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JPL Boy Scout Troop 509 boasts 3 new Eagles

eagle scouts
From left, Ben Thompsky, Eric Haggard and Ruben Munoz, all members of Boy Scout Troop 509 in La Cañada, have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
(Courtesy of Belle n Beau Photography)

Three members of JPL Boy Scout Troop 509 not only recently collected their high school diplomas, but also notched another notable achievement by attaining Scouting’s highest rank.

Eric Hagegard, Ruben Muñoz and Benjamin Thompsky were feted as new Eagle Scouts during a June 7 Court of Honor held at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, it was announced by the troop last week.

Hagegard and Thompsky are graduates of La Cañada High, while Muñoz graduated from South Pasadena High. All three are about to embark on higher education careers, with Hagegard heading to Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York, Muñoz attending Pasadena City College and Thompsky joining the freshman class at UC Santa Cruz.

For his Eagle project, Hagegard, with the help of fellow scouts, installed channel drains along the bridges in Descanso Gardens’ rose garden. The goal was to prevent winter rains from eroding the pathways there. In the Court of Honor program he joked that he’s “still debating which is more difficult to work with — cement or young Scouts.”


Muñoz chose to assist the Theodore Payne Foundation, the nonprofit native plant nursery in Sun Valley, by centering his Eagle project there. He originally considered finishing a previously built retaining wall at the nursery and refurbishing some tables, but heavy rains toppled the wall so he instead refurbished additional tables.

A longtime volunteer at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Thompsky, whose interest in nature led him to develop a saltwater aquarium with a collection of fish and corals, installed a gravel trail through Cabrillo’s native garden for his Eagle project.

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