♪♫ ♥ ♫♪ ♪♫Happy Birthday To You ♪♫ ♥ ♫♪ ♪♫ ♥ ♫♪ ♫♪Happy Birthday To You ♪♫•♥•♫♪ ♪♫♥♪♫♥Happy Birthday Dear Tommy♪♫♥•♪♫ ♥ ♫♪ •♫♪Happy Birthday to YOU!♪♫ ♥ ♫♪ ♥ ♥

Tommy Botell May 11, 2000
May 11,  2000

Tommy Botell May 11, 2001

You are not forgotten, My Loved One
Nor will you ever be.
As long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.
We miss you now, our hearts are sore,
As time goes by we’ll miss you more.
Your loving smile,
Your gentle face,
No one can fill your vacant place.


2002                       2003                        2004



2005                         2006                        2007


2008                         2009                        2009

Go ahead and mention my child,
the one that died, you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further,
the depth of my pain doesn’t show.
Don’t worry about making me cry,
I’m already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing,
the tears that I try to hide.
I’m hurt when you just keep silent,
pretending he didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child,
knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I am doing,
I say “pretty good” or “fine”.
But healing is something ongoing,
I feel it will take a lifetime.


The Day I Can’t Forget By Brittany Botell

736                  In the morning, my dad tried to wake me up.  He could not get me up, so he pretended to eat all of the doughnuts.  That got me up!  We drove toward Mt. Lassen.  We stopped at a store and got a map.  My mom, dad, and Katrina got coffee while my brother and I got Dibs ice cream.  We drove the rest of the way.  During the drive, Dad asked for a dib, we already ate them all!  We were close to Mt Lassen when Mom spotted a heart on the mountain made of snow.  It was cool!  At the bottom of Mt. Lassen, my brother and I played in the snow and Mom took pictures of us.  Katrina was holding Bear in her purse.


             There was a dark cloud above us and we could hear thunder.  Mom was a bit worried but said that we would not go back unless it starts raining.  Higher up the mountain we could see beautiful lakes and mountains.  We had a snack. We had fiber one bars, and fruit snacks that taste like rubber to Mom, Dad, and Katrina.  Tommy kept calling them rubbers. Mom took more pictures of Bear, Dad, Tommy, Katrina, and me.  Two other families went up with us, one had a baby and the other family had a girl who really liked Bear.  We saw a person that was skiing down the hill on a strip of snow.  He wanted to get to know Bear because Bear has a Facebook.


            We went up a bit further. At about 0.8 miles from the top, there was a rock wall.  Katrina was sitting on the wall. Tommy was walking with me. He ran ahead to sit next to her.  I went up the path to sit on wall with them.  When I tried to sit on the wall, it started to tip.  I was flung backwards. Katrina got flung forward. Tommy got his foot caught by the rock and got smashed, at least that is what I think.  All I saw was the rock rolling down the hill until it was out of sight.  Then I looked down and Tommy and Kat were on the trail below. Kat was bleeding so much it was pouring out of her head. I could barely see the outline of her face, dad was yelling at the top of his lungs screaming like I never heard him before.  Tommy was lying there not moving.  I ran down there crying.  So many people were around Kat that I decided to sit by Tommy because he was hurt too though you could not see any blood.  When Tommy started going down the hill dad held him by his pants. That is when he saw the cut on Tommy’s leg. It went ¾ around and we saw right to the bone, but the weird thing is that it was not bleeding.


           Then a nice woman walked me down.  When I got down the park rangers started questioning me. They were trying to make it look like it was our fault. They were asking if we were pushing the wall, if we were jumping on the wall and if we were trying to make it fall.  It made me mad. We are not bad kids. We like nature. After that, someone made me a really good peanut butter sandwich.  I made a friend down at the bottom of the mountain, but all I could think of was mom coming down and saying, “Brittany, your brother and sister are dead.” It started raining and I got really worried about my family. Then I saw the helicopters come to get them.  When my mom finally came down the first thing she said was “Brittany, Tommy did not make it.”  We cried for a long time. Then they questioned us one by one.  By the time we left, it was getting late. It was a scary drive to the hospital, because one time dad slammed on the brakes saying that it should have been him.  We had to calm him down so that we could get to the hospital.  I was not allowed to see Katrina the first and second day.  The days in the hospital blurred together. The pain and the sadness mixed, making for the worst experience that ever happened to me.  This is my side of my family’s tragedy.      755

Reeds Creek School Keeps Tommy’s Memory Alive



Feb. 5th and 6th, Reeds Creek School will be hosting the 1st annual Tommy Botell Memorial Basketball Tournament at the Bethel Assembly of God Church on Luther Street in Red Bluff California.  

This is an all Boys Tournament with teams coming from  Reeds Creek, Lassen View, Los Molinos, and Sacred Heart Schools. Custom-made trophies featuring the last picture taken of  our Tommy DSC08718will be given to the tournament winners. 8 teams will play 16 games in hopes of winning a “Big Tommy” for their school’s trophy case. Mr. Jake Hosler, Principal of Reeds Creek School, says that his goal is to, eventually, have a “Tommy Trophy” in every display case in every school in Tehama County.

