[Editor's note: What follows is a guest blog post written exclusively
for Cracker Barrel readers by Judge William S. Sessions. Sessions, a
Distinguished Eagle Scout, is a former United States
District Court Judge and the former director of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Now, he's leading the initiative to promote the BSA's centennial coin.]
Hello! I am Judge Bill Sessions, and I am glad for this
opportunity to introduce myself as the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of
America’s initiative to promote the Boy Scouts of America Centennial Silver
Dollar. This March, the United States Mint will mint and make available for
sale, beginning March 23, 350,000 Boy Scouts of America Centennial Silver
Dollars. Surcharges from the sale of the coins may raise up to $3.5 million for
the BSA Foundation, to help extend Scouting in difficult to serve areas. I am
grateful for the opportunity to support the BSA. Scouting has had a tremendous
and lasting impact on my own family.
I joined Scouting while my father was an Army chaplain in
the south Pacific during WWII. And though he had never been a Scout himself, my
father, Will A. Sessions, Jr., saw great value in it. Upon his return from the
war, he became a pastor at a church in Kansas City, Mo., and wrote the
first nationally distributed handbook to support Scouts in earning their God
and Country award.
My journey into the program began in Troop 136 in Kearney,
Neb. After my father’s return from the war, we moved to Kansas City, where I
became a Sea Scout. I continued on through Scouting to earn my Eagle award.
And, not long before I did, I had the experience of a lifetime at Philmont. I
saved every penny to come up with $100 for the monthlong trip, and was at
Philmont when WWII ended. It was an experience I will never forget.
My three sons were involved in Scouting as boys, and they still
find great joy in it to this day. My son Pete (Congressman Pete Sessions of
Dallas, Tex.) went on to earn his Eagle Scout Award, and later, the Distinguished
Eagle Scout Award. It was in Scouting that my children discovered their love for
camping and the outdoors. My wife and I had always encouraged our children to attempt
to achieve goals they thought they could not, and Scouting reinforced that idea
of challenging yourself. I saw my sons grow and change into ambitious young men
who weren’t afraid to take action.
Scouting continues to bring me immense pride as I watch my
grandchildren participate in the program. Once again, I have the opportunity to
watch as our young family members develop the drive to learn and accomplish on
their own. I am reminded that you never know what will capture a young person’s
imagination, nor what they’ll do with the tools you help them acquire. What we
give through Scouting is an education, in the truest sense, and it’s the
greatest gift we can give our children.
The Boy Scouts of America Centennial Silver Dollar will be
available beginning March 23, 2010 at noon (ET). You may place your order
through the United States Mint or by caling 1-800-USA-MINT.