That moment when President Obama opened the door to the Oval Office is one Edward Abraham — and the nine other youth members of the Report to the Nation delegation — will never forget.
“There he was. Standing there, shaking our hands,” said Edward, the National Venturing President and member of the San Francisco Bay Area Council. “He’s a very personable person.”
The delegates, including one Cub Scout, six Boy Scouts, one Sea Scout, one Venturer and one Explorer, met Obama on Tuesday at the White House. They presented the Report to the Nation to Obama, who as U.S. president also serves as the BSA’s honorary president. The report recaps 2015, which was another great year in Scouting: 2.3 million youth participants served, 15.3 million hours of service logged, 54,366 new Eagle Scouts.
Neel Dhanaraj, an Eagle Scout from the Daniel Webster Council, was behind Edward in the line.
“It was so surreal,” Neel said. “I’m just, like, walking up in the line … and it’s like, oh, he’s right there.”
When Obama learned that Explorer Cynthia Garcia is from Chicago, he gave her a fist bump.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I never thought in my life that I would get such opportunities as I have in Exploring.”
Dan Ta, an Eagle Scout from the Orange County Council, said the Oval Office felt like a living room. Like he was at home.
As for the president, “he seemed like a ‘chill’ guy. Very personal,” Dan said.
In Obama’s eight years in office, Tuesday marked the seventh time Scouts have met with him to present the Report to the Nation. The Oval Office presentation has been a tradition for a long time.
Video and another photo
See a second photo of the Scouts with Obama below. At the end of the post, I’ve included a video I made of Scouts’ reactions minutes after leaving the Oval Office.
2015 Report to the Nation
Photo credit: Official White House Photos by Pete Souza