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Teen receives his Gold Medal

 Isaiah Padgett is active with Royal Ranger Outpost 48 on Jefferson Davis Highway.
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Date published: 12/2/2012


A community service project that involved work on a family cemetery in southern Stafford County helped Isaiah Padgett, 15, earn his Gold Medal of Achievement, which is the highest award in the Royal Rangers ministry for boys.

The award was presented to Isaiah, who is the son of Curtis and Jennifer Padgett, during an honor ceremony at Highway Assembly of God.

The Gold Medal is similar to the Eagle Scout Award in the Boy Scouts of America. It recognizes boys who have met requirements set by the Royal Ranger National Office in Springfield, Mo.

Those requirements include completion of 18 required merit awards, eight elective merit awards, a service project and a 500-word essay, as well as service in leadership positions.

Isaiah has been active in Royal Ranger Outpost 48, hosted by Highway Assembly of God, since he was in the fifth grade. He is currently involved in Expedition Rangers, the ministry's age group for high school students.

The service project involved repairs to a private family cemetery located on property owned by Calvary Chapel in the White Oak area of Stafford. Situated in an overgrown wooded area, the small cemetery had been overtaken by trees and underbrush.

Tombstones--dating to the Civil War era--were covered with leaves and forest debris, and engraved lettering obscured by moss and dirt.

Isaiah arranged for volunteers from his Royal Ranger outpost and also the girls ministry at Highway Assembly of God to clear away trees and underbrush from the cemetery, clean the tombstones and weave vines pulled from the trees to make two archways to the graveyard.

He also fashioned a wooden sign for the cemetery's entrance.

The Rev. Bobby Basham, director for the Potomac District region for Royal Rangers, which encompasses most of Maryland and Virginia along with the District of Columbia, presented the award at the ceremony.

Isaiah is the 482nd boy in the Potomac District to earn the Gold Medal of Achievement, and is the 12th Royal Ranger from Outpost 48 to achieve the award in the outpost's 40-year history.

He is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, having achieved the rank of tech sergeant in the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron. He also works part time at the main branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

Royal Rangers, a boys' mentorship program sponsored by the Assemblies of God, is active across the United States and abroad in more than 80 countries.