When my daughter was born, two friends gave us this rock. It was from Nova Scotia, where my husband and I grew up. They told us it was a good luck rock – that’s what people said about such rocks with a white stripe in the middle. They also gave us some adorable hand-knit mittens that looked like little lobsters.
The gift was from our friends Craig and Jean Tufts. They both had worked at National Wildlife Federation with me. Craig was the chief naturalist, Jean had worked in our education department.
A few years later, Craig got a brain tumor and passed away. All my colleagues grieved for Craig. He was such a force of positive energy in our lives, whether he was running marathons or “pishing” to birds on nature walks behind our office. I have been on hundreds of nature walks, but Craig’s nature walks had a magic – a wonder, a joy – that was like no other walk I ever took.
In his memory, we created a fund that provides scholarships for young people to attend the Family Nature Summits. The goal of the fund is to encourage young “Craigs” to continue with their studies and volunteer work helping nature.
Concert This Weekend To Support the Scholarship Fund
This Saturday starting at 2pm in Vienna, Virginia, Craig’s son Ben has organized an amazing concert of local talent at the Jammin’ Java.
Kudos to Ben for pulling together such a great line-up of talented folks! I’m looking forward to it!
Choosing the Scholarship Winner Each Year
I have volunteered on the scholarship selection committee since it was created. Each year, I am in awe of the kids who apply. Their essays are incredible – whether they are obsessed with bugs, birds, amphibians, sea life, plants or mammals. A little bit of Craig lives on in their dreams and their actions. Each of the committee members have told me that essays have brought them to tears. It’s because the kids are so great, and because we can hear Craig’s spirit in their words.
Each year, I get to meet the scholarship winners at the Summit, and they are all amazing people.
Thanks Craig and Jean for the good luck rock. It fits in my hand and reminds me of the much bigger gifts you gave and continue to give today.