Eagle Scout Honored by FOCUS Center for Autism

Alexander Boon van Ostade
Alexander Boon van Ostade and his parents, Dorien (right) and Adrien (left).

Alexander Boon van Ostade knows the meaning of hard work. Boon van Ostade, a member of Simsbury Boy Scout Troop 174, stepped out of his comfort zone for his Eagle Scout project and built a set of custom cabinetry for FOCUS Center for Autism’s “Lego room”; a highly utilized activity room that was in need of renovation.

With the help of his mentor John Veldman and support from the Simsbury-Granby Rotary Club, Boon van Ostade built the cabinets, painted the walls of the “Lego Room”, and brought in the cabinets. He also raised $750 for FOCUS to use to purchase supplies. To thank him for his efforts, FOCUS honored Boon van Ostade and his family and friends at a “Thank You” dinner on March 4th. At the event, the Boon van Ostade’s surprised FOCUS with a very unexpected gift.

“As you know, we are Dutch, and when we saw this room it reminded us of something,” Dorien Boon van Ostade, mother of Alexander, began. She presented Executive Director Donna Swanson with a picture of van Gogh’s “The Room”, a gift that was much appreciated by all.

Alexander Boon van Ostade is a senior at Simsbury High School, and is the youngest of three siblings. His older brothers, Maurits and Jan Willem, also became Eagle Scouts through Troop 174. He hopes to major in business in college.

FOCUS Center for Autism is a grassroots, community based nonprofit whose mission is to help children, adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders reach their full potential by providing clinical programming, community education and family support. For more information, visit www.focuscenterforautism.org

Original Article from FOCUS center for Autism, by Colleen Burns.

Alexander B. Boon van Ostade Eagle Scout Project

Alexander Boon van Ostade, currently a senior at Canton High School, was born in 1995 in Louisville, Kentucky. He has both the Dutch and American Nationality. Throughout his life, he has lived in four countries: The United States, Brazil, Belgium and Germany. In 2005, Alexander and his family moved back to the United States and settled down in Canton, CT. Alexander has two older brothers, Maurits and Jan, who joined Troop 174 after moving to Canton, with Alex joining a year later. Both older brothers attained the rank of Eagle as well.

Since Alexander joined the Troop in 2006 he has held several leadership positions such as Patrol Leader in 2009 and Senior Patrol Leader in 2010. In 2007 Alexander was the recipient of the Kevin Hanley Memorial Award, given to a Scout who exhibits true Scout spirit. Some of Alexander’s fondest Scouting adventures and activities include his high adventure backpacking trip to Philmont, summer camp at
Camp Workcoeman, Block Island Trip, WestPoint outings and the weeklong Scuba diving trip to Honduras, for which he earned the Scuba Diving Certification at age 12.

In addition to many years as a Scout, Alexander has been very involved in several sports. In the past four years he has played soccer, tennis and basketball for Canton High School. Alexander has been solid in the classroom while also often spending his time volunteering for Hartford Foodshare, and teaching English to Burmese Karen families, organizing holiday parties and assisting with several fieldtrips. In
June 2013, he was awarded the Civitan Scholarship Award for his involvement in Boy Scouts and in the community.

Alexander will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall, where he plans to pursue a degree in International Business.

Rank Advancement
Second Class12/19/07Eagle5/8/13
First Class5/28/08
Merit Badges Earned
ArtFamily Life *
BasketryFirst Aid *
Camping *Leatherwork
Citizenship in the Community *Mammal Study
Citizenship in the Nation *Personal Fitness *
Citizenship in the World *Personal Management *
Emergency Preparedness *Swimming *
Environmental Science *
* Eagle Requirement

Eagle Project

For Alexander’s Eagle Scout Project he decided to design and build storage cabinets for The Focus Center for Autism in his hometown of Canton. The Center specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Focus Center for Autism

Alexander met leadership and children of the Center at the yearly Rotary Christmas party for group homes and he was very impressed by their program and the dedication of the people that work and learn there. He read on their website: “If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn.”

