If there’s a badge for gratitude, the boys in 1st Agassiz Scout Troop have earned theirs in spades.
A group of the scouts and their leaders sat through Tuesday night’s council meeting for the District of Kent, waiting and watching the proceedings patiently. It was a shorter meeting than usual, at about 40 minutes, with very little on the agenda that led to any deep discussion.
But the scouts listened intently, quietly, for the duration of the meeting. And when Mayor John Van Laerhoven opened the floor to public questions, Scout leader Chris Wilson rose to introduce their group.
They were Tony and Peter Flukiger, Leif Forge, and Ian Wilson (Patrick Sparkes arrived near the end of the meeting), and they weren’t just there to learn about municipal affairs.
They were there to thank council and staff for accepting their grant-in-aid application, and awarding the group $500. The scouts at the meeting, ages 11 to 14, are just a part of the local group. There are also beavers (ages five to seven) and cubs (ages eight to 10).
It takes money to run the program, and to keep fees lower, and one of the sources is the District, leader Wilson told the kids.
“And when they were processing our grant-in-aid application … it would have been in a meeting like this,” he said.
They thanked council again for the amount given, adding that “certainly some others were denied, so thanks again.”
Van Laerhoven told the scouts that he was once in the same program, and believes that programs such as the Boy Scouts help create better citizens.
“It encourages you to get involved in the community,” he said. “And a community is only as good as people’s willingness to be involved. So, thank you.”
“Council is very pleased to support you,” he added.
It was surely an exchange that would have filled Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, with immense pride.
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