By Janee Law
It’s no surprise that Sean Burns has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. As the third generation of his family to earn the rank, it’s in the Centerport resident’s blood.
“I just wanted to follow in their footsteps,” Sean, 15, said, referencing his father and grandfather. Sean, a member of Boy Scout Troop 32 in Greenlawn, officially earned the rank of Eagle Scout in May, and celebrated his court of honor at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport last month.
Sean’s grandfather, Vincent, was the first of the family to earn Eagle Scout. He did it at age 16. Then, Sean’s father, Patrick, earned the rank at 15 years old.
Patrick Burns said he’s “very proud” of his son’s work. He’s also “impressed,” considering Sean is a few months younger than Patrick was when he became an Eagle Scout.
“I think that was probably his goal,” the father said.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, Sean was tasked with obtaining 21 merit badges and completing a community service project. For his project, Burns replaced the entrance sign at the Greenlawn Long Island Railroad Station, spruced up the landscape around it.
Sean said he took on the challenge after he learned that the Greenlawn Civic Association was looking for someone replace the sign. After raising over $1,000 by hosting two car washes, Sean had the sign built by Sundance Signs in Greenlawn.
The project, which began in June 2015, was officially completed by October of that year.
Completion of the project follows Sean’s five-year Boy Scouts campaign. The Harborfields High School sophomore first joined up at 10 years old. As part of Troop 32, he took on leadership roles such as the assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leader and den chief.
With three years left in Boy Scouts, Sean said he’s eager to help other scouts make the strides he did to earn the Eagle Scout rank, including his 12-year-old brother, Liam.
For those working hard to earn the Eagle, Burns said it’s better to get it done sooner rather than later.
“Try to get it done before you have too many other responsibilities when you get older, like school or a job,” Sean said. “It gets hard at some points, but you have to keep going.”
In the end, he continued, “I learned a lot of useful skills that will help me. I feel that the rank of Eagle Scout will help me in life, getting jobs or helping other people and it makes me want to help others achieve the Eagle.”
Suffolk Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) recently welcomed Sean as a new Eagle Scout, and said he’s hopeful that Sean will lead others toward attaining the rank, as his father and grandfather did before him.
Spencer said, “As a third generation Eagle Scout, I hope that Sean will… share the knowledge and skills that he has fostered throughout his scouting journey with other young people wishing to emulate his example and our community at large.”
He continued, “The tasks and skills necessary to attain the rank of Eagle Scout are difficult, but when accomplished develop leadership, self-reliance, and other admirable qualities needed for future successes.