Boy Scout Troop #979 from Grayling traveled to Washington D.C. for a trip of a lifetime
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Members of Boy Scout Troop #979 of Grayling recently went on a trip to Washington D.C., learning about citizenship, the nation’s culture, and history.
The Scouts left Grayling on June 16 and returned to the community on June 24. En route to the nation’s capitol, they made a stop at the Gettysburg National Park in Pennsylvania, a site which served as a turning point in the Civil War.
On their first day in the capitol, the Scouts visited the National History Museum, Air and Space Museum, and the Navy Memorial.
On a second rainy day, they took a capitol tour, visited the Botanical Gardens and went to the Postal Museum in Union Station.
On the third day, the Scouts went on a tour of the city and visited Arlington Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and visited the National Archives.
As another rainy day occurred, the Scouts took a moonlight bus tour to see the monuments in the capitol.
The next day, they saw the monuments of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. They also viewed the World War II monument, the Korean War monument, the Vietnam Wall, the White House, the Boy Scout monument, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
The last day in the capitol, the Scouts went to the American History Museum, Chinatown, and the Wax Museum.
On their way out of the capitol, the Scouts visited the National Zoo.
“Luckily, they didn’t keep any of our wild animals – they let them all come home with us,” said Loren Goodale III, the Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop #979.
The three goals of the Boy Scouts Charter are leadership development, citizenship development, and physical fitness development.
“This was big toward citizenship development because they learned how the government works and the history of this country,” Goodale said.
The Scouts will earn their badges for citizenship in the nation, citizenship in the world, and American history.
The trip was the first big outing for Abigail Wakeley, whose brother Jordan, is a Scout and father Rob, is the committee chairman for the troop. The Boy Scouts of America amended its charter last fall last fall, allowing girls to join the organization and to earn the rank all the way to being an Eagle Scout.
“I’ve always done stuff with them because my brother has been in Scouts, so I legally joined about a month ago,” Abigail said.
Abigail said she enjoyed the time spent at the National Zoo.
“I love animals,” she said.
Jordan said he liked going to the Arlington Cemetery and seeing the monuments dedicated to the nation’s veterans.
“I really liked the Arlington National Cemetery,” he said. “My family has always been military family, so it was nice to see them all and to learn some history.”
Jacob Carnes said he enjoyed seeing the National Archives and sites that reflect the freedoms that U.S. citizens enjoy today.
“I thought it was kind of interesting that we were able to see a lot of American history and how it relates to us,” he said.
Sam Patterson said he enjoyed going to the museums to see how things have changed over the years.
“I liked a lot of the museums because there was a lot to learn from those and there was a lot to see about various topics,” he said. “I like a lot about our culture and to see how things have changed over time and how we’re using different things.”
A total of 10 Scouts, and six Scout leaders and chaperones went on the trip.
The troop has been planning and raising funds for the trip over the last year. Sponsors and donations from local businesses and organizations helped add some extra activities to the event such as the moonlight bus trip to view the monuments.
“We did things that we wouldn’t have been able to do without the donations,” Rob Wakeley said.
The troop last traveled to Washington D.C. for a multi-day trip in 1989.
“Everybody had a good time and learned something,” Goodale said.