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Boy Scout raises funds to attend Jamboree in Japan

Date: 2/20/2015

AGAWAM – Darren Lussier’s time with the Boy Scouts of America has been more than collecting badges and monthly outings. At 15, he has attended the MassJam, a jamboree for Massachusetts scouts, the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the National Youth Leadership Training [NYLT], as well as served on the NYLT’s staff and is just one step away from becoming an Eagle Scout.

Now, Lussier has got his sights set on his next adventure: the World Scout Jamboree in Japan from July 28 to Aug. 8.   

The World Scout Jamboree is a chance for 30,000 scouts from around the world to gather, explore a new country and make friends from across the globe. Scouts must apply, be accepted and raise the $5,750 necessary to go.

Despite the cost being high, Lussier said that he felt the chance to go to Japan, meet scouts from all over the world and learn about another culture would be well worth his efforts.

“I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I knew I wouldn’t get another chance like it,” he said.

Though Lussier has sold candy and Taste Books, collected and returned cans and bottles, and received donations from family, he is still about $4,000 short of his goal.

Lussier’s mother, Kate, said that through his attempts to get to the International Jamboree, she has seen her son grow and push himself.

“I think he has grown up a lot in the last year and a half as far as being able to see something he wants to achieve and go for it,” she said. “It’s hard to watch your kids grow up but it’s an awesome experience to see them reach for the goals that they want and be able to get there. Some of them are high, some of them are high, and that’s when we reach out to people and see if they can help us, but I’m proud of him.”

Lussier began with the Boy Scouts when he was 10 years old, and those five years have not only taught him basic life skills, like cooking and survival tactics, but have also shaped him into the driven teenager his is today.

“I’ve learned a lot of leadership experience and communication. I’ve learned how to talk to people,” Lussier said. “I’ve made a lot of friends through Boy Scouts, and if I were not in scouting, I would not have a lot of these friends or these experiences.”

Even before the jamboree itself, Lussier has continued to use the lessons he has learned through his troop to help reach his goal. He said that he has been using salesmanship for fundraising, as well as communication.

Lussier said that the communication part has been key and will continue to be, especially if he raises the money to make it to Japan.

“I hope to be able to meet a lot of new people and see things that not many people my age have been able to see before and try and understand what it’s like for people in other cultures and countries and try and get some experience that I can bring back and tell people about. “

For even the chance to go to the World Scout Jamboree, Lussier has put in hard work, said his father, Chris. He said that, despite his age, his focus and his sacrifice have driven him this far and will only continue to do so.

“He’s a typical 15 year old. It’s kind of scary at times because he sacrifices a lot for other people,” Chris said. “He’s senior patrol leader and he’s more worried about trying to make sure the other kids are advancing before he worries about himself, so I’m trying to push him on that but he gets this kind of tunnel vision when he sees something he wants and he gets stuck on it and goes for it.”

And Lussier will only continue to “go for it” by reaching out to the community for help reaching his goal.

If you are interested in donating to Lussier’s efforts to attend the 2015 World Scout Jamboree, you can donate through his Go Fund Me page, a crowdsourcing website that allows donors to give money online. You can visit Lussier’s page at

Checks can be made out to “Troop 82” with “World Jamboree” in the notes. Checks can be sent to 25 Highland Ave., Agawam, MA, 01001. If Lussier raises more than his fundraising goal, the money will go directly to Troop 82’s scout fund, which will help subsidize the troop’s costs for activities.

Any residents or local businesses interesting in sponsoring or donating to Lussier’s cause can contact his father, Chris, at 455-4207.