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Popcorn Thank You Letter

December 18, 2013

Thank You So Much

“Hello, my name is James and I’m selling popcorn to help support my
Pack (Troop). Would you like to buy some?”

You’ve heard those words from me every autumn for the past 10 years as I
worked to earn enough money to participate in Scouting activities and
attend Scout camps. I am writing this letter to you now because, year after
year, your answer to that question was always an unwavering “yes”.

You see, I know you didn’t buy the Scout popcorn because it was a great
bargain or because you couldn’t find popcorn anywhere else (in fact you
often turned away other Scouts to wait for me). I realize your main
motivation was your desire to support a boy in his Scouting adventure.
And since this was my last year selling popcorn, I really wanted to let you
know just what that generous support meant to me personally.

I was lucky enough to be a part of Pack 565 and Troop 558; two very
active Scouting groups in Omaha. The leaders and parents worked hard to
teach me the lessons of Scouting as well as planning numerous activities
and adventures.

Because of Scouting I got the chance to fly an airplane, drive a locomotive,
run the field at Lincoln’s Memorial stadium and sail a boat across a
Minnesota lake. I water-skied, snow-skied, rode horses, sat in a racecar and
took part in a world record model rocket launch. I camped in heat and rain
and slept in the snow, in a tree house, on a raft, and inside the shark tank at
the zoo. I marched in parades, was knighted for chivalry, dressed as a Star
Wars character, and lowered the flag at the Mount Rushmore monument.

I stared in awe at the starry heavens on a moonless night atop Monster
Mountain in Colorado, I experienced absolute darkness spelunking a cave
in South Dakota and I witnessed the beauty of a bald eagle soaring above
the horizon near the Canadian border.

I rode a mountain bike through the Black Hills, rafted the white waters of
the Poudre River, traversed the Wisconsin wilderness on an ATV and
canoed 50 miles through the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.

I learned welding, plumbing, carpentry, knife skills, knots, first aid, how to
survive in the outdoors and how to light a fire with bug spray. I learned to
cook a turkey in a cardboard box, eggs in a ziplock bag, pancakes on an
open fire and just about anything in a Dutch oven. I learned a greater
appreciation for my country, the value of service to my community, the
need to respect others and the importance of dry socks while camping. I
made friends, made Pinewood Derby cars, made mistakes and made
memories that will last a lifetime.

Most importantly, I learned responsibility and leadership skills along the
journey. These helped me lead my troop as their elected Senior Patrol
Leader and to teach numerous other Scouts as a staff member of the MAC
National Youth Leadership Training program. And I know these skills will
continue to help me in the future as I make my way in the world.

This year, I plan to achieve the rank of Eagle and, although I still plan to be
active in Scouting, job responsibilities and other commitments will not
allow me as much time for summer camps and high adventures. Therefore
I won’t be stopping by next year to ask that same old question while you so
patiently listen… and I think I’ll miss that a little bit.

So, in closing, I just want to say a very sincere “Thank You”. Thank you
for your time, thank you for your interest and especially thank you for your
generous support of Scouting. It has made a big difference in my life. And
I hope that next year, if a young Scout knocks on your door and stares at
the ground while nervously fumbling through his opening line, you’ll help
him out the same way you so often helped me.

James B.
Life Scout
Boy Scout Troop 558


One Comment leave one →
  1. December 19, 2013 14:23

    Awesome letter James! I am proud to have been with you on many of the adventures you describe in your letter. I have enjoyed seeing your growth over the years and know that you will go far in your journey after you make Eagle Scout in 2014.
    In Scouting,
    Scoutmaster Johansen
    Troop 558

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