Alex appeared before his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Aug. 6, the final step in a long journey. Understanding his remarkable achievement, state Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. and Assemblyman David McDonough, both of Merrick, presented him with a special citation on Sept. 28 at the Merrick Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival.
“Alex Eagen is an extraordinary young man who achieved something only a select few ever accomplish –– earning the rank of Eagle Scout,” Fuschillo said. “It is a special honor, but it is even more special for Alex because of the obstacles he overcame to earn it. I am so proud to meet him and congratulate him on this incredible achievement.”
Before and after the award ceremony, Alex spent the day greeting festival-goers at Troop 225’s tent, beneath the soaring oak trees in front of Chatterton Elementary School on Merrick Avenue. He stood alongside his mother; his father, Bill, a Nassau County Police Department ambulance medical technician; and his sister, Ruthann, 21, a member of the Nassau County Police Explorers, a specialized branch of scouting. Ruthann is studying at SUNY Old Westbury to become a police officer.
Alex is Troop 225’s leave-no-trace officer, teaching younger scouts how to clean up a campsite after a weekend in the woods. He is a member of the National Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts’ honor society, and he was named his troop’s Scout of the Year three times. For his Eagle Scout service project, he recruited more than 40 volunteers to clean up and mark trails through Nassau County’s Faith Laursen Preserve, on Sunrise Highway in Merrick, after Superstorm Sandy.
No doubt, scouting has been good for Eagen. “We wanted him to be integrated with regular kids, because Alex is very high-functioning, so he could model what they were doing,” his mother said.
A different kind of education
As a child, Alex attended a Board of Cooperative Educational Services school for developmentally delayed children before entering the Autism Spectrum Program at Birch Elementary School in the Merrick District in fourth grade. There he was taught by Kathy Savino — whom he invited to his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Oct. 19, at the clubhouse at the Town of Hempstead’s golf course in Merrick.