My name is Stacey, and I am delighted to say a few words on behalf of my son, Austin.
Austin, when I look at you now, tall, handsome and strong, I don’t just see you as you are today, I see you in all of your life’s stages at once.
I see you as the newborn in my arms, in the shadows of midnight.
I see you as the blur of dark, curly preschool hair, racing down the stairs on Christmas, in Barney pajamas.
I see you as the devoted fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, building the most perfect train tracks, ever.
I see your eight-year-old frown, perplexed when we first told you that stealing the ball was a GOOD thing, when you were on the soccer field.
Oh, and I have so many scouting memories…
I remember the Webelos and the Cub Scouts,
I remember the beauty of the Arrow of Light ceremony, followed closely by your great work with Order of the Arrow, Tamegonit Lodge and the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.
I remember your well-worn camping gear and your handfuls of snacks, seeing you off to camp.
I remember my tears of joy when you called me from the top of Mount Philmont.
Then I see you top it all off, with your non-stop work to serve the Disabled Veterans, with your amazing and unprecedented Eagle Scout Project.
As much as a mother raises her son, so does a son raise his mother. You have taught ME many things as I have watched you grow.
You taught me the power of tenderness, as I have witnessed your quiet kindness to others.
You taught me amusement. Your laughter is a constant source of delight that brightens my day.
You taught me courage. You have navigated changes with elegance, acceptance, and humor.
You have taught me how to “Stick with it.” Camping 12 months per year in the Midwest tends to strengthen your ability to “Hang in there!”
Finally, you have taught me Integrity, which is choosing to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Integrity is, by far, your greatest gift.
Austin, I love you. In Scouting, you have found your voice. This is your time to shine. At this time in my life, motherhood becomes a complicated mixture of holding on, and encouraging you to fly. Have fun, work hard, and enjoy every single moment. I will always be in your corner! Congratulations on this amazing achievement!