Podcast — 29 Minutes

Episode 8: Patrick Reid

Podcast — 29 Minutes

Episode 8: Patrick Reid

What does it take to become an Eagle Scout?

Starring Patrick Reid (@ZephyrBlaze456 on Twitter and @ZephyrBlaze#2645 on Discord). Also guesting is Ms. Debbie Reid, Patrick’s mom. We discuss setting and achieving Patrick’s goal of becoming an Eagle Scout as well as his role with the network.

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Dr. Gwynette: Hello and welcome to the Autism News Network podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette, and I am from the Medical University of South Carolina, and I direct the Autism News Network. You can follow me on Twitter @drgwynette. That’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E, and it’s the same handle for Instagram as well. I want to give a shout out to our own Bobby Kalman. You can follow him @mrbobbykalman. That’s M-R-B-O-B-B-Y-K-A-L-M-A-N. He is the composer of the wonderful music that you just heard, and he’s agreed to let us use that for our podcast. We’re very excited. I am joined today by a young man that I’ve known for a while. His name is Patrick Reid and…

Patrick Reid: Yo.

Dr. Gwynette: How are you doing, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I’m good.

Dr. Gwynette: Good. I’m doing really well. We’re glad to hear that you’re with us today. Want to give out your contact information on Twitter and Discord. You can follow Patrick @zephyrblaze456. That’s @Z-E-P-H-Y-R-B-L-A-Z-E 456. That’s on Twitter. And on Discord it’s @zephyrblaze#2645. That’s on Discord. So Patrick, you brought a special guest in here with you today. Who’s with you?

Patrick Reid: My mom.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Hi, Ms. Reid.

Debbie Reid: Hello.

Dr. Gwynette: And your first name is Debbie. So we may call you Debbie-

Debbie Reid: Yes.

Dr. Gwynette: During the show. Welcome to the podcast.

Debbie Reid: I’m glad to be here.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Debbie, you had mentioned earlier you have a history of working in radio.

Debbie Reid: Many years ago, right after I got out of college, I did work in radio for a couple of years. And I’m fascinated by the way it is done now. Doesn’t look a thing like it did then.

Dr. Gwynette: Is that right?

Patrick Reid: So this isn’t your first podcast?

Debbie Reid: We didn’t even have podcast in the late 70s.

Dr. Gwynette: So you mentioned earlier that you had a strange feeling one day because you heard yourself on the radio.

Debbie Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: What’s that like?

Debbie Reid: It is strange to hear yourself if you’re riding around in a car and a commercial comes on and it’s one that you made. It sounds a little odd. It takes some getting used to.

Patrick Reid: Oh, from the commercial we did at the radio station?

Debbie Reid: From any. That was yours. That sounded great.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah, it is strange to hear your own voice over the airwaves.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: And speaking about how radio and broadcasting has changed, everyone’s excited about podcasts and YouTube and all these things. But we visited a radio station several months ago, and they mentioned that the ratings for over the air radio, like in your car and so forth, have stayed the same since the 80s.

Debbie Reid: That’s amazing. Especially with all of the extra things, satellite radio and things that you can put on or CD’s. That’s great.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Isn’t that amazing. So here we are and we’re going to discuss a topic that’s, I think, just incredibly inspiring to the audience. Because Patrick was diagnosed with autism at a young age. How old was he when he was diagnosed?

Debbie Reid: I think when he got the autism diagnosis, he was probably nine or 10. It took us a little while because he’s on the higher end of it.

Patrick Reid: I thought I was a little younger than that.

Debbie Reid: Nine, eight, nine. We’ll go with nine.

Patrick Reid: Somewhere in that interval.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Yeah. So he was in maybe fourth or fifth grade.

Debbie Reid: Fourth.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, something like that.

Debbie Reid: Nine, he was nine or 10.

Dr. Gwynette: Give or take.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so at the time that you realized the diagnosis, mom, were you thinking about all the things that he wasn’t going to be able to do?

Debbie Reid: There were a couple of things. However, my first reaction was “Finally, now I know what we’re dealing with.” So it was a relief to know that we could go forward instead of sideways all over the place.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. So now we have a way to describe it and to tackle it.

Patrick Reid: Honestly, I didn’t even know what the heck it was at that point. Hadn’t heard of it before.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What was it like for you in elementary school, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I’d say about normal.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Did you enjoy school or did you have a tough time?

Patrick Reid: Yeah, I enjoyed it, until about fifth or sixth grade when I got bullied.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, no fun.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s a common experience, like many of our participants in the Autism News Network have endured. Do you have any advice for kids out there who are in fifth or sixth grade now who are getting bullied? What would you say to them?

Patrick Reid: Don’t let it get to you.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s always nice to be part of something where you’re accepted. We’ve worked really hard at the Autism News Network, every one of our participants, to create a community and create an environment where people feel welcome and accepted.

Patrick Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, oftentimes parents, when they hear the word autism, they start thinking that the future is in jeopardy and start thinking, what does that mean in terms of what my child can do? Flash forward from age nine or 10 to age 18, it turns out that Patrick did something pretty terrific, didn’t he?

Debbie Reid: My awesome son did do something very awesome. Set a goal, went for it, and made it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And what was that?

Debbie Reid: He became an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow.

Patrick Reid: And that’s like, well, maybe not one in a million, but …

Debbie Reid: He earned the rank of Eagle Scout two days before his 18th birthday.

Patrick Reid: Right at the last minute.

Debbie Reid: Which is the cut-off, but he earned that. Where were we?

Dr. Gwynette: He earned it. It was close. So you were sweating the deadline.

