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Merit badge for coolest gift ever

Jeremy Allyn

If Boy Scouts of America (BSA) awarded a merit badge for finding the ideal gift, Jeremy Allyn would top the list of recipients.

As Scoutmaster for Troop #349 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Jeremy is a mentor and role model to dozens of young boys and girls, three of which are his own children. Inherent in many of the lessons Jeremy teaches his troop are the virtues of quality craftsmanship and the importance of doing things the right way—principles Estwing has embodied for more than 100 years.

Recently, two young men—Gus Allyn, Jeremy’s son, and Seth Hartman—tied for the honor of being the 100th Eagle Scout in the history of Troop #349. And Jeremy began his quest to discover the perfect gift to mark the momentous achievement. As the BSA website says, “Discovery is at the heart of Scouting.”

Eagle scouts proudly holding their Estwing Sportsman's Axes
Eagle Scouts Gus Allyn and Seth Hartman

“That generational expertise and the forged-in-one-piece-made-in-the-USA-can’t-beat quality, that’s Estwing’s claim to fame.”

One day, while looking through a box of old, disused equipment at the Scout building, he discovered two matching Estwing Sportsman’s Axes. Not the sort of man to be put off by a little dirt and rust, Jeremy knew he’d found forgotten treasures.

“It was obvious they had been on countless camp outs and well-loved over the years. Then at some point, somebody probably thought they looked so old they weren’t useful anymore,” he said. “But I saw them and recognized that these were lifetime tools that still had a lot of life left in them.”

Jeremy’s instincts were correct—beneath the decades of built-up tarnish and grime, was the gleam of forged steal and the unmistakable grip of Estwing leather handles.

“I’m not a metallurgist myself, but I’m married to one. I understand the value of proper metallurgy and heat treating. You don’t get a lifetime tool like Estwing without doing things the right way,” he said. “That generational expertise and the forged-in-one-piece-made-in-the-USA-can’t-beat quality, that’s Estwing’s claim to fame.”

The newly minted Eagle Scouts were presented with their legacy Estwing Sportsman’s Axes at the troop’s Court of Honor ceremony.

“I could tell afterwards they were really moved by the gift,” Jeremy said. “These axes are certainly older than the boys, connecting them to prior generations of Scouts. And I know the boys will cherish them for the rest of their lives.”

Estwing Sportsman's Axe laying on top of Eagle scout shirt and sash of merit badges
Family of scouts posing at an Eagle scout ceremony
Allyn family (left to right): Barbara, Bonnie, Gus, Mamie, Jeremy