Eryk Chazares and Melissa Snively, Hillsborough County School Board Chair for District 4.

Last year in April, local Scout Eryk Chazares presented his Eagle Scout project, a ‘Shelf of Knowledge’ installed in RCMA Sam Allen CDC, and on February 29, he earned the prestigious rank. To celebrate this outstanding achievement, his Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held on June 20.

Chazares planned to do the court of honor at his church, but the pandemic forced them to hold it outdoors instead. It was the first time in the history of the Timucua District, the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 89 that an Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held outside.

Many people attended the event, including his family; close friend Alex Dyer, who led the Eagle Scout Charge; fellow members of Troop 89; his Eagle Scout Mentor, Brian Fimbel; BSA Timucua District Representative Ted Domey, who gave Chazares the Eagle Scout certificate; and Hillsborough County School Board Chair Melissa Snively, who is also a Scoutmaster and presented the award on behalf of the school board.

Everyone, of course, wore face masks, practiced social distancing and stayed in their cars. At the conclusion of the court of honor, there was a drive-by parade.

Even after attaining the highest achievement in the BSA, Chazares feels there is still more for him to do.

“I just want to be able to help out my troop, to help out all the younger Scouts that are going to follow my path and eventually become Eagle Scouts as well,” he said. “And I plan to stay in the troop for as long as I can until I go off to college, and I plan to give them as much advice and guidance as I can.”

“It took six years to get to where I’m at, to get to Eagle Scout, and through all the ups and downs, I was able to overcome all of them, and I look up to all the people that had mentored me throughout the years,” said Chazares. “It felt overwhelming to see the fact that I had gotten to Eagle, but I also felt proud and thankful for everyone that has helped me reach Eagle Scout.”

Chazares had a lot of people to thank for supporting and guiding him, naming his parents, God, Fimbel, his troop leaders and Scouts from National Youth Leadership Training and his former Scoutmaster, Casey Tyska.

If the opportunity to be a Scout leader arises, Chazares said he’d take it so he can help other Scouts in his troop or other troops around the U.S.