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On the Scouting Trail: 3 members of JPL Troop 509 advance to rank of Eagle Scout

On the Scouting Trail: 3 members of JPL Troop 509 advance to rank of Eagle Scout
From left, Andre Der Sarkissian, Miles Haxton and Zach Nash, members of Boy Scout Troop 509, each recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. (Courtesy of Belle N Beau Photography and Troop 509)

Two newly minted La Cañada High School graduates and a UC Berkeley student were recently feted at a Boy Scout Troop 509 court of honor after each achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Zach Nash, who earned 26 merit badges during his Scouting years, chose for his Eagle Scout project improvements to the library at South Los Angeles’ Ascension Catholic School.

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The improvements involved finishing previously donated bookshelves; sorting, shelving and collecting donations of additional books for the library; and building milk-crate benches that serve both for both storage and seating in the library.

A Pasadena resident who graduated from the Waverly School before matriculating to UC Berkeley, the 18-year-old is the son of Melora Larson and Alfred Nash.

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The band hallway on the La Cañada High School campus benefited by the Eagle project chosen by Andre Der Sarkissian, 18, a member of the school’s marching and jazz bands. Over a two-day period, 14 volunteers recruited by Der Sarkissian spent about 80 man hours painting the hallway.

During his Scouting career, Der Sarkissian earned 24 merit badges and, like the other two new Troop 509 Eagle Scouts, participated in numerous Boy Scout camping trips over the past several years.

Miles Moody Haxton, 18, took on the task of re-landscaping a slope on the campus of the church he attends, Lutheran Church in the Foothills. He cleared and re-graded the area, installed sprinklers and valves, and re-planted with a drought-tolerant ground cover. He was assisted by 14 other Scouts and adults.

The son of Lori Moody and David Haxton, and a recent graduate of La Cañada High, he earned 22 merit badges during his years in Scouting. He’s also served as his troop’s webmaster for the past two years.

Troop 509, sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, is known for its many outdoor activities. It draws Scouts from this community as well as neighboring cities. Members who become Eagle Scouts are recognized at ceremonies held in JPL’s von Karman Auditorium.

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