Boy Scout Troop 33 commemorates 90th Eagle Scout

By Jared Castañeda
Posted 6/12/24

In Boy Scouts of America, the Eagle Scout is the highest rank one could achieve, and since 1911, only 2.5 million Scouts have attained this status. Nick Zica, a member of Walden’s Boy Scout …

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Boy Scout Troop 33 commemorates 90th Eagle Scout


In Boy Scouts of America, the Eagle Scout is the highest rank one could achieve, and since 1911, only 2.5 million Scouts have attained this status. Nick Zica, a member of Walden’s Boy Scout Troop 33, became his troop’s 90th Eagle and celebrated with his friends and family last Saturday, June 1 at James Olley Park during a Court of Honor.

The ceremony opened with the troop’s color guard posting flag colors, followed by an invocation from Lifetime Scout Keaghan Cichon and a candle lighting by Dan Zica, Nick’s father. Joe Davis, a senior patrol leader, recounted the six ranks of Nick’s journey and the challenges he experienced during his climb to the top. A few of Nick’s standout accomplishments included hiking 70 miles within a month for a merit badge and building a dog agility course for the Hudson Valley SPCA in New Windsor for a service project.

“The pathway to Eagle can be described as a steep trail, leading to the peak of the Eagle rank. Along that trail are 6 steps, the ranks of Scouting that you had to pass on the trail,” Davis said. “Nick, it is fitting that you look back before you go on to other challenges to see what you have accomplished. These experiences should not be forgotten; you should benefit from them. Cherish the valuable ones, and make sure the bad ones do not happen again.

Assistant Scoutmaster Pete Cocks explained an Eagle Scout’s responsibilities, emphasizing their role as a leader for citizens and other scouts. He presented Nick with an Eagle neckerchief and tied it on with help from Dan.

“As an Eagle Scout, you will be a champion to other Scouts and be an example to your community. Your responsibilities, however, go beyond your fellow Scouts; they extend to your country,” Cocks said. “America has many good things to give you, and to give your children after you; but these good things depend, for the most part, on the quality of her citizens. Our country has had a great past, you can help make the future even greater.”

Scoutmaster Gabe Gonzales presented Nick with the Eagle Scout badge, which Dan pinned onto his son’s shirt for everyone to marvel at. Gonzales also gave Nick two Eagles pins to give to each of his parents, Dan and Yvette Zica. Nick thanked everyone who helped him throughout his journey, especially his parents, who were always by his side ready to support him.

“A special shoutout goes to the greatest Cub Scout leader I’ve ever had: my mom, the woman who was able to get every stain out of my uniform and would help me pack my bag for every campout,” Nick said. “It didn’t matter if I was six or sixteen, she was always there to help me.”

“Another shoutout to my pinewood derby car specialist: my dad. The man who, when I was down and unmotivated, was there to reinspire me on how much I loved scouts,” he continued. “My old man was there for me hiking 60 miles in a month to help me get my last merit badge. He helped me at every step with my Eagle project while balancing his job and the other six million things he had on his plate at the time.”

Both Dan and Yvette expressed how proud they were of their son for reaching this milestone and highlighted his good-willed, fun-loving nature.

“He’s a bit of a goofball, his friends here will attest to that. He never takes himself too seriously, is quick to joke and smile, and makes things fun in his own way,” Dan said. “That’s just how Nick connected with scouting, he was learning better when he was having fun, even if it didn’t seem like he was.”

“His smile can truly light up a room and his heart is genuine. If he’s your friend, you never have to question it,” Yvette said. “He’s a good son, a good brother, and can make you laugh even if you don’t want to say it. He’s hardworking and he’s always up to learn something or even take on a new challenge.”

Mike Anagnostakis, Orange County Legislator for District 17, and John Ramos, Walden’s mayor, congratulated Nick for earning his Eagle wings and presented him with certificates on behalf of the county and village.

“I get a chance to meet with constituents all the time, and once in a blue moon, someone will stop me and say ‘Listen, Mike, the best days of this nation are behind us. Foreigners are smarter, better educated, more motivated, and hardworking,’” Anagnostakis said. “I don’t believe any of them. If they had the chance to meet young men like yourself and other people, they would not be saying those words. The nation’s best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”

“He’s a phenomenal kid, and it’s every parent’s dream to have a child aspire to what he’s doing. I know Siena (College) is going to be a perfect fit for him,” Ramos said. “You are our future. Press on, do work, and do good.”

The ceremony concluded with a benediction from Cichon, followed by refreshments and several photo shoots with Nick and Troop 33.