Four members of Boy Scout Troop 16 of Danvers were recognized as Eagle scouts at a recent Court of Honor held at Endicott Park. The Eagle award, highest in scouting, is given to boys who have earned at least 21 merit badges and who organized and managed a major community-service project.

The four scouts and their projects are:

  • John Baker, who replaced a handrail, reburbished picnic tables and cleaned and stained a fence at Endicott Park.
  • Sky Blanchet, who expanded the footprint of the playground at Endicott Park and fenced in the new, larger area.
  • Evan Palmer, who developed a nature trail in the Whipple Hill area of Endicott Park, including the installation of 23 concrete trail markers.
  • Evan Rutkowski, who planned, managed and took part in the painting of 31 classrooms at the Notre Dame Center next to St. Mary’s School.


Each service project required the scout to solicit donations of paint, lumber and other materials and to organize work crews of family, friends and fellow scouts. Typically an Eagle project encompasses more than 100 total hours of labor.

Among the speakers at the Court of Honor were troop chairman Gregg Perry; troop committee member John Kuconis, a former troop chairman and scoutmaster; troop advancement chairwoman Joy Thornell-Smith; scoutmaster Dan Thornell; former troop chairman Steve Burrill, now advancement chairman for the Great Eastern District; and state Rep. Ted Speliotis. The Rev. Dan Hammerle, elder at the Middleton Congregational Church and an Eagle scout, delivered the invocation and benediction.

Sky Blanchet and Evan Palmer also received Bronze Palms in recognition of their earning five merit badges beyond the Eagle requirement.

Troop 16, whose roots extend to the beginning of the scouting movement in 1911, has produced 76 Eagle scouts since 1960, and 29 since 2001.

The troop is chartered by the Maple Street Congregational Church.

Members of Troop 16 participate in activities such as summer camp, whitewater rafting and 50-mile backpacking trips along the Appalachian Trail.


Article, written by Dan Kennedy, appeared on June 15, 2011.