Master of Ceremonies Eagle Scout Christopher Wentz prepares to retrieve the Eagle Scout pins as Ryan Roussel and his parents Mary Ruth Shields and Steven Roussel look on.
DERBY - More than 275 scouts have attained Scouting's highest honor since Housatonic Council Boy Scout Troop 3 Derby was organized in 1914 at the Derby 2nd Congregational Church, however recently for the first time scouts were presented their Eagle Scout badges by a robot.
The Shelton High School Robotics Team 230 Galehawks robot manuvered down the aisle of the 2nd Congregational Church, raised its arm up and presented the pins for Michael Tracz Jr. and Ryan Roussel for their mother's to pin upon their chest. Roussel was co-captain of the robotics team and Troop 3 Scout Brian Welch, also a member of the team, handled the robots manueving.
More than 100 people were on hand for the ceremony, including Derby Youth Bureau director John Saccu and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, who presented eagle statuettes on behalf of their respective municipalities. Letters of congratulations were also received from President Obama, Senators Dodd and Lieberman and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. A slideshow highlighting the two eagle's scouting career was presented by Scoutmaster Randy Ritter and a poem, 'Eagle will Fly' written by Ryan Roussel's mother Mary Ruth Shields, was read by Committee Member Rhonda Thompson. The court of honor program was under the direction of Assistant Scoutmaster James Frovarp.
Michael P. Tracz Jr. is the 15 year old son of Mike and Cindy Tracz and the brother of Hollie and Steven Tracz. Mike was a member of Cub Scout Pack 3 Derby before joining Troop 3 Derby, where he served as Patrol Scribe, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Troop Librarian and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is a Brotherhood member of Order of the Arrow, Paugassett Lodge #553 and a member of Derby-Shelton Rotary Club sponsored Venture Crew 33. Mike has earned 35 merit badges, a Bronze Palm and the "Ad Altare Dei" Catholic Religious Award.
Mike has participated in many of Troop 3's adventures including White water rafting in Maine, Howe Caverns, Bicycling on Block Island and in Cape Cod, as well as trips to New York City and Mt. Killington. He also traveled with Troop 3 to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England where he attended the 2007 World Scout Jamboree. In 2009 he went on the Canyon Adventure Trip where he visited the National Parks of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. He is presently serving as Senior Patrol Leader for Housatonic Council 2010 Jamboree Troop 126 and is currently representing Troop 3 as an Exchange Scout for three weeks in Limerick, Ireland.
Mike will be a Sophomore at Platt Regional Vocational Technical School in Milford where he is a member of the football team and has achieved high honors and has been chosen as "Student of the Month" twice. He has chosen Auto Mechanics as his trade and plans to attend college and major in Engineering and Business. Mike attends St. Michael Church in Derby and has been an altar server. Mike also spends a great deal of time working with his father as a diesel technician and volunteering at Paugassett Hook & Ladder Co.
For Michael's Eagle Project, he inventoried over 5,500 pieces of equipment for Paugassett Hook and Ladder Company No. 4 and East End Hose Company No. 3 of the Derby Fire Department. This included using Microsoft Excel to log the products description, serial number, length, size, and manufacturer for every product on each of the apparatus and in the company building itself. This took Michael, the scouts, and volunteers 434 hours to complete. Mike is the 274th Eagle Scout from Troop 3 Derby.
Ryan J. Roussel is the 17 year old son of Mary Ruth Shields and Steven Roussel. He is also the older brother of Mathew Roussel.
Ryan joined Pack 468 in Trumbull as a Cub Scout, where he earned his Arrow of Light. Upon moving to Shelton, he joined Troop 25 where he earned Scout and Tenderfoot rank and then transferred to Troop 3, where he served as Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Guide and editor of Troop 3’s newspaper the Council Fire. Ryan has earned 29 Merit badges, and a bronze palm.
He is also a member of Venture Crew 555, Paugassett Lodge 553, Order of the Arrow and Past President of Venture Crew 33, with whom he enjoyed whitewater rafting at the Maine High Adventure Base. Ryan attended many weeks of summer camp at Strang Scout Reservation and is now a member of the staff working as an Ecology Conservation Instructor.
Ryan is a recent graduate of Shelton High School, where he was in the top 10% in his class and is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. He has received awards from the Shelton High School Science Fair and he was a finalist at the Connecticut State Science Fair. In addition Ryan received the Fairfield Excellence in Science and Technology award and a Weller Foundation Award. He was also awarded the Robert Dickgeisser Scholarship Award by the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club for his Scouting work and community service.
Ryan was a Co-captain of Shelton High’s FIRST Robotics Team 230 the Gaelhawks. He helped lead the team to a championship win at the WPI Robotics Regional and the team’s most successful season since it’s inception.
Ryan’s Eagle Scout Project was the refurbishment of an outside recreation area for the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys and Girls Club in Shelton. He led a group of scouts and adults in clearing and landscaping the area followed by constructing and installing two park benches.