Debbie Reid: I was, but apparently he wasn’t and nor was his Scoutmaster. They were saying “He’ll do it. It’s okay. His border review is such and such a date. And I’ve got his Scoutmaster review set up. He’s fine. He’s doing great.” It was my honor to go along a lot of the trail to Eagle with him, attending many, many things. Parents are encouraged to be involved, but I might’ve been a little more involved than some to be able to be a supporting role. And as I say, it was never a burden. It was always an honor.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Patrick, did you have doubts as you approached your 18th birthday?

Patrick Reid: Yes, I did.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What did you think was going to be the hardest thing about finishing that sucker off? That’s okay.

Debbie Reid: He was a little bit nonchalant about it. It worried me a little bit. We were approaching a time deadline when he made Life Scout because there has to be six months between that and Eagle, and he had seven months in between.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay, so right there the deadline was crushed.

Debbie Reid: Once he made Life, I thought, “You’ve made it too far.” I believe his last required merit badge he earned was swimming I think.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: Which was one of the first ones he started on ironically, but he had a few things left in it to finish, and we had some awesome scout masters and assistant scout masters, one of whom met us at an indoor pool about a couple of weeks before the deadline and helped him get through. Anyway, met us at an indoor pool in order for Patrick to finish off the last few requirements for that.

Patrick Reid: That’s huge.

Debbie Reid: We had a lot of support and they all wanted Patrick to earn this rank. One of the things I might mention is there are a couple of exceptions that can be made in scouting for special needs. He didn’t take any of them. He went the regular pathway.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh wow. That’s amazing. Patrick, do you remember that day in the pool when you’re a scout master came to meet you?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And what stuff did they have you do on the swimming test?

Patrick Reid: I remember I had to bring a pair of pants in, put in the water to make a flotation device.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Gotcha. So you blow air into the leg and then tie a knot?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Gotcha. And you have to do all of that while you’re treading water, right?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Exactly. At the end of that swimming test, were you huffing and puffing?

Patrick Reid: Yes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, because your feet can’t touch the bottom. So you’re really-

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So there’s the physical aspect certainly that you had to work on. And then how about mentally? Was it mentally challenging?

Patrick Reid: A little.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Did the process make you feel like there were times you wanted to quit?

Patrick Reid: Yeah, many times.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Can you remember any of the, like one in particular where you were like, “Okay, I’m done.”?

Patrick Reid: All right. I remember one time in summer camp, I mentioned this to Mom one time at during the night, that I wanted to quit.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What was going on at that moment?

Patrick Reid: Like “This is too much.”

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And you were on a camp out?

Patrick Reid: Well, summer camp.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, summer camp.

Debbie Reid: A week long away from home.

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so was it were you homesick or was it they were making you do stuff that was really difficult?

Patrick Reid: Really difficult.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What kind of things? I have no idea what they…

Patrick Reid: Well, we mentioned that swimming was one of the first merit badges and the last to complete. I did. Well, I don’t remember if this was that week of summer camp or a different year. Oh, it was. Well, when I got into lake, I found out that I kind of touched the bottom and I was pretty scared stiff.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s weird because you think what could be down there?

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then how did you get through that anxious moment and being scared?

Patrick Reid: I held onto someone.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then you made it through.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s great. Were there any times that you had to do survival skills where you have to start a fire or you have to go a certain amount of time without food?

Patrick Reid: We did learn how to start a fire and hiking with a compass and map, that stuff.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because not everyone’s going to have a cell signal on GPS, right?

Patrick Reid: Right.

Debbie Reid: You need to learn those skills anyway. What if you can’t? Your battery dies. You’re far from a tower. You need those skills.

Patrick Reid: You won’t always have signal on your phone.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: And I learned how to use maps and… So they learned how to use maps and identify certain things when they’re hiking, kind of keeping their heads where they’ve been before and that sort of things. I guess they did. I didn’t go on every hike.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. So a very, very low percentage of people who start out in Boy Scouts make it all the way to Eagle scout.

Debbie Reid: They’re all…

Patrick Reid: It’s like a one in a million thing or not quite.

Debbie Reid: But an actual statistics I believe the highest is about 4% of everyone who enters Boy Scouts actually makes it all the way through. They all have the potential. Some are lost too. As the scout leaders will say all of the fumes, the car fumes, the perfumes, the things like that and they get distracted and they don’t stay on that goal. But the ones who really want it, if they can set a goal. Our troop, for example, has good parental support, and we try to help anyone who wants to achieve his goal to make that goal.

Dr. Gwynette: Absolutely.

Patrick Reid: With good leaders and strong parental support, they can all make it. But it varies between 2% to 4%.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And how forthcoming were you guys in terms of disclosing that Patrick has autism with the group leaders?

Debbie Reid: I disclosed it very early on because I had already learned by that time within the school system, if you didn’t disclose it, there was frustration if he walked to his own drum beat, so to speak.

Dr. Gwynette: Sure.

Debbie Reid: And that needed to be known so that when patience was required, patience could be provided.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And support because he did all the work. It’s just that he got some support.

Debbie Reid: He did. He might’ve done some of it with his own timeline, but he did everything that was required of him. I’ve known many boys as long as I’ve been involved with Boy Scouts who have taken it down to the wire within that last month. And ironically one of his friends in the troop whose border review I was on also took it to two days before his 18th birthday.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s kind of close.

Debbie Reid: It’s more strenuous probably for the moms than anyone else.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Right.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: It happens.

Dr. Gwynette: So I guess as the mom, your role was to keep everything organized a little bit and…

Debbie Reid: That, and I was always on the committee, the troop committee the whole time and all the way back in Cub Scouts too. So I’ve been involved as long as Patrick has been.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t you say Granddaddy almost made it too?

