The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday was devastating beyond description. I speak for all of us at Scouting magazine when I express our sorrow for the lives lost and our hopes for success in rescue and recovery efforts.
All Americans feel affected by the event, but for Eagle Scouts Robert Abernethy, 17, and Zach Holland, 16, the news hit even harder.
Just last month, the two spent nine days in Tokyo and the surrounding region. They were just 250 miles south of the earthquake’s epicenter during their trip. Robert and Zach’s visit was part of the Scout Association of Japan-Boy Scouts of America Friendship Program, and their story was reported in the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record.
“I’m glad all of our crew got to return home safely and without incident, but I’m concerned about all of our friends we made over there and how they’re handling the situation,” Robert told the newspaper. “We’ve heard from select members of the Japanese Scouting contingent, but not our host families.”