Boy Scout Douglas Hanley's patriotism has propelled him to scouting's highest honor.
On Dec. 6, Hanley was presented with the rank of Eagle Scout, an achievement witnessed by his friends and family, fellow scouts and several distinguished guests during a Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony held at the Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook.
"It's a real honor to have worked with Doug these past few years," said Troop 33 Scoutmaster Robin Heath, who presented Hanley with a walking stick decorated with each of the 40 merit badges that he earned since becoming a member of the Middlefield troop in 2006.
For his Eagle Scout project, Hanley, a senior at Coginchaug High School and member of the school's soccer and track and field teams, installed a flag pole at the school's athletic complex last summer.
In recoginition of his achievement, Durham First Selectman Laura Francis presented Hanley with an American flag flown over Washington, D.C. in his honor.
In addition, State Sen. Ed Meyer and State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda presented the Eagle Scout with a proclamation on behalf of the General Assembly.
Hanley also received a letter of recognition from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
"Your committment and drive are an inspiration to all of Connecticut's residents and a testament to your strength and determination," the letter read.
The Middlefield Lions Club, which serves as Troop 33's charter organization, will lay a brick in Hanley's honor at the Boy Scout's Eagle's Nest located at the Peckham Park pavillion.
Hanley returned his appreciation by thanking the local VFW chapters for helping him with his project, his fellow Boy Scouts for volunteering to help him install the flag pole and his parents.
Hanley presented Heath with a mentor pin and shared some words of advice with the younger scouts in attendance.
"As long as you open your ears, open your eyes, listen and watch, you will never stray from the path of eagle. Not with Mr. Heath," he said.