Local students soar to Eagle Scout

HARLINGEN — Avery Vega has moved around a lot.

However, when moving state to state, there was one thing he couldn’t do — leave the Boy Scouts behind.

At just 14, Avery has earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout, along with his troop members Klay Teegardin, 18, and Jason Padilla, 18.

They were honored Tuesday night in front of their troop, friends and families.

Avery’s dedication never wavered and that is something the scouts taught him. It is a symbol of honor and pride, he said.

Each city he has lived in, Avery has been in a scout troop. The location might have changed but the ideals were the same, he said.

While receiving his Eagle Scout patch, he thanked his parents, who whenever they moved would quickly find a troop for him to join.

The requirements to become an Eagle Scout demand the scout’s full commitment, something the young men never questioned.

They were required to be active in their troop, demonstrate and live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily life and earn a total of 21 merit badges.

They also are required to plan and complete a service project to benefit their community.

While other teens Avery’s age played their video games, Avery, a ninth grader at Veterans Memorial Academy, spent his time on a service project giving back to his community, San Benito.

SERVICE PROJECTS

AVERY

For his service project, Avery built a building façade that will be used in this month’s Independence Day Celebration at the fair grounds in San Benito.

Avery solicited $500 worth of materials and led a group of 16 scouts to build and paint the set piece that will be used to recreate some of Texas’s famous battles.

KLAY

Klay’s service project involved the planning, fundraising and construction of a series of concrete sidewalks and metal canopies for The Church of Christ’s neighborhood food bank. He raised $6,500 and led 24 scout volunteers in breaking up the old sidewalks and preparing new additional ground space for the new sidewalks. With the new additions, the nonprofit is able to assist more families.

For Klay, the Med High senior, being a part of the scouts has been major part of achieving goals.

His advice for any Boy Scout looking to soar like an eagle is simple.

“Stick with it,” he said. “Passion is what drives and motivates me.”

The Boys Scouts, Klay said, showed him a love for camping, enabled him to create a strong bond with his father and gave him the opportunity to make friends.

JASON

For Jason, he was a Boy Scout who never intended to be an Eagle Scout but here he is.

As he moved through the scouts, he said he gained an appreciation for the rank.

Jason’s service project involved the planning, fundraising and construction of a prayer garden for his church, The Breath of Life Church in Harlingen.

Jason, who is currently studying air conditioning maintenance at Texas State Technical College, raised more than $1,400 and led 26 scouts in beautifying the church yard and creating a place for meditation and prayer.