It is with much sadness that I write this post.
In many ways, young Javier is the "blog's own child". I know you have all watched him grow up, and a select few of you had the pleasure of meeting us and a very young Javi back at the Obama Inauguration, when he was a mere 7 years old.
We'll start seven years ago - in the fall of 2012, Javi was a newly-graduated Webelos, and we were making our first trip as Boy Scouts to Massachusetts' highest peak, the 3,491 foot Mount Greylock. We hiked into camp in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and made an alpine dash to the summit. This was a significant trip for me personally, not just because of Javi's presence, but because of my own medical issues
We've done many things over the years. Like many Boy Scouts, I can list off terrible weather, challenging situations, and sublime moments that I can only experience in a Boy Scout Uniform. Niagara Falls
- Acadia National Park
- years at Summer Camp
- and even mundane cooking trips
where the boys learned many useful life skills that will serve them until they become old men.
Somewhere along the way - that seven-year-old boy became a man. Javi's last year was spent as the Senior Patrol Leader, the highest youth leadership position within a Boy Scout Troop. He had the opportunity to attend a National Jamboree two years ago, and this summer he'll finish his career on the world stage at the World Jamboree
here in the United States.
It's been a hell of a ride.
This past weekend, the troop returned to the site of our first trip
; I moved mountains and leaped through flaming hoops to make sure I could go on this trip. Seven years in the rear-view mirror, this time we were all better prepared. Javi was in charge, and I do what I always do - cooking for the adult staff for the weekend. It was a great trip.
Five days after returning, Javi had his last day of school
. He's graduating from Waltham high School next weekend - National Honor Society, at least one award coming this week, and already accepted with a good scholarship to Johnson and Wales University.
Most important of all from a Scouting point of view - he chased down the last signatures he needed for his Eagle Project and is awaiting Council approval before starting the last thing he needs for that exalted rank.
So we reach the end of the road. Oh, there will be more camping, and more Scouting. I'm actually amused by something Javi asked me at the start of the season - "What will you do after I age out?" I could only smile at that. Javi went to his first meeting when he was seven months old. I'm not going anywhare.
For better or for worse, our journey is complete...but in many ways Javi's is just beginning. Who knows what the future holds next?