To the editor:

On an ordinary night last year, 13-year-old Samuel D’Urso saved the life of his choking brother by applying the Heimlich maneuver. Sam is a Scout in Troop 135 in Manchester, N.H., who learned the Heimlich as part of earning his first aid merit badge.

Earlier this year, 18-year-old Valerie Johnston, a member of Troop 58 in Campton/Thornton, became New Hampshire’s first female Eagle Scout.

As it has for hundreds of thousands of others, Scouting has set these two exceptional young people on a path for success.

I am honored to serve as scout executive for the Daniel Webster Council. Founded in 1929, the council serves thousands of youth each year who can experience the growth and fun of true outdoor experiences at either the 3,500-acre Griswold Scout Reservation in Gilmanton, Camp Carpenter in Manchester, or in regular troop activities in our great outdoors.

Scouts also can work on well over 100 merit badges covering traditional topics such as camping and hiking to more recent ones such as entrepreneurship, robotics and sustainability.

Scouting’s timeless values as embodied in the Scout Law – to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — gave these leaders, Sam and Valerie, as well as many others, a head start in life.

Scouting sign-ups for the coming year are happening now. Learn more by visiting

Jay Garee

Scout Executive/CEO

Daniel Webster Council

Manchester, N.H.

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