Debbie Reid: Oh, this is a great story. Patrick, I’m glad you brought that up. My dad grew up in a small town in Mississippi. They had a Boy Scout troop. It was strong for a while, but the town was small, and occasionally it would drop off, and they wouldn’t have a troop for a year or so. Then someone would come back in and pick it up and start working on it. Sometimes he wasn’t always able to go to Boy Scout camp. So he made Life Scout, but he didn’t make Eagle, and it has bothered him all his life. And I’ve heard him mention it a few times, particularly when Patrick joined. So when his grandson reached that rank, he was just as happy as he had made it himself. And he came over. It was part of the weekend celebration that part of Patrick’s court of honor. It was an awesome event for both of them. It was a great event for both of them.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s amazing. That is so amazing. So your grandfather was able to share in that triumph with you?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And have you ever thought about maybe mentoring other Scouts that are aiming for the Eagle Scout or even somebody with special needs? So you might say, “Hey, I can help you.”

Patrick Reid: Oh no, I never did think of that.

Debbie Reid: You could. You’re still on the roster as an adult leader. They always need people in to do extra things. Merit badges. I’m now the chartered organization representative for our troops.

Dr. Gwynette: So you’ve stayed involved.

Debbie Reid: I have. I have stayed involved, and Patrick is also on the roster as an adult leader. Sometimes if we have something at our church, which charters this troop, they need extra adults, sometime all the leaders can’t go to, and he’s been there to be an extra adult at times.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, I think that’s great. And maybe I’m planting a seed, but yeah, Patrick, I definitely think you’re capable of that. And part of this podcast is, and hopefully inspiring people who say, “You know what? If Patrick can do it, I can do it.”

Debbie Reid: He was a…

Dr. Gwynette: Do you agree with that, Patrick, that if you can do it, other people can do it?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So you might tell some other kid who’s like 13, 14, “Hey, don’t quit. I remember when I wanted to quit.”

Patrick Reid: Yeah. Anyone can do it.

Debbie Reid: He was a den chief.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah. I was about to mention that.

Debbie Reid: Yeah. He learned some good leadership skills there. To make Eagle, you have to hold a leadership position. And his was a den chief for one of the local packs. And I wasn’t in a lot of those meetings so I don’t know what, but I do remember him having a book of games and he would have to stop and make up a couple of games for them and lead them through that. And he did some outside things?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Were these for Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?

Debbie Reid: Yeah, these were for leadership position as a Boy Scout. And I don’t know…

Patrick Reid: And I remember we had a hut. We had to go through like 10 packs before we finally stuck with one.

Dr. Gwynette: Really? Because, yeah, it’s hard to get that commitment.

Debbie Reid: More like three.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: And it wasn’t always Patrick as well. Sometimes they met at a different time. Here’s the story. I don’t know if Patrick will let this make the edit, but it amazed me for leadership skills developing in him.

Patrick Reid: Oh no. I think I know where this is going.

Debbie Reid: Okay, well, let’s tell it and you can decide later whether we edit this part out.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: Okay. I was waiting to pick him up from one evening when he was doing his den chief thing, and there were some younger Cub Scouts on a playground while their parents had a den parent meeting about something. So he was watching them, and I was right in the vicinity but not a part of it. And they were making noise, having a lot of fun. Then some of them picked up sticks. Then the sticks became, I don’t know, light sabers or something.

Dr. Gwynette: Right. Of course.

Debbie Reid: And Patrick ironically used to be the one to whom we would say, “Patrick, please put the stick down.” Of course it had been several years since we’ve had to do that. And they were getting dangerous, and the mom’s thing was kicking in, and I was about to say something and I’m thinking, “No, Patrick’s in charge.” And all of a sudden Patrick in his very strong leadership voice went, “Hey, put the sticks down.” And they did.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow.

Debbie Reid: And that was loud enough for their parents to hear.

Dr. Gwynette: Absolutely.

Debbie Reid: Danger was voided. But I was proud of him. He actually stood up and took care of the situation.

Patrick Reid: I actually don’t remember that.

Debbie Reid: I do because I was so proud of you.

Dr. Gwynette: You blanked it out, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I guess.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because when it comes from a parent like, “Hey put the sticks down” and everybody expects that. But when it comes from an older, like a role model, they probably really paid attention. Yeah. So have you ever thought of yourself as a role model?

Patrick Reid: Not really.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Well I think it’s time you should because you’re an Eagle Scout and you have a lot of potential to impact the next generation. Yeah. How about that?

Debbie Reid: Yeah. Let’s talk about… You told me one time fishing was your favorite merit badge or one of the favorite merit badges?

Patrick Reid: One of them.

Debbie Reid: One of them. In the same lake that you didn’t want to take swimming in. But that’s okay.

Patrick Reid: Right.

Debbie Reid: Fishing on the other side of the lake.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So for a merit badge for fishing, do you have to catch a certain number of fish or what is it?

Patrick Reid: I think it was at least two.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Okay. And that can be tough depending on if they’re biting or not.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: One of them would have made a sardine proud.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t we used to have a tackle box?

Debbie Reid: Yeah. I think you and your brother-in-law have taken it fishing a couple of times. It might not be intact, but y’all have had fun with.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. What happened to that thing?

Debbie Reid: It’s probably in the garage somewhere.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So Patrick, now you’re here at the Autism News Network with us, and do you want to tell the audience a little bit about stuff that you do here at the network?

Patrick Reid: I’m mostly behind the scenes doing editing and working the camera, but sometimes I’ll show up on camera.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. You’ve done a few interviews, haven’t you?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: I think you had an interview with Ainsley, and then you also had a guest interview with a fellow Discord member, right?

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Oh my best friends online.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Galaxy eyes, right?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And do you still keep in touch with them?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s cool.

