Story of Scouts riding across the country inspires Michigan Scouter to think big

lucky13-logoHere’s more proof that in Scouting, we’re all just one big family.

Two weeks ago, I blogged about Lucky 13, the group of Scouts from Troop 845 in Chapel Hill, N.C., who are riding their bikes across the U.S. to raise money for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

When Chad Mitchem, Eagle Scout and Cubmaster of Pack 3049 in Holland, Mich., read my post and looked at the Scouts’ planned route, he noticed “that they planned on getting really close to my hometown,” Chad writes in an email to me. “I had to contact them!”

He did more than just contact them. Chad will host the group in his backyard tomorrow.

“They graciously accepted my invite, and I’m putting some cool stuff together for them,” Chad explains. “I got Klean Kanteen to send me a stainless steel pint for each of them. Our newly named Michigan Crossroads Council is giving each rider our brand new Council patch, and a local bike shop is donating time to do maintenance checks on their bikes.”

Like the Lucky 13 riders, Chad has service to others in mind. He’s hosting a gathering with a potluck dinner to raise even more money for the Lineberger Cancer Center. As of this writing, the Scouts have raised $27,060, a jump of more than $6,000 since they took off on June 10.

“It should be a really good time and a great experience for our Scouts as well,” Chad continues. “Thanks for the post that tipped it all off!”

I shouldn’t be thanked. The Lucky 13 Scouts are the reason any of this is happening. In a way, it’s like that scene in Forrest Gump where the title character runs across the country.

Though Forrest did it for “no particular reason,” both he and the Scout riders inspired others to join their journey. Forrest had runners physically accompany him, but the Lucky 13 Bike Ride has prompted strangers to virtually join their cause by donating online.

Chad has just taken it one step beyond. He took a simple blog post and ran with it, developing it into something that will make a difference for these Scout riders and the cause for which they’re riding. I’m impressed.

If you’d like to join the Lucky 13 cause by tracking their progress or donating, you can do so at their official site. As of this writing Tuesday afternoon, the riders are in southern Michigan as they make their way toward Chad’s backyard in Holland, a city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.

Best wishes to Chad, his Cub Scout pack, and the entire Lucky 13 crew. You’ve reminded us all that we’re all in this together.

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