WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The Washington County Fairgrounds Camporee is a chance for Boy Scouts to share stories and compare merit badges.
But for Eagle Scout Aaron Fajerski, earning 32 merit badges is more remarkable than it is for most. He was born with cerebral palsy.
“I like to be an inspiration to other kids with disabilities,” Aaron says. “If I can do it, then other people can do it.”
Now 18, he is a youth advisor, preparing for his freshman year at Wheeling Jesuit University. Scoutmaster Jerry Piatt is proud of the progress he has made.
“We just have a good time,” Piatt says. “He’s like one of my kids. Jerry’s kids!”
Mark Fajerski has been with his son every step of the way.
“My dad’s been a real inspiration for me,” Aaron says. “He’s been helping me through a lot. So I owe it all to him”
“He’s relentless until that badge is finished and the blue card is signed,” says his father.
To be sure, there were moments of frustration, merit badges for which he could not complete the requirements. But instead of lamenting the badges he couldn’t earn, he redoubled his efforts on those he could.
But we were surprised to hear which badge was his favorite.
“Probably hiking, because I’m physically active,” says the Eagle Scout. “And a lot of time, my dad and I go to a lot of parks and stuff. So that’s like one of my favorite pastimes.”
For Aaron Fajerski, scouting is a template for life.
“The scout law, a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly – all those things,” Aaron says. “I guess I’ve learned to apply all that to my life, live that in and out of scouting. I guess that’s what it means to me.”
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