I’ve been meaning to update this for a while, but things keep intervening. So, first, the short version: Alaric is fully funded for both trips, thanks to a lot of donations and a lot of hard work. If you have not already received your thank-you note, be looking for it soon; now that school is finished, he’ll have a lot more time for getting those finished before he leaves. He’s even gotten his hair dyed in a rainbow to show his enthusiastic support for BSA National’s recent policy decision to finally allow gay youth to be part of Scouting.
The Jamboree starts in just 28 days, and the two troops from the Mount Baker Council will be leaving a couple of days before that. Between now and then, Alaric needs to finish getting his food situation squared away for both Jamboree and Philmont. Because of his food allergies, he can’t just eat the food provided or expect easy on-site alternatives. Instead, he and Stephanie get to trawl the menus, figure out what he can have (and can’t), identify replacements, and order them and package them. It’s a big logistical task, but then again, so is feeding the thousands of youth and adults that both the Jamboree and Philmont except to handle. Philmont has a lot of practice accommodating alternative menus, so they have done an exceptional job of making sure we have all the nutritional information we need — packages, ingredients, and portion sizes.
In the meantime, Alaric has earned his Life rank (the last rank before Eagle), has already earned 3 of the final 10 merit badges he needs for Eagle, and has located a highly suitable potential project for his Eagle service project. He hopes to have a good chunk of this work done before he heads off to Jamboree, and to be able to finish the rest of it up before the end of the year. In addition, he just completed his Brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow, has been appointed as his troop’s OA representative, and has been asked to serve as the vice-chief of his OA chapter. In short, he’s running full speed ahead in Scouting, and he’s looking forward to future opportunities.
So again, all of you who have invested in Alaric’s journey in Scouting (even if you didn’t want to support BSA), thank you. We’re already seeing amazing results.
We’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE 10/25/2012: Created this as a static page and copied appropriate information from the relevant post.
Created olimometer and updated progress to the total goal.
Many of you know that my son Alaric has been involved in Scouting for many years. 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. As a result, we’ve been actively raising funds through garage sales, odd jobs, Scouting fundraisers, and donations.
Although Stephanie, Alaric, and I don’t agree with all of the Scouting organization’s policies, we’ve seen a lot of benefits from Alaric’s involvement:
- We’ve all met great people, both kids and adults.
- Alaric has grown to love camping and hiking while learning respect for the outdoors and the skills you need to have fun and stay safe.
- Alaric has learned better social skills and has taken on leadership roles. He just stepped down from serving as a patrol leader for over a year to take on the role of troop Scribe.
- Alaric has learned the value of goals and planning. He’s currently a Star Scout, 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 has learned the value of service. In summer of 2012, Alaric became an Ordeal member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s service organization.
If you would like to donate to Alaric directly, contact us using the form below.
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If you’re still with us this far, thanks for reading and for your support.