Last week I was a honored to serve as a member of the BSA’s 2014 Report to the Delegation. The Report to the Nation has been presented to Congress every year since 1916, as required by our Congressional Charter. The report highlighted many of the accomplishments of the BSA over the last year. The complete report is now available online here.
The delegation spent 6 days in Washington DC presenting the report to all branches of the government. Some of our experiences and presentations are highlighted below.
On Day 1, 10 Scouts from around the country traveled to DC and began orientation where we to got to know each other during tour of the Godard Space Center. We were able to see the testing that the James Web Space telescope is undergoing before it is launched into space.
Day 2 began early with a tour of the United States Naval Academy and religious services in the Midshipmen’s Chapel. The tour was lead by 5 amazing members of Annapolis’ National Eagle Scout Association Chapter, the largest in the nation. After lunch in downtown Annapolis, the delegation got a behind the scenes tour of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s mammal and bird collections. The neatest specimens out of 600,000 were some of Teddy Roosevelt’s own collection! After dinner in downtown DC, the delegation visited several monuments at night under a fresh blanket of snow.
The delegation began the day with a tour of the Pentagon, had lunch with the Director of the Chiefs of Staff, and presented the Report to several members of the Chiefs of Staff. After lunch, the delegation laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, toured the guard’s barracks, and visited the Kennedy grave site. The delegation was the delegation joined by the Chief Scout Executive for the “Chief’s Dinner” and presented the report the the top professionals in the BSA during a special ceremony.
The delegation took a tour of the United States Supreme Court and met with the Clerk of the Court. In the afternoon, Several members of the delegation began meeting with their Senators or Congressmen. After departing Capitol Hill, we got out of our uniforms for the first time to spend the evening at the Hard Rock Cafe!
Day 5 was by far the busiest and began with presentations to Speaker of the House Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader Reid’s Aide. After a busy morning, the delegation left for the the department of Veterans Affairs. The delegation met with former Boy Scout and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, McDonald, to present him with the Report to the Nation. After returning to to the Capitol and spliting up to meet with their respective Senators, the group met at Representative Pete Sessions Office. Representative Sessions co-hosted the “Eagles on the Hill” reception for all of the Eagle Scouts who serve on Capitol Hill. About 150 Congressmen, Staffers, and others showed up to the reception. After the reception the delegation had a pizza party and began preparations to depart.
The delegation woke up earlier than usual to get breakfast at the Capitol and present the official Report to the Nation to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives. After breakfast the delegation took a tour of the Capitol Building and departed for the US Bureau of Engraving a Printing. Before taking a tour, the delegation met with US Treasurer Rios for their final presentation. From the Bureau of Engraving and Printing the delegation headed to the airport to their goodbyes and departed for home.
The delegation arrived as strangers and left as friends after enduring a week that was more exciting and far more exhausting than anyone could have imagined. Because of this, the thing that every scout will remember above all else is friendships that they created at the 2014 Report to the Nation. The delegation would like to extend our gratitude to those who made our experience and friendships possible, Report Director, Keith Christopher, Host Couple Russell & Helen Smart, Government & Community Relations Director Willie Iles, Photographers Michael Roytek and Randy Piland, and all those who made our trip possible through your support as well as the dignitaries we were able to meet.
A complete photo album of the report is available here.
2014 Report to the Nation Delegate
A few tweets from my Senators.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) February 24, 2015
— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) February 26, 2015