Class of 2019 Includes a New Eagle Scout

Elijah Berano ’19 was awarded the highest rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America in June. A resident of Bantam, Berano was recognized for his achievement during a Court of Honor Ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Litchfield.
The requirements to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout include being an active troop member for at least six months, earning 21 merit badges and planning, developing, and giving leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or the community. Berano’s Eagle Scout project consisted of designing and constructing four rest and reflection benches for the Steep Rock Association's 400-acre Macricostas Preserve in New Preston. Its features include Judea Garden, Meeker Swamp and the scenic overlook known as Waramaug’s Rock, which offers panoramic views of Lake Waramaug.

“He chose Steep Rock as the beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project, not only because he loves the preserve, but also as a nod of thanks to The Gunnery as Steep Rock was founded by Gunnery graduate Ehrick Rossiter,” said Berano’s mom, Kristina.

Rossiter, who graduated from the school in 1870 and is known as the architect of many of the elegant country homes surrounding the Washington Green, purchased 100 acres in the Shepaug River Valley in 1889, with the intention of saving the wooded hillsides from being timbered. In 1925, he donated the land to ensure its preservation. Today, Steep Rock’s holdings total 2,700 acres.

Mike Giapponi, Trails and Preserve Coordinator, keeps Steep Rock’s preserves safe, accessible, and sustainable, and worked directly with Berano on the new benches, which he said were a huge improvement. “The benches that were there were deteriorating. He did a great job fixing them up and making them beautiful. The people who come here now can sit and reflect as they take in the view of the hayfield.”

Since achieving scouting’s highest rank, Berano has been recognized with citations from around the world from the Vatican, President Donald Trump, former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, jazz great Wynton Marsalis, most branches of the U.S. armed forces, the State of Connecticut and the Town of Litchfield.

Berano’s favorite citation was from Marsalis, according to his mom, who noted that Elijah played trumpet in The Gunnery Jazz Band. He will be attending Bentley University in the fall. He is the 51st Eagle Scout from Bantam Troop 29.

The Gunnery

gps address: 22 Kirby Road, Washington, CT 06793
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Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.