22nd Annual Aviation Luncheon, Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Brandon. I am 13 years old
and in the 8th grade at the Baccalaureate School For Global Education in Queens.
I’ve been a Scout for 8 years and I am in Troop 96, which meets at Church in the
Gardens, in Forest Hills. I am proud to be here representing the more than 43,000
Scouts of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America programs. I am
here to share with you a little about Scouting and what it means to me.
Scouting is a program that brings children, teens, and adults from all
different backgrounds together to experience life in a positive way. The Boy
Scouts means so much to me because it has introduced me to so many new friends,
taught me many new skills, and is helping me prepare for a successful future.
Growing up, every kid is fascinated with airplanes and dreams of becoming
a pilot. When I was younger and went on family vacations, I always pretended that
I was in control of the aircraft as we soared above the clouds and through the skies
into the unknown. My fascination with planes began when I had the opportunity as
a Cub Scout to participate in LaGuardia Kid’s Day – a yearly event where kids of
all ages went to the airport to learn and explore the high-flying world of aviation.
Because of Scouting I have been given the opportunity to meet with many mentors
and see first-hand how the aviation industry can impact me and my Troop. Isaac,
an Eagle Scout from my Troop is pursuing a career in aviation. After attaining
Eagle, he graduated from Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, and is
now continuing to chase his career of becoming a first officer for an airline. When
I asked him about his career choice, and he said that the skills he learned in
Scouting – navigation, weather, leadership, and working as a team – will help him
fulfill his dream. It is great that Isaac comes back to our Troop meetings and
continues to mentor kids like me.
Being part of the Boy Scouts is kind of like being in school - the only
difference here is that you get to learn AND have some fun. The way I see it is
attending my favorite class that happens to have my best friends in it. There’s
nothing better than taking on a project, learning new skills, and earning merit
badges … it’s the best of both worlds! As you can tell, Scouting has introduced me
to so many amazing friends of different ages. In these last eight years, I have
shared countless hours and so many great memories with them. With Scouts, there
is always something fun to do. Whether it’s archery, hiking, or camping –
everyone has a favorite activity.
Recently, I attended the Big Apple Jamboree at Camp Pouch in Staten Island
and hands down, this activity was the highlight of my Scouting career! The
Jamboree was a three-day long camping trip that had Boy Scouts from all over
New York City in attendance, and featured so many fun and exciting things. The
best moment, besides spending extra time with my friends, was my first ever
mountain biking trek with my Troop. Let me tell you, it was one of the scariest
moments in my life. Going down narrow hills at high speeds was nerve-wracking –
but after a while, my fears subsided and it was fun. In fact, it was so much fun that
we decided to go again! This time I was more confident … maybe a little too
confident. I rode down the hill at a very high speed, made a sharp left and
WHAM … I went right into a tree. Luckily, the tree I ran into was skinnier than me,
so no major injuries occurred.
Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that if I want to
achieve anything, I need to just go for it and not be afraid because even if I end up
falling, I have to pick myself up and try again. This is how Scouting is preparing
me to fulfill my dreams and prepare me for life.
I would like to congratulate John Slattery and Gary Spulak for being
honored here today as “Good Scouts.” It has been an honor addressing all of you
today at this important event. Thank you for being great role models to kids like
me. On behalf of all the boys and girls in the character and life skills programs of
the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, thank you all for your
investment in me.