Fairfield Troop 90's seven Eagle Scouts bonded as Cubs

FAIRFIELD — The path of a Boy Scout can be challenging, but for seven Fairfield teens, sharing the years-long journey helped them all to achieve Scouting’s top rank.

After more than 10 years together, beginning in first grade as Cub Scouts, seven Boy Scouts from Troop 90 at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church have been presented the Eagle award.

“I feel honored and humbled,” said Damian Chessare, senior patrol leader and a junior at Fairfield College Preparatory School. “Scouting has really taught me to serve my community and how to give back.”

Chessare joins Brennan Black, Ryan Cimmino, Dan Fitzgerald, Matt McCurley, Aidan McLaughlin and James Thornton, all of whom have been friends throughout their Scouting careers.

“Without them I wouldn’t be here,” Chessare said. “We’ve known each other since we were little.”

“They’re a great group of kids,” said their longtime Scoutmaster Tom Black, “and I’m so glad they stuck with it.”

“Scouting gives them independence, confidence, leadership and teamwork,” he said. “You just don’t get that anywhere. It’s something they’re going to take with them the rest of their lives.”

“We’re all here today because of each other,” said Brennan Black, a Fairfield Prep junior, who is also a literacy volunteer at Caroline House in Bridgeport. “I’m feeling that bond, especially today,” he said, preparing for his Eagle ceremony at the church hurch earlier this month.

“It’s certainly helpful to have a group of guys keep you going if you get discouraged,” said Cimmino, who attends Regis High School in New York City and belongs to the National Honor Society. “I’d say that’s the most important thing, being there for each other.”

“We’ve always gotten along so well,” said McLaughlin, a junior assistant scoutmaster and Fairfield Ludlowe High School junior. “We’ve gotten through all the challenges of scouting together. We’re a really good group.”

Fitzgerald, Thornton and McCurley are all juniors at Prep and also are members of the National Honor Society.

Each of the scouts took part in a unique charitable project to complete their Eagle requirements.

McCurley’s project involved repairing a long trail bridge at the Connecticut Audubon Society. Thornton’s project involved identifying and repairing birdhouses along trails at the Audubon Society property, while Fitzgerald’s project, also at Audubon, involved building a heated birdcage vestibule system to help winter survival.

McLaughlin’s project involved bridge repair at Audubon, while Cimmino’s project involved a food drive for Operation Hope. Black’s project centered on constructing a retaining wall and landscaping at St. Ann’s Parish in Bridgeport, while Chessare’s work involved raising money to replace flooring at Daughters of the Most Precious Blood Mission.

“This is the greatest bunch of scouts I’ve ever worked with,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Dave Nobile. “I’m very proud of them.”