WaPo Honors Local Troop’s 100 years

Obama Missed BSA’s Centennial Jamboree


On Sunday, the Washington Post commemorated the hundredth anniversary of Chevy Chase-based Boy Scout Troop 52 with a front-page feature:

The troop has been practicing an only-in-Washington brand of scouting since 1913, knotting their neckerchiefs for inaugural parades, protest marches and lots of inside-the-Beltway networking. Over the years, Troop 52 scouts have been taught farming by a secretary of agriculture, citizenship by a member of Congress and automobile mechanics by a rear admiral. …

Evidence of Troop 52’s century in Washington was laid out Saturday at Camp Seneca, the troop’s 87-year-old wilderness retreat near Germantown. Dozens of troop alumni, some of them carrying uniforms they could no longer squeeze into, swapped stories around folding tables lined with troop memorabilia. …

In 1916, the 52 patch was on the sleeve of scouts escorting suffrage marchers, Fekete said, when D.C. police declined to provide security for the upstart women. They marched in the inaugurations of Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding. They were decorated planters of victory gardens and collectors of waste paper during World War II.

The Post’s honoring of the long-lived local troop contrasts with President Obama’s lackluster recognition of the national organization’s 100th anniversary in 2010: he became the first president in 20 years to miss the annual Jamboree. The honorary president of the Boy Scouts, President Obama chose to skip the group’s centenary celebration—opting instead to attend a fundraiser and a taping of The View.

Obama sent a taped message instead, which received boos from the crowd, about 43,000 strong.

BSA released a statement at the time about Obama’s relationship to the organization, which praised him for “a very nice letter” commemorating 100 years of scouting. It also acknowledged “his desire to serve” the organization, as well as the fact that his signature appears on Eagle Scout pocket cards and wall certificates.