Patrick Reid: Speaking of which, we never did get that interview up, didn’t we?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, we got to get that published. That’s the thing. It’s so easy to record stuff. The tough piece is getting it edited, right.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So tell me about your editing skills. They’ve gone really from a total noob into pretty darn good editor. How did you get so good?

Patrick Reid: Oh, I had a pretty darn good teacher.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. He’s pointing me out. But yeah, I think we’re all learning it together. It’s like the blind leading the blind.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you use iMovie, right?

Patrick Reid: Right.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then at some point we’ll get you on Final Cut Pro and you can continue to grow your editing skills.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. Oh, I’ve seen what Final Cut Pro looks like. It got warped.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It can get tricky pretty fast. Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. I feel like I’ve already mastered iMovie.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And so do you feel like there’s any certain topics that we should cover at the Autism News Network a little bit more or things that you’re really into? And that’s okay if you can’t think of anything.

Patrick Reid: I can’t think of anything at the moment.

Dr. Gwynette: But for right now we’re doing mostly like firsthand accounts of what it’s like to live with autism and then also we bring in experts from the field talking about topics that are important to our audience. All right, cool. Well, what other topics? Anything else that we need to cover today?

Patrick Reid: Any ideas?

Debbie Reid: There were so many things that we could talk about in Boy Scouts that we would be here all day. I’m trying to think if there were significant things that stand out because there are things that people don’t realize how much you actually have to do to get that. You had to do an Eagle project, which where you had to lead others into actually doing the work.

Patrick Reid: And my Eagle project was making a couple of benches for our local church.

Debbie Reid: Okay.

Patrick Reid: One more we need in fact.

Debbie Reid: Yeah, we were short of picnic tables for the pavilion. So the guys made two more of them from scratch.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s not easy.

Debbie Reid: He got the plans from the men’s group at church.

Patrick Reid: And we went to Lowe’s to pick up the wood.

Debbie Reid: And yes. And he had to step back and not really work on it but lead the project. That was a challenge because there are adults helping too. So he had to lead the project.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So a lot of different levels that you have to get through. Mom, do you remember a moment like the absolute low in the Eagle Scout process where you’re like, “I think it’s over or I think he’s not going to do it.”?

Debbie Reid: Sometime in between the first attempt at the swimming merit badge and the last, we had a group of boys working on it and met at a local pool, and my hopes were up because it was a pool, not a lake. It was a Olympic size pool. And for some reason, and I don’t know if he even remembers why, but something caused him to sort of shut down that day. He didn’t have any bad reactions or anything. He just wouldn’t get in the water.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: I vaguely remember that. But I don’t remember why.

Debbie Reid: I don’t know. But something got to him to that point and I thought, “This is a ready-made setup day that you can take an advantage of. Why aren’t you?” So it worried me a great deal because swimming is one of the required merit badges. You have to get 12 of them. At that time there were 12 Eagle required. Now there’s 13 and then the rest you can pick and you can have as many more after that as you want. But swimming is one of the required ones. And I thought, “Patrick swims like a fish. He swims well. I don’t know why.” But as we said later on, he got to the day where he wanted it badly enough. He did it.

Patrick Reid: We eventually got to it. It just took a long time.

Debbie Reid: Yeah. That was one of my low points. I didn’t have too many low points. I just had to remind myself that he had his own timeline. As long as it fell within the timeline, we were fine.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Patrick, you remember that day?

Patrick Reid: Vaguely.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you must have had some drive to overcome the fears. Do you remember saying… There was a moment where you’re like, “I’m going to do this.”

Patrick Reid: At the Olympic pool or…

Dr. Gwynette: Or anytime in the process of an Eagle Scout.

Debbie Reid: Finish the thing to actually make it.

Patrick Reid: I don’t know the top of my head.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Maybe it was just before the board review, you’re like, “Okay, it’s real.”

Debbie Reid: I think it was the beginning of your senior year.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah, that was it.

Debbie Reid: I think it was right after you made Life and it was your senior year. I could tell a difference when it’s okay, you have to do this, this, and this. So much had been completed by that time. And there were a few things that… Then the only other thing you had to do twice, I believe, was the personal fitness merit badge, but I bet 90% of the boys in your troop had to start that one again. They have to do exercises for 90 days in a row and keep a chart of it.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, that’s the tough part.

Patrick Reid: That I remember.

Debbie Reid: It doesn’t always have to be calisthenics or anything. It can be go for a walk or whatever, but they have to keep that chart for 90 days.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. We took walks around the neighborhood.

Debbie Reid: You did that. You did exercises.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t Dad go on a couple of those walks or am I remiss remembering that?

Debbie Reid: What?

Patrick Reid: Didn’t Dad come on a couple of those walks?

Debbie Reid: I have no memory of that, but-

Dr. Gwynette: Really you need that support from the family to make that.

Debbie Reid: Really it was keeping up with it and he was homeschooled some of those years. I finally put him into PE and he had to do it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Well that’s great. Well, we’re glad that that Patrick had that support so that he could do it himself.

Debbie Reid: He did.

Dr. Gwynette: And congratulations on being an Eagle Scout, Patrick.

Patrick Reid: It was a long journey.

Dr. Gwynette: It sure was. We’re really proud of you.

Debbie Reid: And if anyone out there is wondering, find the right pack, find the right troop, and it can be done.

Dr. Gwynette: Yes, it can. Well, thank you guys for coming on the show today. I’ve been joined today by Patrick Reid and his mother, Debbie. You can follow Patrick @zephyrblaze456. That’s Z-E-P-H-Y-R-B-L-A-Z-E 456. That’s on Twitter and also @zephyrblaze#2645 on Discord. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynnette. Follow me on Twitter @drgwynette and on Instagram with the same handle. Again, thanks to Bobby Kalman for the wonderful music on the show, and we look forward to having you join us on another podcast. Patrick, thanks so much. Debbie, thanks for being here. Have a great day.

