Three Banquete teens will be honored at a ceremony, which will feature a keynote address by Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal.

Boy Scout Troop 54 will honor three Boy Scouts, all of whom attend Banquete High School, Saturday for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting. The scouts to be recognized at the ceremony are senior Edward Herrera Jr., 18; sophomore Elizandro Garcia, 16; and freshman Jon Thomas Skoruppa, 14.

Troop 54 was chartered in 1930, but did not have an Eagle Scout until 2004, said Scoutmaster Tom Skoruppa. The boys being honored Saturday will be the sixth, seventh and eighth Eagle Scouts, respectively, to come from the troop.

"The youth of Banquete have learned that scouts are cool again and all boys have a chance to better themselves through scouting," Skoruppa said.

The scoutmaster said he feels the Boy Scouts have had a positive influence on countless youths throughout their small town.

"I believe that the scouting program in Banquete has kept many under-privileged, bored or insecure boys from joining gangs or participating in other harmful activities," Skoruppa said.

Young boys enrolled in the Boy Scouts can benefit from the program academically as well, he added.

According to a May 2005 study conducted by the Boy Scouts of America, 63 percent of those surveyed, who had been in the Boy Scouts for five years or more, said they received grades of As and Bs in school. In comparison, only 49 percent of those who said they had never been in scouts received similar grades, according to the study.

In order to achieve the ranking of Eagle Scout, scouts must have earned at least 21 merit badges, served in leadership positions and completed a community service project.

Herrera designed and installed a native plant garden at the Bobby Ray and Opal A. Younts County Park in Agua Dulce for his project.

Garcia coordinated the construction of a new 40-foot flagpole at the Banquete High School football stadium and Jon Skoruppa made educational and structural improvements to the John J. Sablatura County Park west of Banquete.

The Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Banquete High School commons.