By Paul Tennant
---- — Andover led the way last year with the most young men to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in the region.
Eighteen Scouts from Andover — including a set of twins and another who completed twice the number of required merit badges — were among the 67 inductees to the latest class of Eagle Scouts from the Yankee Clipper Council.
The group, hailing from 18 communities across the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, were honored at the council’s annual recognition banquet this past Friday night at the Wyndham Andover.
Andover’s Troop 77 turned out the most Eagle Scouts, with six earning Scouting’s highest rank. They are Jonathan Abbott, Michael Adams, Matthew Byrne, Michael Davidson, Jacob Doskocil and Benjamin Keffer.
The other Eagle Scouts from town are David Kessler, Troop 73; Matthew Stickney and Ryan Trismen, Troop 75; Max Li, Qingliu “Leo” Wu, Qingyuan “Yen” Wu and Anders Eldracher, Troop 76; Alexander Cain, Tyler Smith and Jonathan Yeh, Troop 79; and Evan Duerr and Daniel O’Leary, Troop 100.
The Wu brothers, sons of Xiangyang Wu and Heling Huang, are twins in every sense of the term. The Andover High School seniors both plan to become engineers. They both also turned to Goldsmith Reservation in town for their Eagle Scout service projects.
But each came up with his own idea for the property. Leo and his crew built four picnic tables and eight erosion-control steps at Goldsmith Reservation in town. Yen and his volunteers, meanwhile, built three benches and 20 sign posts.
Every prospective Eagle Scout has to plan a service project and lead a team of volunteers in completing it.
The Wus’ father said earning the Eagle rank has given Leo and Yen “the confidence to lead.” Troop 76, which Scoutmaster Donald Milligan oversees at Ballard Vale United Church, “is like a family,” their father said.
One of the youngest Eagle Scouts — Jacob Doskocil, 16, of Troop 77 — boasted 42 merit badges on his sash. He only needed to earn 21 of the more than 120 badges available to qualify for Eagle Scout — and he had until his 18th birthday to file his application to earn the rank. But he went well beyond the requirements.
“I had an opportunity,” he said. “I wanted to see how much I could do.”
A junior at Andover High School, Doskocil aspires to a career in engineering and computer coding.
The son of Douglas Doskocil and Cynthia Weeks, Doskocil truly comes from a Scouting family. His father earned Eagle status in 1979 and is the Scoutmaster of Troop 77, which meets at West Parish Church. Brother Sam is also an Eagle.
Fellow Eagle Scout Matthew Byrne, also of Troop 77, is a freshman at Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he is studying international business. Byrne and other Scouts working under his leadership built two kiosks for Indian Ridge Reservation in town to complete his service project.
His toughest merit badge? Cooking, he said. Byrne, son of Frank and Susan Byrne, had to cook over an open fire. “I got a couple of burns,” he said.
All of Andover’s other recent Eagle Scouts also completed worthwhile service projects and excelled in their Scouting experience to join the ranks of Scouting’s elite.
The Yankee Clipper Council includes troops from 52 communities in Essex County and Southern New Hampshire and numbers more than 8,600 boys.