Boy Scout provides Flag Donation Box for upcoming Flag Drive
Pampa Boy Scout Jett Schumacher has made a flag donation box for the upcoming Flag Drive that will be hosted by VFW Post #1657 in Pampa.
Schumacher made the box as a project in hopes of becoming an Eagle Scout soon. The 15-year-old has been a boy scout since he was eight, which marks this year as his seventh year in scouting.
“I’ve got everything else done and this is all that I have left to get my Eagle Scout,” Schumacher said.
“He’s already got all of his merit badges,” his grandfather Richard Gattis said.
Schumacher says the toughest badge to earn was the citizenship badge.
“I think the most (challenging) badge I got was my citizenship badge. I’m not a big talker with other people, but I had to got talk to the Mayor, go to meetings and go view a historic landmark,” Schumacher said.
“The citizenship badges are very involved merit badges and they are a lot of work. There are three of them; citizenship of the community, citizenship of the nation and citizenship of the world,” his grandfather said.
The pair estimates that he has earned more than 30 merit badges so far and Schumacher says that he is excited to become an Eagle Scout.
“I’m ready, I want to get it done,” he said.
Scouting is considered a tradition in Schumaker’s family, and he strives to honor that tradition.
“Everybody in our family has done scouting and I’ve enjoyed it (scouting) since I started doing it,” Schumacher said.
“My mom and dad had two sons and nine grandsons. Out of those 11 boys, seven of them received their Eagle Scout,” Schumacher’s mother, Sarah Gattis said.
“My son is the youngest and final one to carry out this tradition. My mom passed away four years ago this month, and I promised her before she died that Jett would receive his Eagle Scout as well.”
“This (flag box project) is the end of a long road that I’m glad to see.”
Both Schumacher and his grandfather expressed that his mother deserved a lot of credit for the help she’s given him over his years of scouting.
“Like any Eagle Scout, his mother deserves the credit,” his grandfather said.
“Yeah, my mom has definitely helped me a lot,” Schumacher added.
Shumacher is formerly from Troop 401 here in Pampa, where his grandfather was his Scout Master for a period of time.
“We were in 401 and they cancelled scouting, so I have to find another troop,” he said.
“He’s been in scouting with all those boys for really all his life,” his grandfather said.
“So you make lifetime friends. It’s very involved and it’s an American tradition. It’s gone through a hard time lately, all kinds of accusations and everything else; it’s a tragedy. But scouting is a good program, and it helps boys grow into good men.”
The purpose of the Flag Drive is to collect worn or tattered flags to be properly retired.
The U.S. Flag Code states that “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
The new flag donation box made by Schumacher will be unveiled at the Flag Drive which will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 9 until 11 a.m. at VFW Post #1657 located at 105 S. Cuyler. It will be permanently fixed on the sidewalk in front of the building.
“It’s like a big mailbox. I had to weld the post on it and I screwed the box to the platform. Then they are going to do concrete at the VFW,” Schumacher said.
“We got a giant sticker to go around it (flag box) that is of a flag.”
Schumacher’s grandfather said it took his grandson a little over a year to make it.
Those that wish to drop off a flag are asked to remain in their vehicles when they pull up. Someone will come grab the flag from you and put in the box for you in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.
The flags will be prepared to be properly destroyed by the VFW after being collected.
“Every once in awhile, the VFW takes some of them (flags) out of the bottom of the box and fold it up. Then they have a contract with B&G where they take them to be burned,” Schumacher said.
“There’s a ceremony,” his grandfather added.
“There is a right way to do it (destroy worn/tattered flags). So people shouldn’t take their own flags and just toss them in the trash or burn them in the trash, things like that. There is a proper, honorable way to retire a flag.”
The Pampa News would like to wish Jett the best of luck in finding his next troop and looks forward to seeing him as an Eagle Scout.