The Center was in urgent need of new cabinets in their activity-game room. Alexander definitely had to step out of his comfort zone to learn to design, cut out and assemble the custom cabinetry, then redesign the room so it would be more user friendly for the children and had more storage space. Because of generous donations, also from family overseas, Alexander was able to not only fund the total costs of the room but also help out with some additional needs of the Center. With special thanks
to: Mr J. Veldman (carpentry lessons and continous support), Mr M. Brady (for tools), Mr H. Collins (for design) and Mr A. Cohen (from Focus Center).

Eagle Scout Completes Project for Simsbury History

Ryan Lough, Simsbury Troop 174
Ryan Lough, Simsbury Troop 174

Ryan Lough, Simsbury Troop 174, redesigned and rebuilt stocks next to the Meeting House for his Eagle Project.

The stocks add to an understanding of life in Simsbury when the Meeting House served as both a place to worship and a place to govern — and of course,

Children of all ages love to try them out.

Thank you, Ryan!

Original article by the Simsbury Historical Society e-post: September 2012

Adam Rosen Eagle Scout Project

Adam Rosen

Adam was born on April 3, 1989, in Nashua, NH. He moved to Simsbury, CT in the fall of 1996. Adam is in his senior year at Simsbury High School. During the past two years, Adam also took classes at the Greater Hartford Math and Science Academy. This fall, Adam will be attending the Honors College at Hofstra University. Adam’s Cub Scout experience began when he was in the third grade at Tootin’ Hills School. Monthly meetings occurred at Palmer Hall and Adam earned the Arrow of Light, crossing over to Boy Scouts and Troop 176 while in Grade 5. Troop 176, a small troop led by Don Eaton, disbanded after a few short years. Adam, his troop leader, Don and several other boy scouts, merged with Troop 174, an active, promising troop. Participation in this organization has significantly impacted Adam’s growth in the areas of leadership and responsibility.

Adam received his first leadership position as an Assistant Patrol Leader in the newly formed patrol, the Ravens at age 13. The following year, Adam was promoted to the leadership position of Patrol Leader and held that position for two more years.

In addition to Scouting, Adam is an accomplished swimmer, earning his varsity letter on the Simsbury High School Swim Team as a freshman. Adam is a certified Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor and spends his summers guarding and providing swimming lessons at Mills Pond Pool in Canton, CT.

Merit Badges Earned
BasketryEnvironmental Science *
Camping *Family Life *
Citizenship in the Community *First Aid *
Citizenship in the Nation *Personal Fitness *
Citizenship in the World *Personal Management *
ClimbingRifle Shooting
Communications *Small Boat Sailing
Disability AwarenessSports
ElectronicsSwimming *
Emergency Preparedness *
* Eagle Requirement

Eagle Project


For Adam’s Eagle Project, he chose a community service project that was very close to his heart, CT Greyhound Adoption. In September 2004, Adam’s family rescued a retired greyhound from the Shoreline Racetrack in Bridgeport, CT. He learned that those Greyhounds that are not placed in homes following their career at the track, spend their days in crates and may even be put to sleep where local state laws allow it. To help with this agency’s important cause, Adam designed and built three foldable presentation boards and one stand-alone easel and presentation board for CT Greyhound Adoption (CGAP). These boards will be utilized during “Meet and Greets” at local PetCo’s and other events to inform the population about greyhounds available for adoption, as well as details regarding the plight of greyhounds and the need for families willing to give these docile animals a future. During Adam’s project, he obtained help from several friends and fellow scouts. He would like to thank the fellow greyhound supporters who made donations for his project without which his project would not have been possible.

Adam would also like to thank everyone who helped him along the way to attaining Eagle, especially Mr. Civitillo, Mr. Collins, Mr. Fogle, Mr. Eaton, his family and his friends from the troop. Thank you all very much.