Andrew’s Eagle Scout Recommendation

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.


11 Responses to “Andrew’s Eagle Scout Recommendation”

  1. Janice Says:

    WOw! I was looking for info on recommendation letters for my son and I happily found yours. What a great letter you wrote for your grandson and what an amazing sounding kid. Thanks for sharing it.
    Our family also does not agree with the BSA policies on gay individuals also and many other scouting families disagree with the policies too. We are working on change fromthe inside. THere are many of us.

  2. Eric Says:

    Great letter. Well done. I do strongly agree with the policies of the Boy Scouts of America and their values and ideals have made them what they are today.

    • Ron Says:

      Eric, generally I agree that scouting is good for young people, except that the Scouts policy on gays has created many generations of homophobic bigots in our nation and all of the evil and cruelty that goes along with that bigotry.. To me being “morally straight” also means that a Scout must have respect and consideration for those who are different than themselves. It is exceedingly easy to respect and consider those who are most like ourselves, but it requires great morality to have that same respect and consideration for those who differ greatly from us.

  3. Wanda Says:

    Thank you this was very helpful in writing a recommendation letter for one of my students. You have an awesome grandson!

  4. Ron Says:

    I am pleased to announce that Stephen, Andrew’s younger brother, was awarded his Eagle Scout Badge this past weekend. Their parents and all of the family are very proud of their achievements.

  5. Nicolle Says:

    Thank you for posting your letter. I have written recommendations for my students but I am finding it difficult to begin this one for my son. I wasn’t sure of the format and this is helping to confirm what I believed I should include. My son also doesn’t agree with the policy on not allowing gay boys in Boy Scouts. He doesn’t agree with any form of discrimination. One of the many traits that I love about him.

  6. Jim M Says:

    What a beautiful letter. Are you a professional writer? Like Nicolle, I’ve written letters of recommendation, but when informed of the need to provide one for my son, I was surprised. My first thoughts were, how can a parent be objective, and how could a parent even begin to put into words, in a page or two, all the positive things they feel about their child? I talked to friends, looked through reference guides, and, while I thought about it a lot, I kept putting it off. Then I read your letter, and it was like someone pulled the drapes open. I get it now. Thank you for sharing so openly.

    We too have mixed feelings about the program. Our son shares your grandson’s sense of morality, and he’s sometimes struggled with reconciling BS ideals with actions. And, frankly, it has been difficult discussing this with him over the years. The best I could come up with was, take the best and leave the rest. Well, time flies, and he’s almost an adult now, and he knows in his heart what’s right and wrong. And, I don’t take credit or attribute credit for that which he achieved on his own. He is also “the best representative of our human species.” I like that! You’re not so bad yourself. Peace.

  7. Ron Says:

    Occasionally I receive comments from homophobic bigots and religious zealots that spew their venom and hatred. I do not approve these comments nor do I give these folk a platform. All of my 80 years I have had to listen to their filth and it gives me a small sense of pleasure to be able to relegate their poison to the trash heap where it belongs.

  8. Mariana Zorzi Rafferty Says:

    I had to write my son’s recommendation letter and yours was great inspiration. Thank you not only for your opinion but for sharing your Grandson with us. Congratulations to both of them now.

  9. Miriam Says:

    Do a good deed everyday. Policies are just guidelines. Sincerity and good character comes from within, it does not have a race, color nor sexual orientation. Personally, that is what is scouting is all about. To each his own. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all mankind.

  10. Miriam Says:

    Thank you for your beautiful article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: