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Eagle Scout hopeful builds park

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
July 7, 2011 at 2:07 a.m.

Nicholas Garza is working on becoming an Eagle Scout through a project for his church, Our Lady of Sorrows. Garza is building a picnic area so that parish members can have an area to enjoy a meal or just relax.

BOY SCOUT TO EAGLE SCOUT Only 5 percent of Scouts ever reach Eagle Scout

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and retired astronaut James A. Lovell Jr. are Eagles

There are about 180,000 Eagle Scout members

To volunteer with Nicolas Garza or support the project, call 361-676-9276

When Nicolas Garza was in the first grade, he approached his father, Alfred Garza, about joining the Boy Scouts of America. Eleven years later, he's ready to make the move to Eagle Scout, the highest rank of Boy Scouting.

But before he does, he must complete a lengthy service project organized and managed by the Scout himself.

To complete his requirement, the 17-year-old Victoria East student has chosen to build a community picnic table area across from Our Lady of Sorrows's rectory in downtown Victoria.

"We started building at the beginning of June, but I've been planning this since last November," Nicolas Garza said, reflecting on his team's progress.

Currently in the process of construction, Garza and a team of volunteers - most of whom are family members and fellow Scouts and Eagles - are building four picnic tables with umbrellas on concrete slabs and a privacy fence that will enclose the area.

"I think it's great what he's doing out here," Alfred Garza said, reflecting on his son's Eagle project. "But I thought it was great when he wanted to join the Boy Scouts. I was never a Scout, but he came to me one day and said, 'Hey Dad, check this out.' We've been doing it together ever since."

To become an Eagle Scout, the Boy Scout must have earned at least 21 merit badges in areas of service and knowledge.

Garza also said once his community service project is complete, he must submit written documentation of the process and present to an Eagle Scout council.

"It's a long process," Nicolas Garza said.

Construction will continue through August, and the picnic area is tentatively scheduled to be open to the public beginning early September. A small reception will be held to honor its completion.

"I want everybody to come out and use it and enjoy it," Nicolas Garza said.

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