The 2016 Northeast Region Bridge of Honor and Ball was held this past weekend in Swedesboro, New Jersey and from the unanimous consensus of all there, it was an event you did not want to miss. Although this is one of the largest annual events in the region, it is never the same every year, and this is largely because of the guest speaker. This year the Bridge of Honor and Ball was delighted to welcome Commander Corey Barker, USN, as our guest speaker. As Commander Barker spoke, his expertly selected words reverberated around the ballroom, encouraging and fortifying an overwhelming sense of pride and citizenship in the audience. When he finished, the impact was not one of a standing ovation full of tears and joyous cries in agreement, instead, it was one of contemplation. The audience sat silently poised on the edge of their seats as a result of this pride this speech instilled in us all.
After his presentation, Commander Barker assisted the Northeast Region Commodore Noel Guzman in the presentation of the annual awards, and then the Bridge concluded with the change of watch for the Regional Boatswain and Boatswain’s Mate. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to outgoing Regional Boatswain Sam Goodman, the work he has done will continue through the next boatswain Mercedes Matlock. In the words of outgoing Boatswain Sam Goodman, “The future for the region looks bright for this Region”. This event was made memorable simply because of what it was. The Bridge of Honor and Ball in its very nature, is a gathering of scouts from all around the region where the scouts are all celebrated just for being scouts.They are welcomed with open arms, where it is obvious to all the scouts present, that they are with family at this event. It is in part, a result of the fact that there are less than 10,000 scouts nationwide that makes this program what it is. The bonds that are formed between scouts at events like these, are bonds that will last throughout their entire scouting career, and possibly longer. It was the camaraderie, the regalement, and the uniqueness of this event that made it so memorable for all in attendance. You definitely do not want to miss this in the following years.