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After jamboree, Connecticut Scouter returned to his car to find this…

jamboree-garys-windowConnecticut Scouter Gary had just finished a “wonderful week serving on the national jamboree staff” when he returned to the mall parking lot where his car had lived for the past two weeks.

But when he spotted his car, his heart sank.

Here’s how Gary described what happened in an email sent over the weekend:

The bus had dropped me off at Crossroads Mall, a short walk to my car. As I got closer to my automobile, I noticed that a plastic garbage bag was duct taped to my passenger side front window. A depressed feeling came over me.

Had someone smashed my window, and will I need to call the police? I decided to unlock my car, sit down and gather my thoughts.

Then I saw this message written on a piece of cardboard from a box lid on my passenger seat: “You left the window open so we tried to help. BSA was here.”

As I looked around, everything in my car was accounted for. And they had prevented any wet weather from entering.

This is why I have been part of this organization for 45 years. Thank you to those Scouts or Scouters who were thinking of their fellow man.

These types of stories of selfless Scouting service never cease to inspire me. It’s impossible to predict whether someone would’ve tried to steal from Gary’s car with its window open, but I can assure you the rain we got during the jamboree would’ve seriously damaged his vehicle.

And you’ll notice that the good Samaritans who protected Gary’s car from theft and the elements did so anonymously. They didn’t leave their name, simply writing “BSA was here.”

Those three words say it all, don’t they?


Photo: Some rights reserved by dno1967b (Note: The parking lot photo isn’t of Crossroads Mall and is for illustration purposes only.)

30 Comments on After jamboree, Connecticut Scouter returned to his car to find this…

  1. That’s awesome and one story i will share with my Cub Scouts. Pack 20, York,PA

  2. Because that is how we roll!! When I hear these stories of our guys in action in the real world..makes my heart soar with hope! Thanks from a mom of six scouts!

  3. Do a good turn every day… BTW when did we get palm trees in CT?

  4. I came home from Jamboree to find my car parked at Camp Hinds (bus dropoff point) to find my husband had detailed it inside and out. Clean and shiny! Not quite as astounding as having strangers do such a good deed, but feeling good just the same!

  5. A lot of us were worried about what state our cars would be found after Jamboree. We were amazed that not only did all the cars seem to be untouched – all that rain actually washed the mud off from the registration parking area! But I did see that one car and I’m happy to hear it was good news.

  6. James Lehman // August 5, 2013 at 9:40 am // Reply

    Very interesting story. But… He didn’t park in “dead storage””?? That’s news…I hadn’t heard of parking at the Crossroads Mall for the duration. The view from the D/S lot was the best at the Jambo. Mountaintop vista. Coulda seen three counties from there. Helped jump start a car before I left, too. maybe Brock will build his retirement home tup there.

    • James, once the “dead storage” lot filled, staffers were instructed to park at Crossroads Mall. That’s where our car was.

    • The mall was used for session 2 and session 3 staff.

  7. Great story! Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Great Story but not surprised, This is their way of life. I was a Cub Scout Leader for over 20 years and you just know what these boys will do. you have got to love the work the BSA does these days and in the past.

  9. Reblogged this on Leader Daze and commented:
    Here is a feel good story for a Monday afternoon. It confirms my faith in the Scouting program to know that there are Scouts out there willing to help others. The added bonus was that a Scouter was the precipitant of the good turn! As always – Be safe, be prepared, and keep Scouting!

  10. Great story, one very luck scouter. Mind you if you had of parked your car around my area for two weeks the only thing you would have come back to would be an empty parking lot, without a letter of Thankyou

  11. Doug Richard // August 5, 2013 at 11:52 am // Reply

    The Unknown Scout strikes again.

  12. We have 2 grown sons — both Eagle Scouts — this article spells out exactly why my husband and I did everything in our power to keep them active and growing with
    Scouts, even as they developed interests in other things in high school. The character values, team work, and decision-making capabilities boys learn from Scouting can’t be beat. We’re proud of them (and proud of ourselves for our persistence — it’s not easy to “push” boys forward with so many other activities to participate in and their grades to keep up as well). My husband and I were active in troops and on the district BSA Council from their days of Tiger Scouting through the last one’s Eagle Scout days ….. one of the more rewarding times of our lives.

  13. I love this! Just shows how Scouting builds character!

  14. David Rohlfing // August 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm // Reply

    I had a similar thing happen to me at the Scouts Canada Jamboree in 2007. In my case I had inadvertently left the car key in my trunk lock after getting my stuff out of it to catch a bus from parking lot to the event site. My heart sank when I realized what I had done; my car might not even be there! And when I got back to the lot after the Jamboree was over, there was a note in a ziploc bag on my car that told me where my keys were. Nothing removed from trunk or vehicle. I have no idea who the unknown person was, but this posting moved me to tell my tale.

  15. helen mcneilly // August 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm // Reply

    Well done b.s.a. Wow in scouting we trust. From a cub scout/brownie guide leader in Scotland xxx

  16. Truly inspiring! Gotta love the BSA! Kudos to the anonymous good Samaritan!

  17. LENNY JENNINGS // August 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm // Reply

    If you want to save yourself from some unexpected grief. Wear the BSA uniform to and from events. You advertise Scouting, and folks know your one of the good guys.

  18. Thank you for this great inspirational story. I would like to reblog it on my blog / website and share it with others.

  19. With all the negatives out there. This story and I know there is a million more need to be published . Truly PROUD TO BELONG !

  20. Warren Cyr // August 7, 2013 at 6:19 am // Reply

    “Do a good turn daily” has been my mantra these past 61 years in Scouting; not so much that I perform good deeds but that fellow Scouts do good deeds for me!

  21. Glad to hear all turned out well. BTW, this may sound like a silly question, but what is the difference between a scout and a scouter? I’ve always thought they were one in the same.

    • Deb, “scout” generally refers to youth, and “scouter” refers to adults.

  22. This is very nice and it illustrates the Scouting Spirit… BUT…How DID the good Samaritan scouts in the story, actually KNOW that the vehicle in question had been left in the Parking Lot for any length of time to actually need protection from the elements or whatever??? Normally any vehicle parked in a Mall Car Park will only be there for no more than an hour or so before the owner returned having finished their shopping!!
    Old Hawk…

    • Good question, but as someone who also parked in that lot I can tell you that there was a designated, separate area for jamboree parking. So in this case, the Samaritans would’ve known this was a jamboree staffer.

  23. Hi Bryan…
    Thanks for the clarification!! Makes a lot more sense now — “Scout on Scout good turn” !!
    Happy New Year to all BSA Brothers from rainy Cambridge UK !!!!

  24. I would like to say that it was a great story of unusual kindness and consideration, but among Scouts this simply isn’t unusual, :-)

  25. John A. Kingston Sr // December 31, 2013 at 7:43 pm // Reply

    Thanks for ending this year on a high note!

  26. That sounds amazing! That’s what I’ll tell those haters that say “scouts is stupid, you get nothing out of it” “scouts aren’t good people”

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