Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout
Attending an award ceremony for an Eagle Scout is a complete experience. The event is full of tradition, with Boy Scouts as flag bearers and candle lighters, reciting the oath and honoring their fellow scout. Speakers include Scout Masters, State Representatives, and leaders in the community. As I listened, the words and ideals centered on character. Leadership, being humble, and giving service to others stuck with me. That’s certainly Wesley.
The ceremony was quite moving. Did you know that there is only one group of people, all of whom were Eagle Scouts? One. That group was the astronauts who landed on the moon. I learned that only 4% of Boy Scouts of America have earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
When Wesley was in my preschool class, his favorite toy was a large castle. He was obsessed with that castle. He begged his mom and dad to buy him one. He cried when they said, “No.” So, I often had the castle available for Wesley to play with. He never tired of this toy. Never.
Fast forward ten years. Every so often teachers do a major cleanout of our school’s attic. Yes, there was the castle stored away in a far corner. It was designated for the trash, as it was “well loved.”
“Wait! You can’t throw out that castle!”
“It’s broken in spots and has some sharp edges. It’s gotta go.”
“I’ll take it.”
And I did. It went to my basement. My grandchildren loved playing with it when they visited. In the back of my mind I was saving the castle for Wesley. It would make a perfect graduation present.
Four years passed, and I got the invitation to his graduation. The event was outdoors at the new football field, so bringing along this gigantic castle was not an option. As I pondered the best way to deliver the gift, I received an invitation to his Eagle Scout ceremony, at the local church. There would be a reception afterwards, downstairs in the church reception hall.
I could make this work!
My husband and I arrived early, and I slipped downstairs to put the castle in the kitchen. It was wrapped in a huge black trash bag, covered with bows and ribbons. Done!
When the ceremony was over we all headed downstairs for the reception. After many hugs and best wishes and congratulations, I said, “Wesley, I have something for you. Can you get your mom and dad?” He looked confused as I dragged out this large trash bag. It stirred much curiosity to those close by, so there was a group looking on as Wesley opened the bag.
“The castle! It’s the castle!! I remember this. I loved this castle. How did you get it?”
And I told him the story of rescuing it from the attic years ago, and saving it for him. His mom cried. His dad thought surely this wasn’t THE one. Wesley couldn’t stop touching. He was beside himself. Of course we all had to relive the story of the castle when he was a preschooler.
It was wonderful.
No words needed.