Scouts present Report to the Nation to Speaker Paul Ryan (and get a selfie)

The youth representatives delivering the Report to the Nation to Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday had quite a few gifts for the representative from Wisconsin.

The eight Scouts, one Venturer and one Explorer presented Ryan with an official copy of the Report to the Nation, a copy of the latest edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, a patch, a challenge coin, a large Report to the Nation coin and a campership so a Scout could attend camp in Ryan’s name.

By the fourth gift, Ryan had to say something.

“Boy, you guys just don’t stop giving, do you?” he said, drawing laughs.

Ryan was very personable, asking each Scout where he was from and sounding impressed when he heard that the BSA has been around for 106 years. He mentioned that a member of his staff, Will Miller, is an Eagle Scout. Ryan even fielded a question.

Eagle Scout Dan Ta had noticed a series of seven star-shaped lights on the wall in Ryan’s conference room, so he asked the speaker about them.

“So, Mr. Speaker, what do the stars mean under the clock?” he asked.

“It’s the second time I’ve been asked that question, and I’ve never been asked that question until today. It’s weird,” Ryan said. “It’s the status of where we are on the floor. In the old days, before we had pagers or cellphones, you’d look at a clock anywhere in the Capitol complex to see where we are in the session.”

Though the lights are still in use, technology has rendered them less important, he said.

“Nobody knows what it means anymore, because everybody has a phone with an email that tells you what’s going on,” he said.

Right on cue, Eagle Scout Neel Dhanaraj had one last request that couldn’t have been made a decade ago.

“Sir, can we ask for one thing?” he said. “Can we get a selfie with you?”

No way the speaker could say no to that.


2015 Report to the Nation

Read more coverage from the 2015 Report to the Nation, happening Feb. 27 to March 3, 2016, right here. And see more photos here.

Photos by Michael Roytek and Randy Piland

About Bryan Wendell 3283 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.