Two separate Miami Boy Scouts troops have earned the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement presented by the Boy Scouts of America.
The young men are members of Pinecrest-based Boy Scout Troop 457. All 21 Scouts received their rank at Eagle Courts of Honor which took place November 13, 2021 and April 30, 2022 at Kendall Methodist Church.
The hosts for both events were longtime scout leader Julie Ziska, troop committee chairman Rick Diaz and assistant scout leaders Peter Burg and Mark Hanson.
The newest Troop 457 Eagle Scouts are Xzavier A. Araujo, Aidan Patrick Baublitz, Michael E. Beauge-Alvear, James Birch, Nicholas Bistrong, Daniel Chaviano, Tyler William Chin, Michael E. Clark, Luca D’Alerta, Rolando Diaz, Christian Marlo Ebo, Derek Scott Hanson, Sebastian Hildoer, Christopher Bransen Keltz, Sebastian Romel Keltz, Aiden Kong, Rodrigo Panta, Austin James Thelen, Antonio Iverson Rangel, Andres Velasquez and Zachery Werner.
Troop 457, one of the largest council troops in South Florida, advanced 349 Scouts to Eagle rank. Since 1986, the troop was led by David and Julie Ziska until David’s death in 2015. Since then, Julie has served as a scout leader. Their twin sons, Kenneth and Brian Ziska, earned their Eagle Scout rank in 1993. Grandson Austin is the newest member of the family to become an Eagle Scout.
For every 100 Scouts, approximately two will persevere to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The first Eagle Scout award was given in 1912 to a 17-year-old New Yorker named Arthur Eldred. In 2020, the first girls received the rank of Eagle Scout.
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and demonstrate the traits of Leadership, Honesty, and Duty. They must also plan, coordinate, and oversee a service project called the Eagle Project, all before their 18th birthday. A review committee determines which Scouts receive the dedicated award.
For more information about the Boy Scouts of America, visit www.scouting.org.
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