It is not a secret that most children only want to fit in with their peers. There are kids who join after-school clubs or sports teams, but others prefer to spend their time around the campfire. For these boys, they consider the Boy Scouts of America their home. Logan Blythe is a Boy Scout who worked hard to earn his badges. He was on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank when the organization did something that made the community wonder if they had been wrong about the Scouts all along…
A Dedicated Boy Scout
For Logan Blythe, there was nothing better than to be a Boy Scout. At the age of 15, he had already achieved the ranks of Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, and Webelo. For the teenager, every single one of these accomplishments had been meaningful.
He Made His Parents Proud
Chad and Diane, his parents, would always tell Logan that they were proud of him. For one thing, the young man has Down Syndrome. As you can imagine, it made certain tasks more difficult for him.
It Did Wonders For Him
Despite this, he had been active in the Boy Scouts for four years already. Every single day was an exciting one for him. He joined the Scouts in order to meet new friends. At the time, the family had just relocated to Utah from Illinois, his home state.
An Inclusive Organization
Chad and Diane had been supportive of his decision to enter the Boy Scouts of America. Not only was the organization inclusive, but they also promised to help Logan even though he had a special condition. Unfortunately, not a lot of groups would offer such a thing.
Their Church Was Not Enough
Logan and his parents were all involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah. Even though they found a sense of belonging here, it was not entirely welcoming. Logan was unable to achieve many rites of passage that the church had.
He Worked Hard At It
Ever since Logan took the Scout’s oath, he was determined to climb the ladder. He wanted to reach the highest rank and earn all the badges that he could. At the time, he was succeeding at this goal of his.
Improving His Speech And Dexterity
This was not the best part of the story just yet. The Scouts provided Logan interactions that helped him improve his dexterity and speech by “leaps and bounds.” This was the biggest achievement of them all!
The Only One Left
Logan was able to earn merit badges for certain accomplishments ever since he started at the Boy Scouts. He earned them for starting fires, setting up a campsite, and tying knots. His sash held the accolades that he worked so hard to earn. Now there was only the Eagle Scout badge left!
His Dream Of Being An Eagle Scout
Eagle Scouts are considered to be the cream of the crop at the Boy Scouts. It takes a lot of effort and time before one can get there. As a matter of fact, only six percent of the scouts made it. Even though it was hard, Logan tried his hardest to earn this rank.
Accommodating His Condition
Logan has Down Syndrome, so the Boy Scouts had to slightly alter some of the requirements for the merit badge. Scoutmasters promised Chad and Diane that this was not a problem. Despite this, an issue came up after their little boy gave the Utah National Parks Council his Eagle Scout project.
They Voided His Badges
The teenager was devastated to hear that the council chose to void all of his merit badges. The reason behind this was the fact that they were modified by the scoutmasters. It meant that he would not become an Eagle Scout! There was no way the Blythe family was going to let it slide just like that.
Not True To Their Word
We can understand why the parents were enraged by this decision. They were aware that the badge requirements had to be modified for Logan. However, Chad and Diane were also promised that it was not going to impact his progress. It would look like they had been misinformed!
Clashed With Their Mission
The way they saw it, the Boy Scouts did a good job of changing its policies to let LGBTQ members join. They also felt that the sudden disapproval of their son did not align with the mission of the Boy Scouts.
A Legal Battle
Let us see what the Blythes did about it. They ended up filing a case against the Boy Scouts of America Foundation, the Utah National Parks Council, the National Boy Scouts of America Board, and the people who decided to void all the badges that Logan earned over the years.
Not For Financial Gain
It is interesting to hear that the Blythes had not been asking for any financial reparation. As a matter of fact, the lawsuit only indicated a dollar in reparations. This more than just about the money for them. They also wanted to shine the spotlight on the unfair treatment that Logan received!
He No Longer Wanted It
The story even made headlines, but the case was dropped eventually. After the attorneys of the family talked to the Boy Scout council, they decided to honor the merit badges. However, Logan had changed his mind already.
His New Dream
As you can imagine, the situation had been a huge headache that left a bad taste in his mouth. While the organization eventually honored his merit badges, Logan no longer wanted to don his Boy Scouts uniform. You see, he had already set his eyes on a different goal.
