Duncan McKinlay, age 14, of Eden Prairie wants to say “Thank you” at least 500 times.
And you are invited to help by dropping in and helping with the thank you’s.
The time to drop in and help is Wednesday, August 4, from 5:30 – 8 pm at the Chanhassen American Legion Banquet Hall, 290 Lake Dr. E, Chanhassen. There, McKinlay is managing the creation of hand written thank cards.
McKinlay is a member of Scout Troop 346, and the effort is part of his Eagle Scout project to thank the members of the Minnesota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) in St. Paul.
The cards and construction material, as well as food and drink, will be provided in the effort to send 500+ personalized cards thanking the Minnesota National Guard. McKinlay is managing the project and can be reached about participating in the effort at email@example.com.
What led to Duncan McKinlay’s 500 Thank You’s?
Duncan has long had an interest in the military, according to his mother Lynn McKinlay. Duncan’s grandfather was in Vietnam and would tell Duncan about his time in the military.
The Eagle Scout project came about as a result of the civil unrest in Minnesota during the summer of 2021 near the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The McKinlay’s have a family member who was deployed for Operation Safety Net (OSN) which is an organization created by Minnesota law enforcement officials to ensure safety prior to, during, and after the Derek Chauvin trial.
When the McKinlay’s met that individual for lunch in mid-April, 2021 during the deployment they learned the National Guard service members who were deployed were working 12-hour shifts and odd hours. Notably what stuck out for Duncan was was that the location of deployed service members was undisclosed for their safety.
The National Guard members met their families in a parking lot of a restaurant in order to maintain secrecy around their location. According to Lynn McKinlay, Duncan was surprised by the need for secrecy. Moreover, at the lunch they discussed that National Guard members volunteer and are paid little. It was around that time that news reports about the April 18, 2021 shooting and minor wounding in Minnesota of two members of the National Guard was happening.
Duncan’s desire to thank the National Guard members who served “grew out of that” noted Lynn McKinlay.
The Eagle Scout project addresses the Boy Scout oath describing a duty to the God of one’s choosing, country, others, and self. Specifically, the project also meets requirements for a citizenship merit badge requirement regarding citizenship in the community, nation, and world. The project also demonstrates loyalty to one’s country which is a key component of the Scouting motto.
Finally, the project meets a fundamental premise of the Eagle Scout requirements which is to demonstrate leadership.
In this case, Duncan McKinlay’s leadership is saying thank you 500 times and inviting the public to join him in doing so.