Alaric’s Summer of Awesome

Some of you might get some cognitive whiplash from the following post, given my recent vocal stance on Intel’s corporate fundraising for Boy Scouts of America. If your own views on Scouting are such that you are not able to entertain helping out or sponsoring a Scout, we understand — this post isn’t for you.

Many of you know that my son Alaric has been involved in Scouting for many years. Despite my own issues with the Scouting organization’s policies[1], we’ve seen a lot of benefits from Alaric’s involvement. There are some really great boys and adults we’ve met through Scouting and my boy has learned and grown a lot. He’s currently a Star Scout and an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow, and has been serving as a patrol leader for a year. Alaric is well on his way to Life Scout by the end of the year and has given himself a goal of becoming an Eagle Scout by the end of summer 2013.

Alaric receiving four merit badges

Alaric receiving four merit badges

Next summer, Alaric has the opportunity to have the kind of summer adventure that every Boy Scout can only dream of:

  • It’s time for the National Scout Jamboree. This event typically takes place once every 4 years. This year is particularly cool because it will be the first jamboree held on the new Summit grounds in West Virginia’s Bechtel Reserve wilderness area, Scouting’s new permanent jamboree home and high adventure base.
  • Alaric’s troop will be heading to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Scouting’s oldest and most famous high adventure backpacking camp. It can take years for troops to get a slot to come to Philmont for a mountain adventure.

Both of these events are usually once-in-a-lifetime events for most Boy Scouts. The fact that Alaric has the chance to go to both is amazing and requires an immense amount of commitment and dedication from him (and us).

Unfortunately, my getting laid off in July threw a huge wrench into the fund-raising portion of this adventure. The total cost to participate in both events, including airline tickets and required gear upgrades, is going to be around $5,000 for our family. If I had a steady job, this wouldn’t have been a problem — we’d have covered half and Alaric could have motored through fund raisers with his troops to get the rest covered. He’s already raised over $600 just through mowing lawns, odd jobs, and even a garage sale.

Even if you don’t want to donate to Scouting — are you willing to invest in my son? The typical Scouting fundraiser is through the sales of Trail’s End popcorn products. Trail’s End is an amazing outfit that makes online sales very easy, they produce fantastic popcorn, and they offer the choice for making donations to help send popcorn to active-duty military units.

Alaric’s popcorn pitch letter can be seen below:

Dear Dad’s Reader,

Did you know you can help send me to the National Jamboree? Just click here and place an order on my behalf. There are all kinds of products to choose from, and every product has better flavor and is better for you.

Plus, you won’t just be helping me go to Jamboree. 70% of your purchase will benefit Scouting in my area and help more kids experience all the things that make Scouting great. It’s a situation where everyone wins.

Thanks for your support,


P.S. If you cannot click on the link above, copy and paste this full URL:

If you would rather donate to Alaric directly, contact me using the form below.

If you’re still with me this far, thanks for reading and for your support.

[1] I have two main issues. The first is that they discriminate against gay boys, girls (several programs for older youth are co-ed), and leaders. The second is that their religious requirements discriminate against boys who are atheists or agnostic yet are willing to investigate a religion in the spirit of understanding and tolerance. Look at Girl Scouts to see how these issues can be dealt with sensibly.