Joining The Special Olympics
He was now looking at the Special Olympics. Now that he was done with the Boy Scouts, he was able to accomplish his goal. He bagged a silver basketball medal! On top of that, he formed great bonds with his fellow athletes. There was no doubt that his medals were not going to be stripped away from him.
He Reached His Dreams
It was not easy for Logan to deal with the whole Boy Scouts situation. Despite this, we are glad that he found solace in the Special Olympics. He did not let his disability stop him from reaching his dreams! Up next, let us talk about another incredible and inspiring young man…
Meet John Cronin
John Cronin was a student at Huntington High School and Wilson Tech. He had been taking up retail and customer service studies when he had to make a decision. It was one that concerned his future.
What His Future Holds
What did this young man plan to do once he graduated? He did not feel attracted by the traditional job opportunities out there. This was the reason he talked to his father about something he had in mind.
Going Into Business Together
“I want to go into business with you,” he told his dad. Mark worked as an entrepreneur. After hearing that his son wanted to do the same thing, the older man felt eager to help his son in any way he could.
Thinking Of What To Do
The next challenge that they needed to face was about choosing the type of business. John wanted to open a store that was “fun and creative.” Mark then asked his son to come up with something that would fit the bill. This was how John came up with a breathtaking idea.
There Was One Problem
John took inspiration from a movie called Chef. He wanted to open his very own food truck! However, there was a huge setback in the way. In a humorous tone, John explained, “We can’t cook.”
A New Idea
Mark was beginning to feel a little hopeless about the business. It was a good thing that John came up with something else! He told his father about his idea to sell fun socks. Not only that, but he also had a name for the store and even sketched out some designs for the website.
It Was His Thing
“I wore crazy socks my entire life. They are fun, colorful, and creative. They let me be me,” John shared. Meanwhile, Mark explained, “…that was his thing. We would drive around looking for them. It seemed as if John loved fun socks so much, others would too.”
Going Through The Motions
This marked the beginning of John’s Crazy Socks, their business. Mark and John did their best to find vendors. They also opened bank accounts and then went to the State of New York to apply for licenses.
Launching A Facebook Page
Of course, they created a Facebook page and uploaded several videos of John discussing the socks. This was how they coined their “socks, socks, and more socks” catchphrase. It did not take long before they were getting ready to open the store and see if their efforts would pay off.
The Website Crashed
However, the launch day did not start on a great note. At 10 o’clock in the morning, the website went down. It only went back up after five hours. At last, they were finally ready to get everything started at 3 PM.
The Support Of The Community
They were surprised to see orders flood in. The members of the local community heard about this business venture and watched their Facebook videos! As you can imagine, the duo was thrilled about this. They wanted to ensure that these first orders were special.
On A Mission
One of the core values of the business was to spread happiness. This was the reason they hand-delivered the orders and even included a thank you note and candy with the packages. John and Mark loaded the orders into the car and started to do the door-to-door delivery around the area.
The Business Was Doing Well
On top of that, word spread like crazy about John’s Crazy Socks. It is impressive to hear that the first month drew in north of $13,000 in terms of revenue. They managed to sell more than 452 pairs!
Making A Lot Of Money
The business was picking up. By the time they closed their 10,000th sale, Mark and John already earned $353,000. Much to their delight, the socks were selling very well. They knew that they had to expand.
Expanding The Business
As a matter of fact, they got a bigger office and employed more people to help them out. Because John has a disability, they felt passionate about offering work opportunities to people who were like him.
It Changed Lives
On top of that, they pledged 5% of the revenue to the Special Olympics. John is now training to join the snowshoeing category. The mission is not only about socks, but it is also about changing lives!
Not Only Sales
Mark and John are both very dedicated to their business. They have invited work and school groups to their office for tours. They also travel to speak at conferences and advocate for reforms in laws that deal with disabled people in the workforce.
Off To A Great Start
In a span of just one year, John’s Crazy Socks sold more than 42,000 pairs of socks. Their revenue also hit $1.7 million! The duo has 1,500 different designs on sale and continue to make even more.
It All Paid Off
The business logo has even gotten a spotlight appearance on the NASDAQ tower. This is one of the most prominent buildings in Times Square, Manhattan. It is a good thing that their hard work has paid off!
Achieving His Dreams
We hope that you felt inspired by the success of this business. By working on John’s Crazy Socks, this young man has achieved his lifelong dream of doing something that he loves. “I have Down Syndrome [but] it never holds me back,” he said.