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Texas Governor Awards Eagle Rank to This Exceptional Scout

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shakes hands with Ben T. before presenting him with the Eagle Scout Award. (Photo credit: Patrick Johnston/Times Record News)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shakes hands with Ben T. before presenting him with the Eagle Scout Award. (Photo credit: Patrick Johnston/Times Record News)

Earning the Eagle Scout rank is an incredible feat for any Scout. But for a Scout with special needs, a unique set of obstacles makes attaining the award an even greater challenge.

So when Texas Governor Greg Abbott learned Ben T. of the Northwest Texas Council was to be awarded Scouting’s highest rank, he sought to personally congratulate the teen who’s overcome hurdles he’s also experienced.

The Scout was born with spina bifida and has since been in a wheelchair. But like Gov. Abbott, who’s also in a wheelchair, Ben hasn’t let his disability get in the way of his goals. The Scout completed every Eagle requirement with a few modifications along the way.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presents the Eagle Scout Award to Ben T. with the help of Tim Hunter, Northwest Texas Council president. (Photo credit: Patrick Johnston/Times Record News)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presents the Eagle Scout Award to Ben T. with the help of Tim Hunter, Northwest Texas Council president. (Photo credit: Patrick Johnston/Times Record News)

“It’s great to finally get the award,” Ben shared with Times Record News. “There’s no words to describe it. It’s an honor to be awarded anything by (the governor).”

The governor presented the Eagle Scout Award to Ben T., Tuesday night at the Northwest Texas Council’s Americanism Dinner at the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall. 

“It’s incredible to be part of any ceremony that honors Scouts,” Gov. Abbott said. “But to see and hear about what Ben has done and overcome and accomplished shows typical Texas grit. And that is, we are not defined by our circumstances. Instead, we get to define ourselves by how we respond to our circumstances.”

Also the keynote speaker at the event, the governor shared stories of his time in Scouting with Troop 201 in Longview, Texas.

“Many of the lessons I learned while with Troop 201 still remain with me to this very day,” the governor said. “It isn’t just the merit badges you earn along the way but the process of earning them.”

For the full story, head to Times Record News.

Hayley

Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at communications@scouting.org.