Illustration by James Noel Smith
Daniel Simon - Buffalo Grove, Ill.
When you're busy planning fun activities to keep youth members interested and learning, it's easy to forget that Scouting teaches values, too.
That point wasn't lost on us when we first heard about Webelos Scout Daniel Simon of Pack 381, Buffalo Grove, Ill., and his special holiday Good Turn.
Last year Daniel earned a $750 gift certificate.
Instead of using the certificate to buy merchandise for himself, Daniel filled seven shopping carts with toys for other childrentoys that were distributed during the Wheeling, Ill., Food Basket Drive to needy families just after Thanksgiving. The store manager was so impressed by the Webelos Scout's generosity, she contributed $300 more in gift certificates. Daniel even had a few toys left over, which he donated to area hospitals.
"He never ceases to amaze us with his generosity," said Daniel's mom, Karen, proudly. The BSA is proud of Daniel, tooand gratified that he understood so clearly the value of putting others' welfare ahead of his own.
For nearly 90 years, the Boy Scouts of America has molded four generations of American youth by that valueduty to othersand the other core values embodied in our Scout Oath and Law.
The Scout Oath is only 40 words long, but are those words powerful! The four ideals expressed within themduty to God, country, others, and selfhave stood the test of time. They are at the heart of the BSA's values-based leadership training and have fueled our legacy of service, adventure, preparedness, and reverence. Our founders envisioned such a legacy for us, and it is our task to pass their vision on to the youth of today to carry into the next century.
Why? Because if character education was important in 1910, it's clearly critical in 1999. So critical, in fact, that we encourage all of you to take a little time this holiday season to talk with your children and families about the importance of traditional valueslifetime values like loyalty, kindness, bravery, and trustworthiness. We can't help but think that Daniel Simon's parents, Karen and Marlin, not only role-modeled but also emphasized to their young son the importance of helping others.
We would be remiss if we didn't tell you, the dedicated and tireless volunteer leaders of the BSA, how much you are needed and appreciated for all the good work you've done and continue to do in strengthening the families of America. Ours is America's premier organization dedicated to the character development and leadership training of youthand you make it happen.
TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, AND TO YOUR FAMILIES, a joyous and blessed holiday season and a new year bright with the possibilities that good Scouting brings.
Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
Jere B. Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
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