Tommy played just about every sport. He wrestled for the Top Fuelers. He was a baseball player for the Red Bluff Little League. He swam for the Red Bluff Tritons. He loved playing soccer for the RBYSL. He was active in all the “in town” sports, which is why he has friends at all the schools competing for one of his trophies.  However, because of his age, he never had a chance to play a sport for his school. He was looking forward to 5th grade and the opportunity to be a part of the Reeds Creek Panther team. We have a basketball hoop in our front yard. He used to shoot hoops with his sister. He was a tall boy and was going to be a very tall young man. He would have made a great basketball player.

This basketball tournament means so much to me. In a way, I feel as though Tommy will be a part of the game. It is also so comforting to know that he will not be forgotten. He may not be here to play, but I know those boys will be playing with all their hearts…in honor of their friend, Tommy. 



“His Smile Shines” By Eric Rudnick


He is up flying and climbing where the angels soar

Above the majestic mountains peaks

His smile shines brighter now than all the falling starsDSC02496

It brightens our lives no end

His memory warms our hearts and minds

Being all boy, his pants knees showed

His triumphs plenty to be recalled

Graduating from Tiger Cub to Webelos Scout with his tartan held high

Loyal friend to those he knew

A kind and gentle soul

He always tried his best

He is up flying and climbing where the angels soar

Above the majestic mountains peaks

His smile shines brighter now than all the falling stars

To brightens our lives no end

He left us too soon before we really knew him

First Christmas in Heaven

FEB 021808_42DSC03958DSC04011

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like heaven’s stars
Reflecting in the snow.

 The sight is so spectacular
 please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS

 I hear the many Christmas songs
 that people hold so dear
but the sound of music can’t compare
with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

 I have no words to tell you
of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description

 I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS

I can’t tell you of the SPLENDOR
or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS
 WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face

I’ll ask him to lift your spirit
as I tell him of your love
 as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful
 and let your spirit sing
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
and I’m walking WITH THE KING.

Author Unknown


Camp McLoughlin

004                                                                    king todd003

To the Botell Family and Pack 154,
It is with deepest sympathy that we extend our condolences for the loss of Tommy. His spirit and enthusiasm for scouting will be sorely missed. My staff was deeply impacted by the news of your loss. We spent a moment to gather ourselves before starting our final camp session of the year. We reflected on our time spent with Tommy at the waterfront remembering his warm smile and motivation to succeed. We fondly remember his participation in our 1st annual Camp McLoughlin Regatta and the big smile he had as he received his regatta award at the Sunday night campfire. As a result, we have immortalized Tommy and his enthusiasm by renaming our annual regatta in his memory. The final session of camp this year had the campers lined up to man their canoes for the 1st Annual Tommy Botell Memorial Regatta. A buddy tag has been hung in the dining hall of Camp Mcloughlin in memory of Tommy and the regatta that will forever bear his name.                                           
King Todd and my Water Front Staff


Hug Your Kids Every Day!!

DSC03673“We’re not promised tomorrow with our kids, so take advantage of every moment you have with them, spend time with them, let them know you love them, because you might not have a tomorrow.”



Tommy & Mommy

The Spirit of the Eagle by Ben Nichols

My name is Ben Nichols, and I am a Cub Scout leader with Pack 154. More specifically, I am the Assistant Den Leader for the den that Tommy was in. On October 28th, we were fortunate enough to have the Botell family attend our Pack Meeting. At that meeting, a very unique and special award was awarded to them, in honor of Tommy. That award is the Spirit of the Eagle.

The Spirit of the Eagle Award is very unique in that it is the only posthumous award in Scouting. That is to say, it is the only award that is actually intended to be awarded after the death of a Scout. Due to the nature of the award, the requirements are very simple. In order to be eligible, a Scout must have lost his life in a tragic accident. There are people, even Scouters that have been leaders for 20 or 30 years, who have never even heard of, much less seen, a Spirit of the Eagle Award. It is an honor to know that such an award exists, and to see a ceremony for an award that is so rarely earned, but at the same time, I would prefer never to be given reason to see another being awarded.

The Spirit of the Eagle is intended to commemorate the life that a Scout led, the joys that a Scout got out of Scouting, and the effects of Scouting in his life in general. It is also Scouting’s way of showing to a Scout’s family that their son has touched the lives of Scouts and Scouters across the nation, and that he will be remembered. All of this and more has been true of Tommy.

Tommy was a good model Scout. He followed the Boy Scout Oath and Law, and the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack, in his life as well as any boy I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He has been a good friend to those he knew, and seemed to have the ability to bring out the best in the other people around him as well.

I think I speak for all of the members, leaders, and parents in the Pack that knew Tommy when I say that Tommy will be sorely missed. Tommy will never be forgotten by any of us. Although he is no longer with us, he will live on in every one of our hearts, and his memory will always serve as a reminder of what it means to be a good Scout, and of what Scouting can, and should, mean to a boy.

My hat is off to you, Tommy. You never crossed into the Boy Scouts, but you are an Eagle just the same. Fly high and free, until we meet again.


In the Wake of Tommy’s Death

In the past days, I have opened my ears enough to learn of the events that transpired in other peoples’ lives after learning of our accident. I have been so touched to learn about the power my Tommy’s life and death had on others. I received a firsthand account of the events that transpired at “Spirit West Coast”—from receiving the devastating first phone call, to the lives that were changed. I have also received a letter from a fellow Cub Scout mom telling me about her son’s personal journey with the grief. Her letter made me think of starting a comment area for people that would like to share what they felt, what they experienced, and even what they have gotten out of all that has happened. I have received permission to share her letter with you. Please feel free to share with me.

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