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Eagle Scout is all in the family

Oct 04, 2017 02:55PM ● Published by Keyra Kristoffersen

Ethan Wright disperses 60 first aid kits made by his Scout troop to classrooms for his Eagle Scout project. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

With the award of Eagle Scout to 14-year-old Ethan Wright, four generations of his family will have been awarded this honor for leadership and service. 

“I’m glad that I got it done,” Ethan said. “I had a really fun time doing it, and I’m glad I did it. I don’t think it matters how early or late you get it; it only matters that you get it.” 

Ethan is the 12th of his generation of immediate family to receive the Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America, and he is the only son of his parents, Ryan and Corine Wright, who also have two daughters. 

“I think it’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Corine, “He said, ‘Mom, I want to get my Eagle by the time I’m 14,’ so he worked really hard. I think he had everything done and his Eagle project picked out by his 14th birthday.”

Ryan’s father, Gary, and grandfather, Gordon, also got their Eagle Scout awards before there was a mandatory service project involved and it was merit badge based. 

“Then my father received his Eagle Scout award, and then his six brothers did as well,” Ryan said. “My dad has three boys, and all of us got our Eagle’s, and then Ethan got his. So that’s four generations of a family where everyone got their Eagles.” 

Ryan’s journey began when his mother was asked to be a den mother when he was in Cub Scouts, and by the time he was 11 years old, his interested was piqued in joining the Boy Scouts in California. With the help of supportive parents and great leadership, Ryan achieved the highest honor in Scouting when he was 15 years old. 

“I had a really good Scoutmaster who was really good with the boys, and he knew a lot of fun things to do, and he knew how to captivate our interests,” Ryan said. “He was very good and helping us with our advancements. I know my dad helped out quite a bit with my Eagle service project, so we had a lot of support at home.”

Though Gordon and Gary Wright achieved the award before there was a service project requirement, Ryan worked hard when his time came around to build portable coat racks for the classrooms at the elementary school his younger brothers attended with the help of his dad, school maintenance staff, teachers and a professional wood worker The materials were donated, and he drew up the plans and  delivered a coat rack that could be wheeled in and out of classrooms at recess to help avoid lost coats.

When it became Ethan’s turn, he went to his school administrators and asked for ideas of what they might need. The conclusion was a first aid kit in every classroom, science building, gym and administration building at his school. Asking his neighbors and people at church for donations, Ethan gathered materials to make 60 first aid kits complete with band-aids, gauze, burn cream, antibiotic cream, ice and hot packs. His friends and fellow troop Scouts put together the kits and his family helped deliver them to the school where he said, they were very appreciative. 

“I learned a ton of things that I probably never would have learned if not for Scouts,” said Ethan, who has friends also working on getting their Eagle Scout awards. 

He said he didn’t want to risk not getting it done when other things might come up in his life. Ethan is currently playing basketball and flag football and is taking piano lessons.

Corine is proud of her son’s accomplishment and determination to get his Eagle Scout because she comes from a family of five brothers and only one completed the project.

“To marry into a family where it’s an expectation they have, and it’s just another thing like graduating high school,” Corine said. “It’s an honor and an expectation that they set as a family, and I think it helps the boys have a greater self-confidence about them having achieved that award.” 

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