Boy Scout finds bag containing $4,500 in cash, does what Boy Scouts do

cvs-cashWhat would you if you found a bag with $4,500 inside?

Caribbean vacation, maybe? Shopping spree at Best Buy?

For 15-year-old Boy Scout James Villeneuve from Latham, N.Y., there was never any question about the answer.

As reported by WNYT-TV, James spotted a money bag while strolling with his family through a park in Albany, N.Y.

Inside was four-and-a-half grand in American money. That’s enough to buy a decade’s worth of videogames, movie tickets, comic books or anything else a typical teenage boy might spend his money on.

But James is no typical teen.

It turns out the bag belonged to a CVS nearby; the cash was on its way to the local bank.

James, who learned to be trustworthy as a Boy Scout, returned the money right away. The CVS manager met him outside — “sweating profusely,” James said — and thanked him for returning the cash.

The manager gave James a $20 gift card as a thanks, and CVS’ national public relations director told WNYT that the company plans to do even more for James.

“Our local team is in the process of trying to contact the boy,” CVS Public Relations Director Mike DeAngelis said. “We want to appropriately recognize him and his honesty, and express our gratitude by rewarding him with more.”

But the story gets better. 

Find My iPhone

Thirty minutes before finding and returning the money bag, James found an abandoned iPhone in the park.

He tracked down that owner, too, and the iPhone owner offered James $100 as a reward. James refused.

“That’s what a Boy Scout does,” James told the TV station. “We do favors and if we find something [we return it] without a reward.”

James, you rock.


Photo from Flickr:  Some rights reserved by 401(K) 2013

14 thoughts on “Boy Scout finds bag containing $4,500 in cash, does what Boy Scouts do

  1. James rocks indeed. Multiply his “good turns” by the thousands of others which don’t get any PR (should they?? *winking*) and you have the reason why many parents, despite what their peers and friends say, place their sons (and daughters!) in programs belonging to the Boy Scouts of America.

    And why thousands of volunteers spend their time coaching and advising those youth members as to qualities like being trustworthy.

    He and those many other Scouts and Venturers rock indeed!

    • It’s always good to recognize at least a few good turns. If you never hear any good things, you might wonder whether that person or organization does anything for the community. (Which you and I both know isn’t the case)

  2. It’s great that CVS wants to give him a reward. I’m betting that James turns them down also. If they really want to reward him, remember him in 2-3 years when he’s looking for a job. Integrity is a value that is really hard to glean in a job interview, and I’d bet they could use a boy who cares enough to do the right thing.

  3. I seem to remember a story of another Unknown Scout some years ago (1909) who refused a tip for doing a good turn because he was a Scout. That started William D. Boyce on a process that resulted in founding the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. The tradition of doing good turns goes back a long way in Scouting. He did get some recognition when he was awarded the second Silver Buffalo award in 1926 and there is a statue (of a buffalo) in Gilwell Park commemorating that good turn.

  4. An appropriate recofnition might be for CVS to offer, each year, the “James Villeneuve Campership” to a deserving boy in the council. Or, CVS could see its way to becoming a major corporate sponsor of BSA, offsetting those / beacons of tolerance/ who forced some recent changes down scoutings throat [sorry for the metaphor]

  5. It is wonderful and reaffirming finding a scout who lives the oath and law like this, upholding values that used to be the norm decades ago.

  6. James is awesome – as he said, it’s what a Scout does.
    If CVS wants to do something significant, they could offer to sponsor BSA or the local council to make sure that this program is here to continue to cultivate the strong character James epitomized for future generations.

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