In Deborah Hrydziuszko’s Tiger Den in Mt. Clemens, Mich., service and respect for elders starts early.
That’s why her Tigers will create handmade, handwritten valentines to send to our longest-tenured Eagle Scouts.
This appreciation for history, especially Scouting history, started when Hrydziuszko’s den visited the Cranbrook Institute of Science for requirement 8 (“visit a planetarium, observatory, science museum, astronomy club, or college or high school astronomy teacher”) of the Tiger elective adventure Sky Is the Limit.
While there, the boys asked Hrydziuszko a question she hadn’t anticipated.
“Surprisingly, the boys asked if the astronomers that were Eagle Scouts were still alive,” she said. “Those astronomers/Eagle Scouts have become role models for my boys.”
That gave Hrydziuszko an idea: With Valentine’s Day approaching fast, why not have the Tigers make handmade valentines to send to older Eagle Scouts? Sounds to me like a heartwarming idea for a Valentine’s Day service project.
“My goal would be to have the recipient reply to the valentine and start the beginning of a pen-pal relationship,” she says.
She believes creating the valentines will teach the boys respect for their elders, penmanship, the art of writing letters, the joy of writing for pleasure and patience (after all, snail mail doesn’t travel quite as quickly as a text message).
Also, the Cub Scout would get the enjoyment of receiving mail addressed to him. Boys of this age don’t receive much mail apart from Boys’ Life magazine, so this could be quite a thrill.
Like Hrydziuszko’s idea? Give it a try in your pack or den. The real challenge is finding individuals to whom you could send the valentines. Your local Scout council may have some ideas.
Hrydziuszko’s den will send their valentines to Eagle Scouts, but your boys could send them to veterans, active-duty soldiers, teachers, nursing-home residents or anyone else who might enjoy a handwritten, handmade letter.
And finally, if you know anyone who might enjoy receiving a valentine from Hrydziuszko’s Tigers, email me. I’ll put you in touch.
A Scout is kind. This Valentine’s Day, let’s open our hearts and pick up our pens.