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hman Cushman has built on

the foundation of his much- admired Scoutmaster’s example in many ways. In addition to earning all of Taylor’s Scouting awards, Cushman was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He also volunteered for a string of leadership positions on the way to his two-year term as national president starting in 2004. Now, Cushman is happy

to be able to reward Scouting for some of the benefits he received. The first thing he mentions on that list of ben- efits is the mature outlook Scouting helped him gain as a young member of Troop 12’s Seal Patrol. “I learned about leadership, and I learned about teamwork,” he adds. “I learned a lot about myself and the out- of-doors, and I had wonderful experiences backpacking and all those other things I did.” Today he enjoys making

it possible for other boys to learn from similar experi- ences. Especially for boys from inner-city neighborhoods


who might feel pressured to join gangs, it’s vital to provide positive alternatives like Scouting, he says. And having facilities like the Summit in West Virginia is a key element in getting out the word that those options exist. “There are a lot of people,

particularly in the major metros and inner city, who’ve

JOHN CUSHMAN and his twin brother aren’t the only Eagles in the Cushman family. His four sons all achieved the rank as well. And the paybacks their family received are something that he and his wife, Jeanine, appreciate to the fullest. “It gives them a love of nature and the

never seen the mountains or slept in a tent,” Cushman says. “They’ve never seen wild animals or had to cook their food in the wild.” Having these experiences and the growth these lessons encour- age may seem unreachable for many kids. But, Cushman says, once a boy has seen the Summit, he can go home to

Giving as Good as They Got For the Cushmans, the key theme in

outdoors and a respect for that,” Jeanine says. “And it provides them with a way to learn about nature and pass that on to their children.” Scouting also teaches kids to work together, she adds.

supporting Scouting is the obligation and opportunity to give back. Theirs is a family with an unusual commitment to Scouting. In addition to Cushman’s exceptional lead- ership example, two sons are significantly engaged as adult Scouters at the local level. Jeanine has been just as active in

Scouting as her husband and sons. She served with the San Gabriel Valley Council for a dozen years as a dedicated volunteer and board member. And in addition to

The BSA’s National President Wayne Perry and former National President Rick Cronk (above, from left) join Cushman, who’s also a former BSA national president, at the dedication of the Cushman Family Fish Camp.

tell others about how great it was. “The best people to tell that story,” Cushman reasons, “are other young people who have had the experiences.”

four Eagle Mom pins — one for each of her sons — she received the Silver Beaver award for her distinguished service at the council level. Yet, despite all the awards and recogni-

tion, John Cushman still feels indebted. Even now, he says, “Scouting has given us more than we’ve given it.”

LEARN MORE about the BSA National Foundation at


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