The book highlights a new generation of Americans: Eagle Scouts in their 20s and 30s who are shaping our future by leading lives marked by service, perseverance, adventure, and purpose. Olympic athletes, Iraq veterans, CBS “Survivor” contestants, refugees from Sudan, and inner-city teachers – Townley captured these and other diverse stories in a round-the-world journey that became an adventure in itself.
“Spirit of Adventure shows the world how this rising generation is shaping the future in its own distinct way,” said author Alvin Townley, 33. “This book highlights young Americans who have chosen to live great adventures that have a noble purpose. In many cases, I found that Scouting has shaped their lives in dramatic ways. At home and abroad, this new generation is starting to inherit the reins of leadership and we’re being driven by a sense of purpose to make the world a better place. These stories point to a new hope and a bright future for America.”
Townley interviewed fellow Eagle Scouts who are now Navy SEALS, doctors in Afghanistan, Peace Corps volunteers in Africa, a coral reef biologist, and an NFL Super Bowl starter, among many others. To meet these young men, Townley traveled the globe, diving in Australia, surfing in Hawaii, rock climbing in Nevada, visiting students in America’s inner cities, venturing into Africa, and cruising home aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. He discovered an inspiring yet untold story of service, courage, and pure excitement that introduces America to its next generation of leaders.
NFL and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning commented, “Alvin Townley showcases the spirit of our young generation. Like so many of us, these Eagle Scouts are out there pushing limits, exploring new possibilities, and serving other people. Spirit of Adventure tells a compelling story about a new generation and America's future.”
1) Two cousins fled Sudan at age twelve and arrived in a violent Nebraska housing project. “Only three people were brave enough to come into our apartments,” one said. “The police, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and our Scoutmaster.” Scouting changed their lives forever, and now they are changing life for thousands in their native East Africa by drilling wells that provide villages with clean water.
2) Against all odds, twin brothers from a poor neighborhood became accomplished surgeons, and have since completed two dangerous and independent medical missions into Afghanistan to serve women and children. The pair was supported only by the local militiamen they hired; caves were common operating rooms. Now, local Afghans know them as doganagy, or “same face healers.” (Featured on/in: Oprah, CBS Evening News, Washington Post, Men’s Health, Ebony, and others)
3) An aspiring Scout undertook a service project to earn his Eagle Scout badge, and started the China Care Foundation, which provides medical care and adoption assistance for Chinese orphans. Now, nearly ten years later, this Harvard graduate oversees the foundation’s multi-million dollar budget and has changed the lives of thousands of children. (Featured on/in: Oprah, ABC WorldNews, The Early Show, People, Family Circle, and others)
About Scouting and Eagle Scouts
Scouting develops character and leadership in America’s youth through adventure-based programs. During 2009-2010, the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its Centennial Year. More than 112 million youth have been members since 1910, with 2 million earning the rank of Eagle Scout, including 52,000 in 2008. The 2 millionth Eagle Scout will be announced on May 22, 2009. Today, approximately 1.1 million adult volunteers help Scouting programs reach 3 million youth.
Only 4% of Scouts attain the high rank of Eagle. These young men must earn 21 challenging merit badges, advance through a series of ranks, complete a significant service project, and hold positions of leadership. Eagle Scouts comprise 12-15% of classes at our military academies, 9% of the U.S. Senate, and Townley’s research has found them in disproportionately high numbers in many positions of leadership and service.
About Alvin Townley
Alvin Townley is an Eagle Scout, graduate of Washington & Lee University, and author of the acclaimed Legacy of Honor. He has traveled thousands of miles across America and around the world to explore the legacy of Scouting and capture stories of character, purpose, and adventure. He is considered the nation’s independent expert on Scouting and Eagle Scouts.
In writing his nationally-acclaimed first book, Legacy of Honor (St. Martin’s Press, 2007), he met with such Eagle Scouts as Michael Bloomberg, Cabinet secretaries Robert Gates and Gary Locke, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Bill Gates, Sr., Tuskegee Airman Percy Sutton, and Jim Lovell of Apollo 13.
Alvin has worked on Capitol Hill, managed strategy at a global firm, lectured at universities, coached track, and worked with inner-city Scouts. He lives in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.