It was a wonderful lie that got David Weinman of Brodheadsville to come to his church, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Gilbert, on a Sunday afternoon.
And when he arrived, instead of celebrating a special birthday, he was greeted by Boy Scout Troop 98's band playing "Hail to the Chief" under the direction of Greg Graham, a troop parent and former Cubmaster.
The event was a celebration of Weinman serving as Scoutmaster for Troop 98 for 28 years. He has retired from that position which is now being filled by Steve Rhoads.
It was Rhoads who led the opening, including the Pledge of Allegiance, the Boy Scout Oath and the Boy Scout Law and gave thanks to Weinman's wife Teresa "for pulling this off."
With letters from Boy Scouts past and present, as well as personal testimonies, Weinman was roasted, toasted, lauded and applauded for the impact he has had on many young men.
Among them, 89 Eagle Scouts, many of whom were present at the celebration that honored his years of service.
Those who could not come, sent letters and notes to share a memory, to thank him, to help in paying a tribute to Scoutmaster Weinman.
"Mr. Weinman, Thank you for all you have done for Troop 98 and for us," began one such note, signed by Paula, Eric, and Evan Bond.
"Even though we might not see you often at meetings and events - we will feel your presence through the other leaders and scouts you have influenced so you'll always be near when Troop 98 gathers. No one will ever fill your shoes but we hope to follow in your footsteps," the note concluded.
"You have been a great Scoutmaster and have made Troop 98 a fun time," were the words of Zack Boulanger.
A video presentation recounted Weinman's own start in Scouting in Slatington with his father as his Scoutmaster and becoming an Eagle Scout at age 14, as well as his 28 years of being Scoutmaster. That has included summer camps, camporees, winter events, demonstrations, canoeing, hiking, riding, parades, visiting a TV station, celebrating 100 years of Scouting in 2010, napping, placing a wreath, coping with weather, such as camping out when the temperature was 2 degrees above zero.
In the invocation by Assistant Scoutmaster Doug Myerchin, he read Robert Frost's "The Road not Taken" and prayed for continued blessings on the scouting movement throughout the world.
"Give us courageous leaders who encourage, inspire and challenge our youth to live the Scout law and oath. May they plant good seeds to produce worthy leadership for future generations."
Assistant Scoutmaster Jim Nuyen offered the toast before dinner enjoyed by over 150 and Myerchin and Nuyen then presided over the "Movie Time" presentation which highlighted Weinman's many years in scouting.
Presentations and acknowledgements included Mrs. Weinman being recognized for her support of Scoutmaster Weinman. She was greeted by all Boy Scouts in a line as she was escorted by Mark Kresh.
Grand Knight Larry Decker, Knights of Columbus, began the long list of persons and entities honoring Weinman.
Chestnuthill Township Supervisor David Fleetwood brought thanks and a resolution from the municipality in recognition of Weinman's service and the various park projects Troop 98 and its members have accomplished.
Other recognitions, read by Scoutmaster Rhoads, included ones from Donna Asure, Monroe County Correctional Facility warden and state Senator Pat Browne.
Eagle Scouts from the troop were invited to come forward and give their respective name, date of becoming an Eagle and naming their Eagle Scout project.
Those projects included collecting clothing for families in need, fund-raising for blood drives, doing park projects, building shelving for the PVEN Community Service Center, revamping the Head Start offices, creating a nature trail behind the elementary school, landscaping at the Western Pocono Community Library, revamping the Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company picnic grove, and so on.
The service time for all those projects is over 9,000 volunteer hours.
The Troop itself recognized Weinman, presenting him with a blanket with the names of all those who achieved Eagle rank under him being the Scoutmaster listed on that blanket. On the list, several sets of brothers, including the two sons of the Weinmans, Christopher and Joseph.
Carol Nemecek, ASM, reminded all that the troop has done more than 30 years' worth of road clean-up, most under Weinman's tenure. She added that Weinman was a good delegator and that he was "an inspiration to countless young men and adult leaders."
Ryan Hinton, accoladed Weinman as someone who "is always active."
"He wanted us to do our best."
Darryl Frasier, who was with Troop 98 for 20 years, spoke of Weinman as someone who taught leadership by example and also remembered the late Harry Steigerwalt, who was an integral part of Troop 98 for years.
Ralph Manento, Weinman's predecessor as scoutmaster, recalled his own years of scouting service and gave his advice to the retiring scoutmaster.
Even Weinman's wife detailed how his many years of leadership came to be.
It was for those years in which Weinman exemplified "education, leadership and friendship" as well as fun times, interesting situations, and many memories for which he was roasted, toasted; lauded and applauded.
And although he will be missed as Scoutmaster, he will not be totally away from scouting as he will continue on the troop committee. And he will be available for all leaders, including Scoutmaster Rhoads, who said he would not try to fill Weinman's shoes, but fill his own. He wants to continue what Weinman has started.