golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 17:31:54 -0500
A couple weeks ago I posted to list concerning a gang related shooting,
(The Ones We Miss). I was encouraged by Ed Darrell and Bob Taschler to
expand those ideas into a newspaper article. With Ed and Bob's help the
article has been written and was faxed to 150 daily newspapers across the
Last night Patrick McLinden and Tim Marten recieved their Eagle at a
Court of Honor. This article was read as part of the ceremony.
I would appreciate hearing if anyone sees this article published.
At age 11 he tried Scouting, but quit. When he was 19 a rival gang member
shot him 5 times and left him for dead.
DeKalb Police responded to a 911 call at 1:12 a.m. on Friday, September
20. Nineteen-year-old Lyndon Gay was found lying blood-soaked in the
doorway of his apartment. A 16-year-old member of a street gang had shot
him while robbing him of his .32 caliber handgun and nine bags of marijuana.
Eight years earlier Lyndon went camping with a local Boy Scout troop. At
11 years old he was considered a pretty decent kid. For whatever reason
Lyndon didn't stick with Scouting.
Maybe Scouting didn't seem cool enough for him or he didn't find enough
action to his liking. Maybe he hungered for the acceptance gangs can give a
kid. He never learned to repeat the Scout Oath and Law or learn the
ideals they represent. He chose another road. That road led ultimately to
gang activity and a bullet riddled journey to a hospital emergency room.
What might have been? The Boy Scout troop he didn't join is celebrating an
Eagle Court of Honor on Sunday October 20, exactly one month after Lyndon's
Two Eagle Scouts will be honored for choosing the right path, and sticking to
it. Patrick McLinden, age 18, and Timothy Marten, age 16 of DeKalb's Boy Scout
Troop 33 will be decorated with Scouting's highest rank honor, the Eagle Scout
Action? Patrick and Tim found plenty of action to their liking in
Scouting. Between the two of them they have snorkeled coral reefs in Bermuda
and the Florida Keys, explored caves in Kentucky and Alabama, backpacked
the Great Smokey mountains, bicycled across Ohio, and rafted a whitewater
river in Tennessee. Add to this some great sightseeing in Washington D.C.,
Amsterdam, and Munich.
Gang life and acceptance? Even more adventure was found with thousands of
other Scouts at a National Scout Jamboree in Virginia and a World Scout
Jamboree in the Netherlands. Scouting seeks to develop citizenship,
fitness, and character through a program rich in such adventures
Working toward their Eagle award, each Scout was required to complete a
special service project. Tim recruited a group of Scouts to help him
paint the interior of a church basement. Patrick collected discarded
bicycles, and with a group of Scouts restored them and donated them to
Lyndon, Patrick, and Timothy all grew up in the same Midwestern town. It
could have been any town. Within its borders are opportunities for great
achievement or the potential dangers of crime and violence.
What makes a kid pick one path over another? How can we as a responsible
society influence kids to choose best? A strong family stressing good
values is essential. An educational system providing equal access to a
quality learning experience is vital. But we also need a nation that
celebrates more the positive aspects of society and kids, rather than
glamorizing the gangster lifestyle through film and music.
Sometimes the deciding factor may rest in concerned adults in the
community who volunteer their time to make a difference for young people.
Scouting is one of the many excellent youth programs where dedicated
volunteers make a difference. They create a safe haven where young people
explore their potential talent and examine their own beliefs. These
volunteers give boys a chance to be their best, and boys like Tim and
We need to create a world where more young people get the hope and
encouragement to be their best. Keeping kids straight is not the problem
of one community or one group of people. It is a concern we all need to
share, and a solution we all need to take part in.
We need more young people reaching to find their highest potential and
fewer young people reaching to call 911 while they fight to keep their
life from seeping through their clothes.
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City