Friday, May 29, 2020

What is the influence of the Boy Scouts of America?

Today's author interview is very refreshing and it is very refreshing to read something with a positive journey and outcome.  Arjun and Arun Moorthy, bothers and the authors of "Two Brothers' Scouting Journey: An Insider Perspective. I must say, I genuinely have enjoyed learning about their book and them as positive role models in our community. Take a look at the book and meet Arjun and Arun.



Two brothers joined the Boy Scouts of America when they were just kids. Since then, they’ve had years of harrowing experiences, thrilling adventures, and deep connections to a brotherhood that will last a lifetime. They came together to share these stories to inspire new generations of Scouts to take up the quest. This book might be for you if:

- You love exciting tales about raging rivers, rappelling from unimaginable heights, and sharp-toothed creatures around every bend;

- You are curious about how brotherhood, community, and friendship can play a role in your life;

- You want to understand more about the life lessons the BSA can teach you, like how to be prepared for anything, why it’s good to get uncomfortable, and how overcoming one obstacle can prepare you for another;

- You want to understand how leadership challenges, daring journeys, and acts of service can combine to make you a stronger, more confident, more balanced individual.

Tell readers a little about yourselves, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

Arjun was born in 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona, where he has spent most of his life. He went to Sonoran Sky Elementary School and then transferred to BASIS Scottsdale when he was in 5th grade, where he now participates in Varsity Track and Tennis. He started with the Boy Scouts of America at the age of 10, and while he was not initially a nature lover, he has grown to love the great outdoors and all the adventures they hold. This is primarily due to the brotherhood he found in the Boy Scouts and all the experiences they created together.

Arun was born in 2005 in California, although he’s done most of his growing up in Phoenix. He also transferred to BASIS Scottsdale in the 5th grade and now participates in Varsity Basketball and Varsity Tennis. Arun joined the Boy Scouts when he was 11 and soon came to love the friendships he formed, the camping trips, and the opportunities to mentor younger scouts.

Both Arjun and Arun are now Eagle Scouts and major contributors to their community both through the BSA and through various nonprofits.

What inspired both of you to author this book?

We decided to author this book because, as we looked back on our experiences over the years, we realized that they were moments that define who we are now as men. The BSA gave us so much--from the leadership skills we need to succeed in life, to the strength and confidence to know we can face any obstacle. We wanted to share those experiences and create a resource that shows how relevant, engaging, and significant scouting is in the modern world.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

We wanted the cover to represent our journey over the years to becoming Eagle Scouts. Our uniforms and our badges show how we transformed as men because the badges were earned by learning skills that made us stronger, more intelligent, and more thoughtful people. The flag in the background represents how we have also become more active and engaged citizens in our community.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

One person who has changed our lives is our Scoutmaster, Rick Williamson. His guidance, perseverance, and high standards changed us from boys who were continually seeking help into independent, outgoing young men. He is referenced several times in the book, and always as a stern but kind guide who gives excellent advice and forces you to believe in yourself just as much as he believes in you.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

As first-time authors, we struggled with an organizational style that would allow both of our voices to be heard while following a common theme. We considered different writing strategies, including writing together in one voice or working entirely separately. Ultimately, a single thread emerged--one we could both grasp on to and use to tie all of our experiences together. Our individual stories are now organized by the life lesson each saga taught us. This structure allowed us to keep our own voices while providing a flow that could weave each piece into the whole.

Tell your readers about your book.

Two Brothers’ Scouting Journey is a series of short stories detailing the twists, turns, dangers, and adventures of our journey through the Boy Scouts. We write about the vital lessons we learned and the vibrant characters we met along the way. We wanted the book to show how critically important the BSA’s lessons are, even in our modern, technologically driven world. The BSA as an organization has also been experiencing some turmoil, but partly as a thank you for all they have done for us; we wanted to show the positive side of the Scouts as well. 

Who is your target audience, and why?

This book is written for kids and parents who are interested in learning more about the Boy Scouts or for those who are already participating and want to read more. The story is written from our perspective and shows the fun, excitement, and adventure of a scouting journey.

This book, ideally, would be ready by every child to learn life lessons but learned as a story.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read it, what would it be?

Two Brothers’ Scouting Journey gives a rare look into the inner workings of a Boy Scout troop from the perspective of two scouts who worked their way up from their early beginnings as Cub Scouts to their final promotions to Eagle Scouts. The action and adventure are riveting, but the backstory of a minority family who found their place in a predominantly white, Christian organization is a subplot that shouldn’t be missed. This book is honest, enlightening, and offers a timely perspective on a 100-year-old organization.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

The greatest success of both our lives was earning the Eagle Scout badge. The path to get there was long and required a level of commitment, time management, and community engagement that we had never before experienced. We are sure that the skills we learned and the qualities we came to embody will follow us our entire lives.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Few books cover the Boy Scouts from a first-hand perspective, and non-White, non-Christian authors write even fewer. Coming from an Indian family, we were able to look at the organization first as outsiders, and later as devoted members. This approach shines a light on the opportunities for other non-traditional scouts to join the ranks.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

We both love to exercise when we have writer’s block. It allows us to do something that we love to do while clearing our heads. Then, when we go back to writing, we are thinking differently and more clearly.

What one piece of advice do you have for authors your age?

One piece of advice that we have for teen authors is not to overthink your writing. You can get weighed down by trying to write like the older, adult writers you see on the shelves, but if you just write what you feel and what you know, then the right readers will find you. For this book, we tried not to overthink each story, and instead just wrote what we remembered.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

This book is a fun, easy read that will show you the grand adventures you can have in the Boy Scouts. We wrote it because we love scouting, and we’re sure that by the time you’re done reading this book, you’ll want to join as well.