Suzanne Foy is a woman who knows boys. With three sons and a husband who are all very active in scouting and other activities, there's not a lot of time for sitting still. With a full time job in St. Luke's Daycare, Foy goes from changing diapers to den leader to laundry queen all in a day's work.
Suzanne was born and raised in Shropshire, England and decided to come to America on New Year's Day in 1986. She was 18 years old.
"I was ready for an adventure," said Foy as she explained how she answered an advertisement in a local England paper for a nanny position.
"In Europe it is very common for kids to take a year break in-between high school and college and travel abroad for a life experience," says Foy.
She left her family and friends in England to live with a family here in Chatham. She received room and board and use of a car for $75/week. When school was in session, Foy babysat for many families in the neighborhood to make some extra spending money.
In October of that same year, she met the man she eventually married in 1991. Marty Foy, a pharmacist by trade became the owner of the Bottle Hill Pharmacy in Madison. Since then, they retained part of the business, which is now called Bottle Hill Wine and Spirits and whose Web site is WineRx.com. The couple works together to keep the business running on the side while Suzanne and Marty continue working their full time day jobs and heavy volunteering for both the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Chatham Township.
"We always find a way to work out the schedule," she says as she tells the story of this past Saturday's activity. "As Charlie was up on stage getting a swimming award, I switched with Marty so I could meet with Pack 24 at the Lord Sterling Park for a scout hike, and Marty met us on the trail later with Charlie."
Suzanne has an open door policy for family and friends to come and visit from England, which is usually more than a week stay. Her children graciously adapt to the sleeping rearrangements.
Foy's modest and slightly shy personality come through as she admits to being more comfortable in the background of most activities, and not so much a fan of public speaking.
"Suzanne Foy is one of the best den leaders in Pack 24" is a common saying of anyone who meets her in scouting. She has been a den leader for almost 5 years for her son, Sean, and three years and counting for Charlie.
Foy's son Jimmy, who is sixteen years old, is a Life Scout, which is one level below an Eagle Scout. The attainment of the Eagle Scout Rank is the highest honor available to youth members of the Boy Scouts of America. It represents many years of dedicated effort, and the successful completion of a long process which started when he became a Boy Scout. Very few scouts make it this far—only about 2 percent—and it is a great achievement for all parties involved: the scout, his family, and his community.
Sean, 13, is a First Class Boy Scout (which is three levels below an Eagle Scout), and Charlie, 8, will advance to be a Bear Cub Scout this week. A boy must go through the ranks of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Weeblo Cub Scouts before crossing over to become a Boy Scout. Marty became an Eagle Scout when he was 14, so scouting was inevitably in their blood.
One of Foy's favorite books is a children's book entitled "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper.
'"I like this book because it is about a kid who has powers to overcome evil and save the world," she says. 20th Century Fox and Walden Media seemed to like it also because they produced a film based on the book, titled "The Seeker," in 2007.
Currently, a typical weekend for Foy may contain random gaps of time with her husband or boys on a scout camping trip. She might also go to Tae Kwon Do or swimming practice, run a cub scout pack activity and send reminder letters to den members. She also never forgets to do the laundry, clean the house, make dinner, go food shopping and feed the snake.
"I love when the kids have that fresh outdoor smell on their clothes when they come in at the end of the day, she says."
The time and effort committed to scouting works for the Foy family foundation.