Vincent La Padula knows what can happen on the trail. You can gain a deeper appreciation for nature and your place in this universe. You can discover a determination within yourself when faced with formidable obstacles. You learn how to work and communicate better with your friends.
The private banker and father of two Scouts, Andrew and Alex, wants more Scouts to learn those life lessons at a place dear to him. That’s why he started a Philmont Scout Ranch scholarship in Andrew’s name as a Christmas gift.
La Padula and his son Andrew trekked 85 miles through Philmont last summer. La Padula, who earned the Eagle Scout rank in 1985, had been to Philmont three times before; this was Andrew’s first trip.
La Padula saw his son come to those life-changing realizations during the trek Troop 35 of Greenwich, Conn., took.
“They were changed after 13 days on the trail,” he says. “You push yourself to the limits. It’s all about teamwork.”
One activity the crew did at the end of each day involved identifying accomplishments, struggles and hopes. This exercise is often called “roses, thorns and buds.” It can help you gain perspective and process the events of the day.
“That’s a life lesson; you learn a lot of these on the trail,” he says.
Helping Scouts go on an adventure
One of the hurdles many Scouts who want to attend a high-adventure base is the cost. Unfortunately, that factor prevents youth from having life-changing outdoor experiences.
“I don’t ever want a Scout to not be able to participate in any Scouting program because of money,” La Padula says. “There’s a lot of need out there.”
His gift is an endowment and will fund two camp scholarships annually for youth in the Greenwich Council and the Greater New York Councils. It will be a way to help Scouts financially in need as well as teach philanthropy to his children.