James Harris, a 15-year-old Eagle Scout with aspirations of joining the military, handed a challenge coin commemorating the BSA’s Report to the Nation visit this week to U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). As the Scout delegation had done all day when meeting senators and representatives, they challenged Representative Crenshaw to continue supporting America’s youth and the BSA, but James had an extra challenge for the Texas representative.
“How about a real challenge?” James asked.
“What are you talking about?” Representative Crenshaw replied.
“What about push-ups?” James challenged.
Representative Crenshaw obliged. On the steps of the U.S. Capitol, the representative and former U.S. Navy SEAL got in position on the ground along with Explorer Alec Garcia and three Scout BSA members James, Owen Braniff and Mihai Ziu.
The Scouts completed around 40 push-ups before bowing out or slowing down while the representative was still going strong.
Visiting senators and representatives and submitting the report to be entered into the congressional record highlighted the second-to-last day of the Report to the Nation.
The report is submitted
The Report to the Nation summarizes the Boy Scouts of America’s activities and accomplishments from the past year, which include membership numbers as well as how Scouts have served their country. Last year, Scouts collectively put in almost 7 million service hours.
Details like those were shared with Cheryl Johnson, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Robert Paxton, the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Senate, during a breakfast in the private dining room of the Speaker of the House.
“I handed them the neckerchief tied with the friendship knot and a challenge coin and a patch,” says Owen, a 17-year-old Scouts BSA delegate. “The challenge coin is a coin with the BSA insignia and the challenge is to continue supporting America’s youth by supporting the BSA. It was really inspiring.”
During the breakfast, the 15 delegates listened to Johnson and Paxton share about governmental traditions and parliamentary protocols. The report will soon be entered into the congressional record. By delivering the report to Johnson and Paxton, the delegation fulfilled a mandate in the BSA’s congressional charter to share a record of Scouting’s accomplishments with Congress.
After breakfast, the Scouts got ready to tour the Capitol.
The delegation’s tour of the Capitol involved more than checking out the grand rotunda and national statuary hall. The Scouts met with U.S. leaders, including Senator Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia), Representative Pete Sessions (R – Texas), Representative Jamie Raskin (D – Maryland), Representative Sanford Bishop (D – Georgia) and Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R – Pennsylvania).
The U.S. leaders were busy on the floors of their respective chambers, but made time to come out and visit. All the leaders were pleased to spend time talking with the Scouts and receive Report to the Nation mementos.
Senator Manchin, whose state features the BSA’s Summit Bechtel Reserve, praised the high-adventure base, which will host the National Jamboree this summer. Representatives Bishop and Thompson serve as bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Scouting Caucus in the House. Representative Thompson showed the group an underground passage in the Capitol.