Dr. Gwynette: Hello and welcome to the Autism News Network podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette, and I am from the Medical University of South Carolina, and I direct the Autism News Network. You can follow me on Twitter @drgwynette. That’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E, and it’s the same handle for Instagram as well. I want to give a shout out to our own Bobby Kalman. You can follow him @mrbobbykalman. That’s M-R-B-O-B-B-Y-K-A-L-M-A-N. He is the composer of the wonderful music that you just heard, and he’s agreed to let us use that for our podcast. We’re very excited. I am joined today by a young man that I’ve known for a while. His name is Patrick Reid and…

Patrick Reid: Yo.

Dr. Gwynette: How are you doing, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I’m good.

Dr. Gwynette: Good. I’m doing really well. We’re glad to hear that you’re with us today. Want to give out your contact information on Twitter and Discord. You can follow Patrick @zephyrblaze456. That’s @Z-E-P-H-Y-R-B-L-A-Z-E 456. That’s on Twitter. And on Discord it’s @zephyrblaze#2645. That’s on Discord. So Patrick, you brought a special guest in here with you today. Who’s with you?

Patrick Reid: My mom.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Hi, Ms. Reid.

Debbie Reid: Hello.

Dr. Gwynette: And your first name is Debbie. So we may call you Debbie-

Debbie Reid: Yes.

Dr. Gwynette: During the show. Welcome to the podcast.

Debbie Reid: I’m glad to be here.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Debbie, you had mentioned earlier you have a history of working in radio.

Debbie Reid: Many years ago, right after I got out of college, I did work in radio for a couple of years. And I’m fascinated by the way it is done now. Doesn’t look a thing like it did then.

Dr. Gwynette: Is that right?

Patrick Reid: So this isn’t your first podcast?

Debbie Reid: We didn’t even have podcast in the late 70s.

Dr. Gwynette: So you mentioned earlier that you had a strange feeling one day because you heard yourself on the radio.

Debbie Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: What’s that like?

Debbie Reid: It is strange to hear yourself if you’re riding around in a car and a commercial comes on and it’s one that you made. It sounds a little odd. It takes some getting used to.

Patrick Reid: Oh, from the commercial we did at the radio station?

Debbie Reid: From any. That was yours. That sounded great.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah, it is strange to hear your own voice over the airwaves.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: And speaking about how radio and broadcasting has changed, everyone’s excited about podcasts and YouTube and all these things. But we visited a radio station several months ago, and they mentioned that the ratings for over the air radio, like in your car and so forth, have stayed the same since the 80s.

Debbie Reid: That’s amazing. Especially with all of the extra things, satellite radio and things that you can put on or CD’s. That’s great.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Isn’t that amazing. So here we are and we’re going to discuss a topic that’s, I think, just incredibly inspiring to the audience. Because Patrick was diagnosed with autism at a young age. How old was he when he was diagnosed?

Debbie Reid: I think when he got the autism diagnosis, he was probably nine or 10. It took us a little while because he’s on the higher end of it.

Patrick Reid: I thought I was a little younger than that.

Debbie Reid: Nine, eight, nine. We’ll go with nine.

Patrick Reid: Somewhere in that interval.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Yeah. So he was in maybe fourth or fifth grade.

Debbie Reid: Fourth.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, something like that.

Debbie Reid: Nine, he was nine or 10.

Dr. Gwynette: Give or take.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so at the time that you realized the diagnosis, mom, were you thinking about all the things that he wasn’t going to be able to do?

Debbie Reid: There were a couple of things. However, my first reaction was “Finally, now I know what we’re dealing with.” So it was a relief to know that we could go forward instead of sideways all over the place.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. So now we have a way to describe it and to tackle it.

Patrick Reid: Honestly, I didn’t even know what the heck it was at that point. Hadn’t heard of it before.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What was it like for you in elementary school, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I’d say about normal.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Did you enjoy school or did you have a tough time?

Patrick Reid: Yeah, I enjoyed it, until about fifth or sixth grade when I got bullied.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, no fun.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s a common experience, like many of our participants in the Autism News Network have endured. Do you have any advice for kids out there who are in fifth or sixth grade now who are getting bullied? What would you say to them?

Patrick Reid: Don’t let it get to you.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s always nice to be part of something where you’re accepted. We’ve worked really hard at the Autism News Network, every one of our participants, to create a community and create an environment where people feel welcome and accepted.

Patrick Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, oftentimes parents, when they hear the word autism, they start thinking that the future is in jeopardy and start thinking, what does that mean in terms of what my child can do? Flash forward from age nine or 10 to age 18, it turns out that Patrick did something pretty terrific, didn’t he?

Debbie Reid: My awesome son did do something very awesome. Set a goal, went for it, and made it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And what was that?

Debbie Reid: He became an Eagle Scout.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow.

Patrick Reid: And that’s like, well, maybe not one in a million, but …

Debbie Reid: He earned the rank of Eagle Scout two days before his 18th birthday.

Patrick Reid: Right at the last minute.

Debbie Reid: Which is the cut-off, but he earned that. Where were we?

Dr. Gwynette: He earned it. It was close. So you were sweating the deadline.

Debbie Reid: I was, but apparently he wasn’t and nor was his Scoutmaster. They were saying “He’ll do it. It’s okay. His border review is such and such a date. And I’ve got his Scoutmaster review set up. He’s fine. He’s doing great.” It was my honor to go along a lot of the trail to Eagle with him, attending many, many things. Parents are encouraged to be involved, but I might’ve been a little more involved than some to be able to be a supporting role. And as I say, it was never a burden. It was always an honor.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Patrick, did you have doubts as you approached your 18th birthday?

