After a prolonged wait due to Covid-19, Boy Scouts’ Massen Diaz and Diego Gallardo finally received their Eagle Scout Honors last week, making them two of the youngest Eagle Scouts in Patterson’s history, with Massen actually being the youngest just turning Fourteen two months prior to the achievement.
Both Massen and Diego experienced many nights camping under the stars and many hours of community service and merit badge accumulation as they worked for years towards ranking up to their current status.
The duo has been working towards the prestigious achievement since they were Cub Scouts in Elementary School, and once they were able to manage and oversee their final Eagle Scout project, the two showed exceptional leadership skills in each of their projects.
Massen’s project homed in on his family’s affinity for history as he constructed a time capsule to be opened in the year 2070.
“He wanted to do something that was going to be lasting,” said Massen’s Mom, Leticia Espinoza. “Something that was going to mean something to Patterson...and [because] all of the events happening due to Covid, he wanted to provide future generations a tangible way to relate to history.”
The time capsule, which included some artifacts from the Covid-19 Pandemic, a photo album of Patterson in 2020 and other items, was self-funded by Massen, with the exception of a few donations such as the capsule itself, which was a World War II munitions canister donated by a family friend.
To pay for the project, Massen used his savings from a canceled eighth grade trip to New York City. He also collected recycling and doubled up on his chores so that he could pay for the archival quality materials that were used to preserve the items inside the capsule for the 50 years it will spend underground.
Diego’s project was to digitally archive loved ones’ gravestones at the Patterson Cemetery, something that he continues to do to this day, and plans to do through High School.
“Diego has kept up since his Eagle Project,” said Diego’s Mom, Patty Gallardo “He continues to add new archival information to his database [and work with Vee Hooper] to pick up new lists of burial inscriptions and markers each month.”
Back in February, Diego led volunteers to digitally archive over seven-thousand headstones from the Patterson Cemetery and uploaded their information to Billiongraves.com. Diego received great support from the community, and Patterson Cemetery Manager, Vee Hooper said that he was a real asset to the cemetery and provided a great service to the community.