What We All Need Right Now

Note: Sorry, folks, will return on Thursday.

This past year has been an incredible challenge for us all, for some, brutally so. However, 13-year-old William Olmstead from Wilton, Connecticut chose a different challenge. CBS reporter Steve Hartman, tells this short but inspiring story.

“Olmstead, a Boy Scout, loved camping until COVID-19 came along. So, he thought, what better way to challenge himself than to pitch a tent behind his house and sleep there longer than any backyard camper ever has?

“He slept in his tent every night for a year and a day,” Hartman says.

“ ‘Stopping him from doing anything is a fool’s errand,’ his dad, Bill Olmstead, said.

“So, Olmstead’s parents went along with it. They let him give up his warm, cozy bed in exchange for howling coyotes and bitter cold, blizzards, sweltering heat — and worse. A hurricane swept through the family’s property at one point, but Olmstead still slept in his tent.

“ ‘That night we also put the tent under the deck to protect from the wind,’ Bill Olmstead said.

“Six trees fell down on their property that day. In Bill Olmstead’s defense, the bulk of the storm had passed by nightfall and his son is a hurricane in his own right.

“ ‘If I start something, I have to finish it. And if I don’t finish it, I would be so upset,’ the teenager said.

“Parents often push their kids, but to achieve success the prod has to come from within.

“Olmstead was determined to sleep outside a full year — and this week he made it. His next goal is to end world hunger. He doesn’t know how yet, but you can bet he’s sleeping on it tonight.”

In the midst of a deadly virus, division, anger, gun and racial violence, Will Olmstead challenged himself and succeeded despite cold, heat, even a hurricane. In doing so, he not only lived up to the the Boy Scout Oath – “…to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight” – but inspire us to meet the challenges we face with moral strength and a positive attitude.