HARLINGEN — At first glance, the five young men standing together might have represented a group effort.
Perhaps it was, in a sense. Boy Scouts of America teaches the principles of teamwork and personal initiative. The five senior scouts of Troop 1701 who received their Eagle Scout rank last Sunday were good examples of those two principles.
“I have done this for so long,” said Antonio Sanchez, 18, who’d performed some construction work for the Harlingen Humane Society for his Eagle Scout project.
The scouts received their rank at the Spring Court of Honor at the First United Methodist Church. Friends, relatives and scoutmasters filled the large auditorium. They’d come to see scouts receiving different rankings including first class and second class.
The recognition of five Eagle Scouts came at the end of the ceremony.
Antonio and the other scouts seemed aware they’d arrived at the end of a long journey. It was a journey which had prepared them for others.
“I feel really proud of myself,” said Alex Cavazos, a junior at Harlingen High School South.
He built a musical playground with zylophones, drums and other instruments at Long Elementary. He’d spent about two years planning the operation which concluded one day in March when he and about 30 scouts gathered to build the playground.
“I’ve been in scouts since second grade,” Alex said.
Eric Kennedy, scoutmaster, expressed admiration for the work and dedication the scouts had invested in their Eagle projects.
“I am extremely proud of them,” Kennedy said. “It’s really a major project.”
Very few scouts actually achieve that rank. Such a feat shows others they have the persistence necessary to achieve goals, Kennedy said.
Alejandro Muniz, a Harlingen High School junior, did some landscaping at the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy. Alejandro, 16, spent about two years planning the project which concluded when he and about 30 other scouts did the work in two days.
“It felt great,” Alejandro said. “It was a really long process.”
The projects all pointed to some sort of community service. Nicholas Garza, another Eagle Scout, built shelves for Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.
“I feel very ecstatic, excited and honored,” said Nicholas, 18, a 2016 graduate of Harlingen High School South. He’s now a freshman at Texas State University but still involved in the troop.
The experiences he’s enjoyed in teamwork, initiative, planning and perseverance will follow Joshua Delgado throughout his life.
“You can’t replace that. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said Joshua, 16, a junior at Harlingen High School South. He repaired some playground equipment at First Christian Church where he attends services.