Patrick Reid: Yes, I did.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What did you think was going to be the hardest thing about finishing that sucker off? That’s okay.

Debbie Reid: He was a little bit nonchalant about it. It worried me a little bit. We were approaching a time deadline when he made Life Scout because there has to be six months between that and Eagle, and he had seven months in between.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay, so right there the deadline was crushed.

Debbie Reid: Once he made Life, I thought, “You’ve made it too far.” I believe his last required merit badge he earned was swimming I think.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: Which was one of the first ones he started on ironically, but he had a few things left in it to finish, and we had some awesome scout masters and assistant scout masters, one of whom met us at an indoor pool about a couple of weeks before the deadline and helped him get through. Anyway, met us at an indoor pool in order for Patrick to finish off the last few requirements for that.

Patrick Reid: That’s huge.

Debbie Reid: We had a lot of support and they all wanted Patrick to earn this rank. One of the things I might mention is there are a couple of exceptions that can be made in scouting for special needs. He didn’t take any of them. He went the regular pathway.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh wow. That’s amazing. Patrick, do you remember that day in the pool when you’re a scout master came to meet you?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And what stuff did they have you do on the swimming test?

Patrick Reid: I remember I had to bring a pair of pants in, put in the water to make a flotation device.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Gotcha. So you blow air into the leg and then tie a knot?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Gotcha. And you have to do all of that while you’re treading water, right?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Exactly. At the end of that swimming test, were you huffing and puffing?

Patrick Reid: Yes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, because your feet can’t touch the bottom. So you’re really-

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So there’s the physical aspect certainly that you had to work on. And then how about mentally? Was it mentally challenging?

Patrick Reid: A little.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Did the process make you feel like there were times you wanted to quit?

Patrick Reid: Yeah, many times.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Can you remember any of the, like one in particular where you were like, “Okay, I’m done.”?

Patrick Reid: All right. I remember one time in summer camp, I mentioned this to Mom one time at during the night, that I wanted to quit.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What was going on at that moment?

Patrick Reid: Like “This is too much.”

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And you were on a camp out?

Patrick Reid: Well, summer camp.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, summer camp.

Debbie Reid: A week long away from home.

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so was it were you homesick or was it they were making you do stuff that was really difficult?

Patrick Reid: Really difficult.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What kind of things? I have no idea what they…

Patrick Reid: Well, we mentioned that swimming was one of the first merit badges and the last to complete. I did. Well, I don’t remember if this was that week of summer camp or a different year. Oh, it was. Well, when I got into lake, I found out that I kind of touched the bottom and I was pretty scared stiff.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s weird because you think what could be down there?

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then how did you get through that anxious moment and being scared?

Patrick Reid: I held onto someone.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then you made it through.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s great. Were there any times that you had to do survival skills where you have to start a fire or you have to go a certain amount of time without food?

Patrick Reid: We did learn how to start a fire and hiking with a compass and map, that stuff.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because not everyone’s going to have a cell signal on GPS, right?

Patrick Reid: Right.

Debbie Reid: You need to learn those skills anyway. What if you can’t? Your battery dies. You’re far from a tower. You need those skills.

Patrick Reid: You won’t always have signal on your phone.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: And I learned how to use maps and… So they learned how to use maps and identify certain things when they’re hiking, kind of keeping their heads where they’ve been before and that sort of things. I guess they did. I didn’t go on every hike.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. So a very, very low percentage of people who start out in Boy Scouts make it all the way to Eagle scout.

Debbie Reid: They’re all…

Patrick Reid: It’s like a one in a million thing or not quite.

Debbie Reid: But an actual statistics I believe the highest is about 4% of everyone who enters Boy Scouts actually makes it all the way through. They all have the potential. Some are lost too. As the scout leaders will say all of the fumes, the car fumes, the perfumes, the things like that and they get distracted and they don’t stay on that goal. But the ones who really want it, if they can set a goal. Our troop, for example, has good parental support, and we try to help anyone who wants to achieve his goal to make that goal.

Dr. Gwynette: Absolutely.

Patrick Reid: With good leaders and strong parental support, they can all make it. But it varies between 2% to 4%.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And how forthcoming were you guys in terms of disclosing that Patrick has autism with the group leaders?

Debbie Reid: I disclosed it very early on because I had already learned by that time within the school system, if you didn’t disclose it, there was frustration if he walked to his own drum beat, so to speak.

Dr. Gwynette: Sure.

Debbie Reid: And that needed to be known so that when patience was required, patience could be provided.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And support because he did all the work. It’s just that he got some support.

Debbie Reid: He did. He might’ve done some of it with his own timeline, but he did everything that was required of him. I’ve known many boys as long as I’ve been involved with Boy Scouts who have taken it down to the wire within that last month. And ironically one of his friends in the troop whose border review I was on also took it to two days before his 18th birthday.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s kind of close.

Debbie Reid: It’s more strenuous probably for the moms than anyone else.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Right.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: It happens.

Dr. Gwynette: So I guess as the mom, your role was to keep everything organized a little bit and…

Debbie Reid: That, and I was always on the committee, the troop committee the whole time and all the way back in Cub Scouts too. So I’ve been involved as long as Patrick has been.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t you say Granddaddy almost made it too?

Debbie Reid: Oh, this is a great story. Patrick, I’m glad you brought that up. My dad grew up in a small town in Mississippi. They had a Boy Scout troop. It was strong for a while, but the town was small, and occasionally it would drop off, and they wouldn’t have a troop for a year or so. Then someone would come back in and pick it up and start working on it. Sometimes he wasn’t always able to go to Boy Scout camp. So he made Life Scout, but he didn’t make Eagle, and it has bothered him all his life. And I’ve heard him mention it a few times, particularly when Patrick joined. So when his grandson reached that rank, he was just as happy as he had made it himself. And he came over. It was part of the weekend celebration that part of Patrick’s court of honor. It was an awesome event for both of them. It was a great event for both of them.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s amazing. That is so amazing. So your grandfather was able to share in that triumph with you?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And have you ever thought about maybe mentoring other Scouts that are aiming for the Eagle Scout or even somebody with special needs? So you might say, “Hey, I can help you.”

