As I have aged, I recall my fondest memories of my youth from times with my Brother, Mom, and Dad in Scouting. I was fortunate to have seen much of the country when in Scouting as a teenager by attending a National Jamboree, five National Order of the Arrow events, and Philmont for four years.
I recently, and unexpectedly, became a widower. The first words that rattled in my head after praying for my late wife were "seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even in the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities": a key part of the Order of the Arrow's (Scouting's Honor Camping Society's) Oath. Although I love being a Dad, and it's rarely irksome, I realized that I now had the sole task of raising my five young children, and that my foundation from Scouting would carry me through by leaning on its principles.
I also realized that I was mortal, and that every day was precious, and that sometimes there isn't a "tomorrow to do what needs to be done". I shortly afterwards amended my family trust to endow both Philmont and the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council with funds to carry the Scouting mission forward for others after my death. I vowed to give back to Scouting while I am living, becoming a donor multiple times for the James E. West Fellowship, by donating in honor of my family members, while also participating in the Friends of Scouting every year.
Now that Scouting includes females, all of my children have the opportunity to have the experiences like I had as a Scout. No other youth program in America is as diverse and as deep as Scouting: so I am thrilled to support Scouting, and will do so with my time, talent, and other resources while living; and with my estate after my death.
2019 Distinguished Eagle Scout
Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council