B - Cape Cod
and I named him Joshua, although everyone in the Council knows him as Yogi - a name given
by his Scout friends.
The fact that he lived past his first days of life is a miracle, since he
was born with a severe heart defect. We were told he could not survive without surgery,
but, with it, he would have only a 50/50 chance of living. When he was two days old, he
had successful open heart surgery. When Josh came home, we decided to treat him like a
normal boy instead of an invalid. Today, we believe this paid off.
Although small for his age, Josh made up for it with his sense of humor
and his charm. When he was old enough, he said he wanted to be a Scout like his big
brother. It was when he became a Tiger Cub that his reputation started to grow. On his
brother's Webelos campout, a Boy Scout Troop from our town camped next to us. Since
shyness is not one of Josh's virtues, he went to visit and ended up spending most of his
time with the Troop.
That Saturday night I heard someone call out, "Hey Yogi! Are you
coming to our campfire?" I wondered who they were calling. While the Webelos were
preparing supper, Josh came along with a big plate of food. He announced with a grin that
he was eating with "Those guys over there". He also invited us to attend their
campfire later that night.
At the campfire, we learned that Josh had become both a living legend and
mascot of Troop 44. These older boys had taken a liking to the little kid who asked
questions and had "volunteered" to be a judge for their cooking contest. They
pronounced him "YOGI, our official mascot" and gave him all rights and
privileges. When it was time for bed, I discovered the highlight of their cooking was the
chocolate chip cookie contest. Josh-Yogi had cookies stuffed in every pocket.
Yogi's legend has continued over the years. "Hi, Yogi" is heard
everywhere from Cub Scout functions to the National Jamboree. His family members are often
identified as Yogi's parents or Yogi's brothers.
When Yogi was scheduled to undergo a second operation, his Scout friends
took time to cheer him up. The surgeons couldn't believe that this boy, who wasn't
supposed to live, had lived so much. His tan body showed all the typical scrapes and scars
expected with active boys. This Star Scout, who had logged more camping time than a
Marine, had hiked historic trails, hiked the White Mountains, and experienced many other
adventures - including saving his younger brother from drowning. The doctors said,
"This can't be the same kid we saw 12 years ago."
The surgery was successful. He is now a Life Scout who can hardly wait to
make Eagle. His family thanks our lucky stars for Josh. We thank Scouting for Yogi.