Left to Right - Don Fleming, Marc Bessette, Bob Bessette, Kathy Bessette, Tim Hodet, Carol Vallett, Paul Vallett and Dave Vallett at the Eagle Scout Ceremony held Friday Night, May 16, 2003

The following write-up provided
By Marc Bessette

Two young men received the highest possible award given by the Boy Scouts of America last Friday night. Paul Vallett and Marc Bessette of Fairfax both officially became Eagle Scouts in a ceremony held at the high school. Guest speaker Dan Gleason, also of Fairfax, and a Life Scout himself, presented a wonderful speech which was designed to inspire the other scouts of Troop 853 to take control of their lives and strive to be the best that they could be. Dan also congratulated the boys on their accomplishment and wished them both the best in their future. Fairfax Troop 853 has an unusually high percentage of Eagle Scouts coming out of it, as former troop leader Don Fleming demonstrated at the ceremony. He displayed a picture of the troop from scout camp in 1996. Of the 23 scouts pictured then, 15 of them have become Eagle Scouts to date. An impressive percentage of success, for sure.
In order to become Eagle Scouts, both Paul and Marc had to fulfill an impressive amount of requirements, not the least of which was a community improvement project which each of the boys had to create, plan, organize, and supervise before their eighteenth birthday.
Paul’s project consisted of ground and trail improvements to the campground that Troop 853 uses for many of their weekend and overnight camping trips. Located in North Fairfax, the campground and the trails leading to and from it had fallen into disrepair, so Paul organized a massive facelift for the area, and spent a weekend with troop volunteers clearing brush, marking trails, and installing water-control devices along the paths around the camp. His efforts were greatly appreciated by the troop, who now feel that the camp is much more functional and attractive.

For his project, Marc decided that installing gardens in the front of the school building would make the grounds more attractive, and help improve the once-drab look of the front of the school. He began his project by consulting with Colleen Steen, a local gardening buff. She helped him to make a rough plan of what the gardens should look like, as well as what flowers would do best in such a location. After collecting donations from local businesses and townspeople, Marc began the installation of the gardens with help from his troop, family, and friends. The project involved tilling the sandy soil, fertilizing, planting, and mulching. The completed gardens border the sidewalk leading to the Old Gym entrance, which is used for voting access.

Marc and Paul would like to express their sincere thanks to Don Fleming, the former leader of Troop 853. He was instrumental in supporting the boys throughout their scouting careers. They also wish to thank their fellow scouts of Fairfax, and encourage them to also undertake the challenge to become Eagle Scouts.

Paul Vallett - Left and Marc Bessette - Right, latest Fairfax Eagle Scouts pose with the cake made in their honor

Left to Right - Emily, Bob, Marc, Tim and Kathy Bessette proudly pose with Eagle Scout Marc

Carol, Paul, Aaron and Dave Vallett pose with new Eagle Scout, Paul

While Scoutmaster Tim Hodet, makes a little speech, Paul Vallett, holding gift, Marc Bessette, Center and Don Fleming, who was the recipient of the gift listen intently

Carol Vallett pins the medal on her son Paul

Kathy Bessette pins the medal on her son Marc

Marc Bessette pins a medal on his Dad, Bob Bessette

Click here for Page 2 Photos of the ceremony

Click here for Page 3 Photos of the ceremony

Henry A. Raymond
May 16, 2003