By Judy Tacyn
In just shy of four years as a Boy Scout, Pasadena resident and Severna Park High School freshman Fletcher Port has quickly worked his way up the ranks and is already zeroing in on his community service project required to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Fletcher will support the United Service Organizations (USO) by building shelves at their Ft. Belvoir warehouse and creating care packages for service men and women deploying through Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) in late January. To accomplish his two-fold project, Fletcher is asking the community for financial assistance.
“The USO is very important to me because my father was in the military,” said Fletcher. “I’ve always wanted to give back to our troops and give them my thanks, so when I was thinking about what to do for my Eagle Scout project, I thought about all the organizations and military bases we live by and decided that I would pick an organization that I really supported what they stood for.”
Fletcher hopes to raise $5,000, which will fund the purchase of wood and supplies to construct shelves on for much-needed storage space at a USO warehouse on January 5. After the cost of building materials, Fletcher has an ambitious goal of creating care packages for soldiers deploying through BWI airport.
“Members of my scout troop will join me at BWI to hand out the care packages to military members as they travel from BWI to wherever they may be being deployed,” explained Fletcher. “The packages will include treats and shaving kits, which will hopefully make their flight more comfortable and leave them with a little memory of home while they are away.
“Please join me in helping complete this incredible task,” said Fletcher. “Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deserve the best we can give them. Every penny will go into this project.”
Fletcher said it took him about a month to plan the building of the shelves after determining the USO’s need, shelf sizes and materials required.
“For me, the Boys Scouts is an organization that teaches so many life skills,” said Fletcher. “As someone in my troop once told me, ‘If you can lead a group of 60-plus guys all aged 11-18, you can certainly lead people that work for you when you’re older.’ So, whether it’s leadership, CPR training or how to build different types of fires, scouting has taught me so many lifelong skills.”
Fletcher said he’s also learned important first-response skills like first aid, reacting to venomous snake bites and CPR, but there is one important safety tip he would like to share: bring your own food.
“I’ve learned that most teenagers stink at cooking in the outdoors,” said Fletcher.
Whatever comes next for the Pasadena teen, his scoutmaster, Scott Macallair, believes he will have success because he possesses an ability to lead.
“He has shown an understanding of the value of people-centric leadership, focusing on the needs of the team to accomplish the task,” Macallair said. “Fletcher does not avoid difficult decisions and embraces new challenges with the unwavering desire to accept the burden, especially when others won’t. I believe that Fletcher has great potential as a transformational leader and look forward to his continued success.”
To support Fletcher’s projects, visit his GoFundMe page. He also plans to host a Chick-fil-A spirit night soon.