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Autism Couldn’t Stop This Brick Teen From Becoming an Eagle Scout

I found out at a committee meeting that you were officially an Eagle Scout, and amidst the congratulations from the members I felt such a flush of pride that you were now “official” from National. You had had your Board of Review two months earlier, but you never know for sure, so we were good and didn’t tell tons of people.

I am so relieved. Now I can put this on Facebook.

On the way home I thought about how great it would be to tell you you got approved, and I remembered how excited you were the night of your Board of Review, how you hugged me so tight. One of the people conducting the board said they’d never seen a scout smile so large, or seem so happy.

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That meant the world to me.

The last three years of your working toward this amazing goal have been both fun and arduous. Trying to advance in ranks and achieve merit badges during a worldwide pandemic is not the easiest thing in the world, but you did it. When we realized you’d have many more hours of free time than usual due to virtual half days you willingly dove into the work, and you accomplished so much. There were roadblocks along the way, but you surmounted them.

There were three intense weeks of virtual merit badges in the summer where I had to lie on your bedroom floor so you weren’t “alone” with your merit badge counselors (and I had to keep quiet!). There was rock climbing, camping, and a family hike at High Point where Justin left us in the dust. There was your Eagle Scout project which involved so much planning, and help from your beloved great-uncle, an Eagle Scout himself.

Through it all you were focused and enthusiastic. You made me proud.

Pretty soon we’ll have your Court of Honor, where I’ll get to thank the village that made this happen (and it was a large village), and I’ll get to brag a bit more about you. I just want you to know I’m proud of you, but I was proud of you long before this. You have met every challenge in your life with an “I can do it” attitude that never fails to amaze me. You are a kind, compassionate diligent scout and teen, and I know you will go on to do great things in scouting and beyond in your life.

I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

So proud of you Zach, and I love you so much!

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