Earlier this year I was asked to send a letter to my grandson Andrew’s Boy Scout representative. The purpose of the letter was to discuss why I believed that Andrew was an appropriate candidate for the Eagle Scout award of the Boy Scouts.
While I am totally opposed to the policies of the Boy Scouts toward gay individuals, I believe that Andrew represents how a human being and a Boy Scout should treat other human being. Andrew is not only totally accepting of the LGBT community, he is equally accepting of people regardless of their religious background. Even better, he is repulsed by discrimination and bigotry of any kind. To me he is the best representative of our human species and I am extremely proud of him.
The letter I sent follows:
I am 73 years old with 7 children, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grand children. Andrew represents the best that a person can expect from a descendant and certainly achieves the requirements one would expect of an Eagle Scout.
Allow me to define what I mean by that with several examples of his worthiness.
Before Andrew was in his teens, he became interested in music. He decided to learn the guitar and so his parents had him begin lessons. Shortly after he began these lessons I came to San Ramon and visited for about a week. Every day Andrew came home from school, did his homework and then practiced his guitar. One can not describe the awful discordant and unmusical sounds that emanated from that instrument. It was painful to be in the same house with him. Over the ensuing years he continued his instruction. Subsequently, each visit of mine, I continued to observe his perseverance and gradually over time I began to hear him create actual music. Early on he could easily have given up and no one would have questioned why. But he had a goal and he continued to pursue it. Today he is a fine musician and has learned several other instruments along the way.
A little over three years ago Andrew’s parents had a third son, Thomas. As with most families with a new baby, his parents were suddenly occupied with a tiny baby. Many children in his position would have rebelled at this sudden change in their parents attention, but not Andrew. Andrew decided that he could do things differently. He became almost a third parent to Thomas. Andrew bathed Thomas, changed filthy diapers, dressed, fed, played and coddled him for hours on end. When Thomas was under a year, the entire family attended a family function in southern California. After this function, I spoke with other family members, nephews and such and they expressed their delight in observing the loving care and affection Andrew displayed with Thomas. Thomas has since been diagnosed as autistic and Andrew continues to be a major factor in Thomas’s life.
Through all of this, Andrew also has been active in his school. He always seems to have a number of extra curricular activities and does so while maintaining high grades. Over the years, his parents have repeatedly told me that he has the respect of both his peers and the teachers.
When I review the criteria required of an Eagle Scout, I think of the manner in which Andrew conducts himself, his relationship with the community, the manner in which he confronts life and all of it challenges. Thus it seems to me that he fully demonstrates the caliber of individual that we expect to see in an Eagle Scout. In my mind, he has already achieved that distinction.