Paso Robles News|Wednesday, May 22, 2024
You are here: Home » Top Stories » Memorial Fund set up to honor late Paso Robles Eagle Scout
  • Follow Us!

Memorial Fund set up to honor late Paso Robles Eagle Scout 

Emmit Herrington

Emmit Herrington Memorial Fund to benefit local troops

The Emmit Herrington Memorial Fund was recently set up to provide financial assistance for families participating with Paso Robles Scouting Troops 60 and 1602 to honor local Eagle Scout Emmit Herrington, who passed away in February 2022, at 21 years old. The fund was created by his mother, Sherry Lutz Herrington, who is on the advisory committee along with Marianna Hargrave and Brenda Mendoza, who have children involved with the local troops.

“The idea for the fund was suggested to me by other troop parents and I saw it as a great way to honor Em’s passion for the great outdoors and to help families who are in need of financial assistance. Being out in nature on a camp out or backpacking trip was where Em thrived and was happiest. I hope we can give other kids this opportunity that [they] might not be able to participate [in] without some financial support. Scouting is an incredible organization that helps young people learn important life skills and gives them a place to learn and grow under the guidance of dedicated adults,” Lutz Herrington said.

Sherry Lutz Herrington with her son, Emmit Herrington.

Herrington’s first experience with the Scouts of America, then known as the Boy Scouts, was by being introduced to a meeting by family friends; after being told he must be 11 years old or have finished fifth grade in order to join, Lutz Herrington said he left in tears as he was still ten years old and currently in fifth grade. Just a few months later, he was able to join and participated in a week long camp at Rancho Alegre over summer, where Lutz Herrington said he returned home “exhausted and happy to report he hadn’t taken a shower all week. Thankfully, he’d been swimming every day.” As Lutz Herrington was an assistant scoutmaster, she and Herrington attended summer camps together for five to six years, counting it as their family vacations.

Financial challenges arose and Lutz Herrington went through a marital separation during this time; she was able to continue funding Herrington’s experiences with the troop. She said that she “stepped up to make sure Emmit had this important activity in his life. I didn’t realize it until later that it was a way for me to give him, not only a group of other adventurous outdoorsy kids to grow up with, but also an incredible group of men to give Emmit the example of what a good man looked like.” At the time, financial assistance was only through the forms of payment plans and Scout Points. The fund is designed to help scouts and their families attend activities, such as the World Scout Jamboree, that are more costly.

“I think processing grief involves trying to make sense of tragedy, and ensuring that life has meaning beyond just our tight circle of loved ones, but continues out into the community and touches others in a meaningful way – the ripple or butterfly effect in practice. Emmit’s legacy can be the building block for others to have the opportunity to experience joy and inclusion and reach their potential. He left us too soon, but we can have more than memories of him, we can help others like him make beautiful and lasting memories of their own,” said Hargrave, adding “I am involved with this fund and project because of the impact that scouting had on my son, and my admiration for the single moms that were striving so hard to make sure their boys, and now scouting includes girls, got the opportunities to interact with mentor men and women of our community…it is an honor to serve with Sherry [Lutz Herrington] and Brenda [Mendoza] on something so wholesome and nurturing.”

Mendoza’s son, Brendon Mendoza, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2021 and was mentored by Herrington during the start of his scouting. When Mendoza asked him about sharing his experience as a scout for Boys Troop 60, he said that it was “an experience I’d never forget. High adventure camps and being with friends topped it all. The most exciting adventure I experienced was going to Northern Tier…one lesson I learned during that week was how to really navigate with a map and compass…Northern Tier taught me that there’s still a lot to experience in the outdoors, more places that are available to explore and when made available you should take the opportunity and go,” with Mendoza adding that “the Emmit Herrington Memorial Fund’s main goal is exactly that, to help make scouting more affordable to make those possible experiences come true…Emmit was an amazing young man with a passion for scouting and an example to follow. Many of the young scouts would look up to him for teaching, mentoring and fun.”

Flyer for the Emmit Herrington Memorial Fund.

The Paso Robles Scouting Troops fall under the Boys Scouts of America Los Padres Council in the Cuesta District. Troop 60 is for boys and Troop 1602 is for girls aged 11 through 18. There is also Cub Scouts Pack 92, which is geared for both boys and girls from kindergarten through fifth grade.

“I have seen the Scouts BSA program influence the lives of scouts and their families in many ways. Sometimes it is just to give the kids something fun to do. Others use it as a source of enriching their children’s education through merit badges. But the biggest impact is how the program has changed the character of the child…the scouts recite the scout oath and scout law at every meeting, but it is truly fun to see those principles change the way the scout views the world…it carries over into everyday lives with their families and their friends and the life at school, influencing the world around them,” said Erin Westmoreland, Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 1602, adding that 15-year-old scout Hannah Paulsen said that “before scouts, I used to be very shy. Scouts has influenced me to be more confident and has allowed me to be more comfortable in leadership roles.”

For more information about the Emmit Herrington Memorial Fund, join the Facebook group here. For donations, visit the link here.

Share To Social Media