As Father’s Day nears, many grown Scouts reflect on the men who so greatly influenced their Scouting experiences. Recollections of sanding Pinewood Derby cars, treks through the mud, and seeking reassurance in the quest to gain more merit badges flood the memories of Scouts who traversed the program under the guidance of their dads. Many of these mentors have passed away.
Eagle Scout Tommy Devine remembers his dad nudging him to attend Scout meetings.
“He made me go. He was on my case, but I realize now it was for my own good because I can’t imagine not having the Boy Scouts in my life,” Devine told Jim Mandelaro of USA Today.
Devine also has the memory of honoring his father Tom before he died of cancer in April at age 52. Tom didn’t get to see his son ascend to Scouting’s highest rank in May, but he did get pinned as the Eagle’s “father” and “mentor”.
A few days before the private pinning ceremony in the hospital, Devine told his father he looked to him as his mentor and wanted to give him his Eagle Mentor’s pin.
He recalled his father’s strong reaction, despite his fragility: “He said, ‘Wow, thank you.’ It was hard for him to breathe.”
Devine will always remember his father helping him achieve the rank of Eagle. Even while battling illness, his father worked steadfastly beside him to the point where Devine had to ask him to stop.
He knows his father would be proud his support paid off. As an Eagle Scout who has worked hard for the rank thanks to parental encouragement, Devine holds a sentiment about his dad many can relate to this Father’s Day.
“He might have been hard on me at times, but he was just trying to make me a better person,” Tommy told Mandelaro. “I know he would be so proud of me now.”
Read more about the Scout and his father on USA Today.