Patrick Reid: Oh no, I never did think of that.

Debbie Reid: You could. You’re still on the roster as an adult leader. They always need people in to do extra things. Merit badges. I’m now the chartered organization representative for our troops.

Dr. Gwynette: So you’ve stayed involved.

Debbie Reid: I have. I have stayed involved, and Patrick is also on the roster as an adult leader. Sometimes if we have something at our church, which charters this troop, they need extra adults, sometime all the leaders can’t go to, and he’s been there to be an extra adult at times.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, I think that’s great. And maybe I’m planting a seed, but yeah, Patrick, I definitely think you’re capable of that. And part of this podcast is, and hopefully inspiring people who say, “You know what? If Patrick can do it, I can do it.”

Debbie Reid: He was a…

Dr. Gwynette: Do you agree with that, Patrick, that if you can do it, other people can do it?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So you might tell some other kid who’s like 13, 14, “Hey, don’t quit. I remember when I wanted to quit.”

Patrick Reid: Yeah. Anyone can do it.

Debbie Reid: He was a den chief.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah. I was about to mention that.

Debbie Reid: Yeah. He learned some good leadership skills there. To make Eagle, you have to hold a leadership position. And his was a den chief for one of the local packs. And I wasn’t in a lot of those meetings so I don’t know what, but I do remember him having a book of games and he would have to stop and make up a couple of games for them and lead them through that. And he did some outside things?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Were these for Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts?

Debbie Reid: Yeah, these were for leadership position as a Boy Scout. And I don’t know…

Patrick Reid: And I remember we had a hut. We had to go through like 10 packs before we finally stuck with one.

Dr. Gwynette: Really? Because, yeah, it’s hard to get that commitment.

Debbie Reid: More like three.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: And it wasn’t always Patrick as well. Sometimes they met at a different time. Here’s the story. I don’t know if Patrick will let this make the edit, but it amazed me for leadership skills developing in him.

Patrick Reid: Oh no. I think I know where this is going.

Debbie Reid: Okay, well, let’s tell it and you can decide later whether we edit this part out.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: Okay. I was waiting to pick him up from one evening when he was doing his den chief thing, and there were some younger Cub Scouts on a playground while their parents had a den parent meeting about something. So he was watching them, and I was right in the vicinity but not a part of it. And they were making noise, having a lot of fun. Then some of them picked up sticks. Then the sticks became, I don’t know, light sabers or something.

Dr. Gwynette: Right. Of course.

Debbie Reid: And Patrick ironically used to be the one to whom we would say, “Patrick, please put the stick down.” Of course it had been several years since we’ve had to do that. And they were getting dangerous, and the mom’s thing was kicking in, and I was about to say something and I’m thinking, “No, Patrick’s in charge.” And all of a sudden Patrick in his very strong leadership voice went, “Hey, put the sticks down.” And they did.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow.

Debbie Reid: And that was loud enough for their parents to hear.

Dr. Gwynette: Absolutely.

Debbie Reid: Danger was voided. But I was proud of him. He actually stood up and took care of the situation.

Patrick Reid: I actually don’t remember that.

Debbie Reid: I do because I was so proud of you.

Dr. Gwynette: You blanked it out, Patrick?

Patrick Reid: I guess.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because when it comes from a parent like, “Hey put the sticks down” and everybody expects that. But when it comes from an older, like a role model, they probably really paid attention. Yeah. So have you ever thought of yourself as a role model?

Patrick Reid: Not really.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Well I think it’s time you should because you’re an Eagle Scout and you have a lot of potential to impact the next generation. Yeah. How about that?

Debbie Reid: Yeah. Let’s talk about… You told me one time fishing was your favorite merit badge or one of the favorite merit badges?

Patrick Reid: One of them.

Debbie Reid: One of them. In the same lake that you didn’t want to take swimming in. But that’s okay.

Patrick Reid: Right.

Debbie Reid: Fishing on the other side of the lake.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So for a merit badge for fishing, do you have to catch a certain number of fish or what is it?

Patrick Reid: I think it was at least two.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Okay. And that can be tough depending on if they’re biting or not.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Debbie Reid: One of them would have made a sardine proud.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t we used to have a tackle box?

Debbie Reid: Yeah. I think you and your brother-in-law have taken it fishing a couple of times. It might not be intact, but y’all have had fun with.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. What happened to that thing?

Debbie Reid: It’s probably in the garage somewhere.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So Patrick, now you’re here at the Autism News Network with us, and do you want to tell the audience a little bit about stuff that you do here at the network?

Patrick Reid: I’m mostly behind the scenes doing editing and working the camera, but sometimes I’ll show up on camera.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. You’ve done a few interviews, haven’t you?

Patrick Reid: Yep.

Dr. Gwynette: I think you had an interview with Ainsley, and then you also had a guest interview with a fellow Discord member, right?

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Oh my best friends online.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Galaxy eyes, right?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And do you still keep in touch with them?

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s cool.

Patrick Reid: Speaking of which, we never did get that interview up, didn’t we?

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, we got to get that published. That’s the thing. It’s so easy to record stuff. The tough piece is getting it edited, right.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So tell me about your editing skills. They’ve gone really from a total noob into pretty darn good editor. How did you get so good?

