But when Paul Attwater’s son received a congratulatory note from JanSport co-founder (and former Scout) Skip Yowell in 2013, something was memorably different.
The letter was handwritten. Its message included words of advice we can all take to heart.
“Travel the world and seek adventure,” Yowell wrote. “Have a passion for your chosen career. Make a difference by helping a nonprofit organization.”
Yowell died from lung cancer in October, but in his 69 years on this Earth, he lived those words to the fullest.
“His whole life was outdoors and introducing it to generations of people. That was so important to him,” his sister told The New York Times.
Today, Scouts and students alike wear JanSport backpacks on scenic trails and in school hallways. Yowell’s passion for adventure and his career was certainly evident throughout his life.
And that directive to help a nonprofit? Yowell did that, too, through speaking engagements at Scouting dinners, partnering with Philmont Scout Ranch and involvement with the Leave No Trace program.
Here’s the letter Paul sent me — along with a photo of the bobblehead Yowell included. Says Paul: “I hope you find this as memorable as I have found it.”