremony which officially recognizes a Scout’s highest rank.
“Wow, I get a little misty now thinking about it. It was something quite special.”
Becoming an Eagle Scout is so significant because it is incredibly hard to do. A Scout must live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and earn 21 merit badges.
They have to plan, develop, and lead a service project, among other requirements, and do so all before their 18th birthday.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who was a Boy Scout himself, said that completing all these tasks builds character.
“They do well in life because they learn discipline and learn many skills that are important, and service, which is really part of what an Eagle Scout is about,” he said.
“Iit is an award of service to others, and that’s what the Scouts are about.”
“It’s great, just after having done all the steps to get here, it’s nice to say I’m here now,” said Paul Russell, one of the three troop members to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
For his project, Paul distributed one thousand kits that help health professionals get people’s medical information quickly in an emergency.
The third troop member to become an Eagle Scout, Vito, revitalized a Queens park, while Ryan renovated a Douglaston American Legion Post.
While they each had their own project, in true Scout fashion, the boys helped each other.
“I want to be that kind of person who is always helpful, who can lend a helping hand,” said Ryan of why he became a Scout in the first place.
“One of the best parts is the fact that you’re going to be in a group of guys that are in the same boat as you,” said Paul.
“You just need that, you need someone to be there for you. Whether or not you need the help, it’s great to have people there for you.”
Their success as a group and as individuals shows how they live by the Scout Oath of helping other people. Ultimately, While the Cahn’s might be family by blood, the Eagles are family through the Boy Scouts.
Since the boys ceremony, the troop has added one more Eagle Scout, Noah Chen.