ANDOVER — Dozens of motivated young men assembled at the Wyndham Hotel on Friday night.
They were the latest class of Eagle Scouts from the Yankee Clipper Council and were honored at the annual recognition banquet. The council includes troops from Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts and extends into southern New Hampshire.
One of the new Eagles earned 42 merit badges. He was only required to complete 21.
Another is a dean’s list student majoring in electrical engineering at Merrimack College.
Two twins from Andover made their mother and father doubly proud.
Every Eagle had to plan a service project and lead a team of volunteers in completing it.
“I’m not afraid to say I’m a Boy Scout,” said Jacob Padilla of Troop 1 in Haverhill. There were times when he didn’t want to tell peers he was a Scout, he said. Now that he’s earned the rank, he’s proud to say he’s not only a Boy Scout, but an Eagle Scout.
Padilla, son of Alvin and Catherine Padilla, directed other Scouts in building two wooden benches and improving the landscaping at Pentucket Lake School in Haverhill. A freshman at Gordon College, where he’s majoring in communication and theater arts, he aspires to become a filmmaker.
The toughest merit badges to earn, he said, were lifesaving and personal management. The lifesaving requirements are physically demanding. They include retrieving a 10- to 12-pound weight from the bottom of a pool and rigorous swimming.
To earn the personal management badge, a Scout must record every cent he spends for three months. There are more than 120 merit badges in just about every category imaginable. Not surprisingly, Padilla earned the theater merit badge.
Thomas Dawson, of Plaistow, N.H., is a Venture Scout. While regular Boy Scouts are 11 to 18, Venture Scouts are 14 to 21, according to Harry Taylor, adviser to Crew 345, Dawson’s unit.