I’d like to ask that JJ Kent come forward now.
JJ has been a member of our crew for three years. An Eagle Scout, JJ has served the crew as treasurer and first vice president and also served as an officer of the Venturing Officers Association.
He caught the attention right away of females in our group because of his dark hair and rosy red cheeks, something that earned him a good bit of ribbing.
Of course, JJ is used to ribbing. I remember our Labor Day trip last year and it rained hard one night and JJ was in a tent with a couple other guys and before retiring for the night, he threw his beach towel on the tent to dry. Now for all of you first-year campers, here is why that is not a good idea. During the night the rains soaked the towel and turned it into a giant sponge, eventually collapsing the tent because of its weight. I learned this because we had 38 youth on that campout, a lot of them new, and I knew we would have some unprepared for the rain. And sure enough I heard a commotion in the middle of the night and one of the young men exited and I put him under one of our dining tarps to sleep dry. So the next morning JJ told me the tent had a leak. So I looked at him and said, “That wouldn’t have anything to do with leaving your beach towel on the tent did it? And he looked at me with wonder. “How did you know about that?”
JJ has had to have a good sense of humor paling around with DeAnte on trips. Putting them in a tent together is pretty much a recipe for late-night noise.
It hasn’t all been fun and games for JJ, though. He’s had to weather some serious storms in his life. And he has earned my respect for staying with this crew and staying active when it would have been easy to give up and walk away.
When it came time to name him, I knew the name would have to incorporate his laughter because JJ loves to laugh. And it’s the kind of laugh that shakes his whole body. And he is laughing often. That is a gift I hope he keeps the rest of his life. So Tyler, one of those who helped me with names, came up with an idea that I loved. You see, there is a particular animal that the Indians had long ago noticed for its laugh-like behavior. In fact, one tribe’s name for this happy creature reflected its constant sounds, which mimick laughter. So it is my honor, tonight, to award you the Nez Perce name Motsqueh, which means “Chipmunk.”