NEW CASTLE, DE (07/15/22) – Riley James Burns (17), of New Castle, Delaware, has earned the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank advancement award presented in Scouting (BSA). He will be presented with the award at a Court of Honor ceremony on July 23, 2022, at noon at the Newark Elks Lodge 2281, 267 Christiana Road, New Castle, Delaware 19720.
A member of Troop 2281, chartered by Newark Elks Lodge 2281 in New Castle, Delaware, Riley is one of only six percent of all scouts who attain the rank of Eagle Scout and is the first Eagle Scout for the newly formed Troop 2281. Riley’s original troop, Troop 75 out of Christiana United Methodist Church in Christiana, recently merged with Troop 27 from Asbury United Methodist Church in New Castle, in December 2021 and became sponsored by the Newark Elks Lodge.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes immense hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize Riley for this significant accomplishment,” said JR Biddison, Past Exalted Ruler and VP of the Northeast District of the Elks. “With the support of many scout leaders, including his father and Scout Master, Jason Burns, Riley has learned to overcome obstacles, demonstrated leadership among his peers, gained confidence, and built new skills that he will carry with him for life.”
To earn the rank of Eagle, each scout must climb seven scouting ranks, attain 21 merit badges, become a leader in the troop, and demonstrate leadership, including successfully planning and completing a community service project. Riley, who is a former YMCA camper, chose to complete his Eagle Scout Project idea at the Brandywine YMCA Camp Quoowant, located at the Hanby Outdoor Center on Chestnut Street in Wilmington, Delaware. Under Riley’s supervision, a team of volunteers cleared out a wooded area, laid asphalt, and built a friendship area for YMCA campers to enjoy. The new space includes tetherball, a horseshoe pit, cornhole, and two picnic tables. As part of the leadership requirement, Riley planned the project, raised funds, gathered materials, and oversaw the completion of the project.
“During his time in the Leader in Training program at YMCA Camp Quoowant, Riley discovered a need for our campers, and he created a vision for his Eagle Scout project,” said Linda Risk, YMCA of Delaware COO. “I am so grateful for the work he has done and incredibly impressed with the kind, caring young leader he has become. His project enhanced the overall experience for our camp participants, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from kids and parents.”
In addition to completing his Eagle Scout Project idea, Riley served as the Troop Senior Patrol Leader for four years, was a Den Chief for the Cub Scouts for four years, and is a mentor and positive role model to many younger scouts. Riley began his scout journey as a Wolf Scout in 2013 and is entering his senior year at Delaware Military Academy, where he is the 2022/23 DMA marching band Drum Major and a member of the men’s volleyball team.
For more than 100 years, the programs of the Boy Scouts of America have helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors—starting in February 2019, the program called “Boy Scouts” operates under the name “Scouts BSA” with both troops for boys and troops for girls. The Del-Mar-Va Council provides scouting opportunities throughout the Delmarva Peninsula, serving over 300 units and 3,250 volunteers who are delivering the promise of scouting to over 9,700 young men and women. The council covers fourteen counties and is divided into eight districts.
About the YMCA of Delaware
The YMCA of Delaware is Delaware’s largest nonprofit organization committed to empowering youth, fostering healthy living, and promoting strong communities. With seven branches statewide, a youth resource center, and an overnight camp and conference center in Worton, Maryland, the Y has developed longstanding relationships and a physical presence in Delaware so it can deliver lasting personal and social change. We are committed to serving everyone – regardless of age, income, or background – nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving Delaware’s health and wellbeing, and creating a healthy, inclusive community where all people reach their full potential. www.ymcade.org.