Patrick Reid: Oh, I had a pretty darn good teacher.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. He’s pointing me out. But yeah, I think we’re all learning it together. It’s like the blind leading the blind.

Patrick Reid: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you use iMovie, right?

Patrick Reid: Right.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And then at some point we’ll get you on Final Cut Pro and you can continue to grow your editing skills.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. Oh, I’ve seen what Final Cut Pro looks like. It got warped.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It can get tricky pretty fast. Yeah.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. I feel like I’ve already mastered iMovie.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And so do you feel like there’s any certain topics that we should cover at the Autism News Network a little bit more or things that you’re really into? And that’s okay if you can’t think of anything.

Patrick Reid: I can’t think of anything at the moment.

Dr. Gwynette: But for right now we’re doing mostly like firsthand accounts of what it’s like to live with autism and then also we bring in experts from the field talking about topics that are important to our audience. All right, cool. Well, what other topics? Anything else that we need to cover today?

Patrick Reid: Any ideas?

Debbie Reid: There were so many things that we could talk about in Boy Scouts that we would be here all day. I’m trying to think if there were significant things that stand out because there are things that people don’t realize how much you actually have to do to get that. You had to do an Eagle project, which where you had to lead others into actually doing the work.

Patrick Reid: And my Eagle project was making a couple of benches for our local church.

Debbie Reid: Okay.

Patrick Reid: One more we need in fact.

Debbie Reid: Yeah, we were short of picnic tables for the pavilion. So the guys made two more of them from scratch.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s not easy.

Debbie Reid: He got the plans from the men’s group at church.

Patrick Reid: And we went to Lowe’s to pick up the wood.

Debbie Reid: And yes. And he had to step back and not really work on it but lead the project. That was a challenge because there are adults helping too. So he had to lead the project.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So a lot of different levels that you have to get through. Mom, do you remember a moment like the absolute low in the Eagle Scout process where you’re like, “I think it’s over or I think he’s not going to do it.”?

Debbie Reid: Sometime in between the first attempt at the swimming merit badge and the last, we had a group of boys working on it and met at a local pool, and my hopes were up because it was a pool, not a lake. It was a Olympic size pool. And for some reason, and I don’t know if he even remembers why, but something caused him to sort of shut down that day. He didn’t have any bad reactions or anything. He just wouldn’t get in the water.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Patrick Reid: I vaguely remember that. But I don’t remember why.

Debbie Reid: I don’t know. But something got to him to that point and I thought, “This is a ready-made setup day that you can take an advantage of. Why aren’t you?” So it worried me a great deal because swimming is one of the required merit badges. You have to get 12 of them. At that time there were 12 Eagle required. Now there’s 13 and then the rest you can pick and you can have as many more after that as you want. But swimming is one of the required ones. And I thought, “Patrick swims like a fish. He swims well. I don’t know why.” But as we said later on, he got to the day where he wanted it badly enough. He did it.

Patrick Reid: We eventually got to it. It just took a long time.

Debbie Reid: Yeah. That was one of my low points. I didn’t have too many low points. I just had to remind myself that he had his own timeline. As long as it fell within the timeline, we were fine.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And Patrick, you remember that day?

Patrick Reid: Vaguely.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you must have had some drive to overcome the fears. Do you remember saying… There was a moment where you’re like, “I’m going to do this.”

Patrick Reid: At the Olympic pool or…

Dr. Gwynette: Or anytime in the process of an Eagle Scout.

Debbie Reid: Finish the thing to actually make it.

Patrick Reid: I don’t know the top of my head.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Maybe it was just before the board review, you’re like, “Okay, it’s real.”

Debbie Reid: I think it was the beginning of your senior year.

Patrick Reid: Oh yeah, that was it.

Debbie Reid: I think it was right after you made Life and it was your senior year. I could tell a difference when it’s okay, you have to do this, this, and this. So much had been completed by that time. And there were a few things that… Then the only other thing you had to do twice, I believe, was the personal fitness merit badge, but I bet 90% of the boys in your troop had to start that one again. They have to do exercises for 90 days in a row and keep a chart of it.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, that’s the tough part.

Patrick Reid: That I remember.

Debbie Reid: It doesn’t always have to be calisthenics or anything. It can be go for a walk or whatever, but they have to keep that chart for 90 days.

Patrick Reid: Yeah. We took walks around the neighborhood.

Debbie Reid: You did that. You did exercises.

Patrick Reid: Didn’t Dad go on a couple of those walks or am I remiss remembering that?

Debbie Reid: What?

Patrick Reid: Didn’t Dad come on a couple of those walks?

Debbie Reid: I have no memory of that, but-

Dr. Gwynette: Really you need that support from the family to make that.

Debbie Reid: Really it was keeping up with it and he was homeschooled some of those years. I finally put him into PE and he had to do it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Well that’s great. Well, we’re glad that that Patrick had that support so that he could do it himself.

Debbie Reid: He did.

Dr. Gwynette: And congratulations on being an Eagle Scout, Patrick.

Patrick Reid: It was a long journey.

Dr. Gwynette: It sure was. We’re really proud of you.

Debbie Reid: And if anyone out there is wondering, find the right pack, find the right troop, and it can be done.

Dr. Gwynette: Yes, it can. Well, thank you guys for coming on the show today. I’ve been joined today by Patrick Reid and his mother, Debbie. You can follow Patrick @zephyrblaze456. That’s Z-E-P-H-Y-R-B-L-A-Z-E 456. That’s on Twitter and also @zephyrblaze#2645 on Discord. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynnette. Follow me on Twitter @drgwynette and on Instagram with the same handle. Again, thanks to Bobby Kalman for the wonderful music on the show, and we look forward to having you join us on another podcast. Patrick, thanks so much. Debbie, thanks for being here. Have a great day.

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