Local teen is region’s Eagle Scout of the Year

A local teenager was named the Gerald R. Ford Council Boy Scouts of America Outstanding Eagle Scout of the Year during the council's "Building Character Celebration' held Tuesday night at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The regional event honored all of the Boy Scouts in the Gerald R. Ford Council who attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 2010. "I feel quite honored,' said 18-year-old Ryan Richert after he received the award. "It's given me a lot of inspiration and confidence for myself.'
Becky Vargo
Mar 31, 2011


The son of Rob and Donna Richert of Crockery Township achieved his Eagle Scout rank as the result of two projects he directed in the city of Ferrysburg. One project had his troop constructing markers every quarter-mile on the bicycle paths on West Spring Lake Road and Old Grand Haven Road. The other project — now in its final stages — was to place interpretive signs at the road-end parks along Lakeview Street in Spring Lake.

Richert said the final versions of the signs are ready for consideration by the Ferrysburg Recreation Commission.

“We hope to have the signs printed within two weeks and installed by Easter,” he said.

Richert had to fill out an application to be considered for Eagle Scout of the Year, he said. The decision was based on school activities, volunteer activities, church and community involvement, Richert said.

Richert said his 30-member troop had eight Eagle Scouts last year, which ranks third highest in the Gerald R. Ford Council for 2010.

Out of about 260 Eagle Scouts who made the rank in 2010, only 15 names could be submitted from each district of the council for the top award. The Gerald R. Ford Council has four districts — including the Pere Marquette District, which has Boy Scouts from Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Lake and Mason counties.

Joe Singerling, a technology teacher for Spring Lake Public Schools and the advancement chairman for the Pere Marquette District, was on Richert’s Eagle Scout Board of Review.

“Ryan is the best of the best,” Singerling said. “In addition to numerous community activities, his thoughtful responses during his Eagle Scout Board of Review demonstrated he was worthy of being selected as Eagle Scout of the Year.”

Richert started his scouting experience in 2001 with Cub Scout Pack 4023, chartered by the Edgewood Elementary School Parent Teachers Organization in Fruitport. He earned an Arrow of Light Award in 2004 and joined Boy Scout Troop 1023, chartered by the Fruitport Lions Club.

He has been active assisting younger scouts and has participated in several community projects — including being a docent intern at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, Toys for Tots, Second Harvest Gleaners and the Muskegon Area Peoples Supper House. Richert has been involved with the Muskegon County Sportsmen for Youth, Love INC, Living Books Home School Theatre, St. Thomas More Society and Michigan Right to Life. He has a grade point average of 3.78 with the Kolbe Academy Home School Program and is a member of the Alpha Sigma Eta National Home School Honorary.

Richert is also a member of the American Guild of Organists, having discovered a passion for piano and organ early on, according to the award introduction. He regularly substitutes at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spring Lake, as well as playing at other community events.

In his spare time, the teen helps the family with their blueberry farm.

Richert said he will be attending Hillsdale College in the fall, where he hopes to major in accounting. He will also be working with a Hillsdale Boy Scouts troop in an adult leadership capacity, one of the requirements to earning an Eagle Scout scholarship at Hillsdale College.

“I am truly thankful for my parents who have supported me on this journey to Eagle Scout,” Richert said. “I also am thankful for the support of my troop, and my scoutmaster, Mr. Mike Retzlaff.”


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