March 9, 2019
These Impressive Young People Delivered BSA’s Report to the Nation
Original article by Bryan on Scouting
Looking for first-rate representation in Washington? The BSA has you covered.
A group of 12 of the country’s finest young people have been selected to deliver the 2018 Report to the Nation. The delegates, who represent all BSA regions and programs, will meet with elected and appointed officials in Washington, D.C., to share the Scouting story.
You’ll meet each of these young men and young women in a moment. But first, here’s a brief overview of the Report to the Nation.
Think of the 2018 Report to the Nation as a highlight reel of all the incredible things Scouts did last year. It’s a cool way to put the spotlight on the BSA … and it’s congressionally mandated.
Section 8 of the BSA’s 1916 congressional charter requires the BSA to present an annual report to Congress. The BSA maximizes this opportunity by selecting youth delegates from across the country to hand-deliver the report to key officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
What’s in the 2018 Report to the Nation?
The actual 2018 Report to the Nation is a two-page glance at the BSA’s many accomplishments last year. (See the report here.)
- The BSA served 2.2 million youth participants and nearly 1 million adult volunteers.
- Exactly 52,160 young men earned the Eagle Scout rank.
- BSA members recorded more than 14 million hours of service to their communities.
- Scouts earned more than 1.8 million merit badges.
- The BSA welcomed 77,000 girls into Cub Scouting, with more joining every month.
When is the 2018 Report to the Nation visit?
We call it the 2018 Report to the Nation, because it’s the BSA’s report about all the great Scouting stuff that happened last year.
But the actual trip to Washington takes place in 2019 — March 9 to 14, to be exact.
How are the delegates chosen?
Each fall, local councils nominate a youth member for this honor. The National Service Center sends these names to a committee for review. Of these nominees, seven to nine young people are hand-picked to be a representative group of all programs from all four BSA regions: Central, Northeast, Southern, Western.
Three more delegates get automatic selections: the National Sea Scout Boatswain, the National Order of the Arrow Chief and the National Venturing Officers’ Association President.
Where are the delegates going?
While the exact itinerary must remain confidential because of security reasons, I can tell you the delegates will spend the week meeting with some of the most influential leaders in the nation to help showcase all of the wonderful ways Scouting makes a difference.
As you might expect, the delegates will perform a service project — taking time out of their busy week to give back.
What are the plans to cover the 2019 trip?
Finally, you’ll be able to see photos from the week’s action — taken by photographers Michael Roytek and Randy Piland. They upload nightly to this page on Flickr.
Who are the delegates?
Tyler Brackett, Eagle Scout from Maine
From: Troop 83 of Portland, Maine (Pine Tree Council)
- Eagle Scout
- Order of the Arrow member
- Recipient of the National Medal of Merit for heroism
Noteworthy: Tyler saved nine lives when he noticed smoke billowing from an apartment building as he drove home. He called 911, banged on windows and doors, and used his car horn to alert sleeping residents. Asked how was able to stay calm in such a stressful situation, Tyler simply said, “I’m an Eagle Scout.”
What he’s up to now: Tyler is a senior in high school. He’s considering pursuing a college degree in aeronautical engineering and possibly attending one of the military academies.
Trevor Burke, Eagle Scout from Texas
From: Troop 577 of Dallas (Circle Ten Council)
- Eagle Scout with 23 palms and has earned all available merit badges
- Recipient of the Hornaday Silver Medal, a rare award in Scouting that honors conservational service
- Regular speaker at Earth Day community events, where he talks about the conservation work he has completed, including an invasive species removal project
Noteworthy: In addition to his invasive species removal project, he completed three other significant projects: planting native grasses, building a rock apron to prevent erosion, and reintroducing Northern Bobwhite Quail into the Blackland Prairie. For his quail project, he worked with wildlife biologists at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area on the first scientific research study to raise, band and release pen-raised quail into their native habitat and obtained a Texas game bird breeder’s license allowing him to raise and release up to 1,000 birds per year
What he’s up to now: Trevor attends St. Mark’s School, where he participates in band, track and field, fencing, and the robotics and rocketry clubs. He was a member of the 2018 Texas Boys State, a summer program where youth leaders create and run their own government.
Thomas Giese, Eagle Scout from California
From: Crew 181, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Area Council)
- Eagle Scout with four palms
- Recipient of the Summit Award, Venturing’s highest honor
- Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society
- Graduate of the Kodiak Challenge leadership training course
Noteworthy: Thomas completed high-adventure treks at Northern Tier and the Florida Sea Base. He also attended the 2017 National Jamboree.
What he’s up to now: Thomas is a junior at Huntington Beach High School, where he’s a varsity wrestler. Following high school, he plans to attend college and enter the military.
Natalie MacEwan, Venturer from California
From: Crew 22, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Western Los Angeles County Council)
- Founding member of Venturing Crew 22 and crew president
- Served as Venturing president at the council and area levels
- Currently leads Venturing’s social media efforts on a national level
- Recipient of council and area Venturing Leadership Award
Noteworthy: Natalie played volleyball and water polo in high school and was a finalist for the National Wendy’s High School Heisman.
What she’s up to now: She attends the University of Southern California on a full scholarship, double majoring in international business relations and Spanish. After graduation, she plans to serve as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force.
Isabella Messer, Webelos Scout from Maine
From: Pack 51, Portland, Maine (Pine Tree Council)
- Founding member of Pack 51, one of the first Cub Scout packs in Maine to serve boys and girls
- Earned her Arrow of Light, the highest honor in Cub Scouting
Noteworthy: Isabella’s greatest achievement, so far, is managing her successful beekeeping business. With her army of 500,000 bees, she collects and filters the honey before bottling it for sale. She often gives presentations to school, community and Scout groups on beekeeping. She manages the books as effectively as the bees and has developed a recycling program for her customers to return bottles for sterilization and reuse.
What she’s up to now: Isabella is in the fifth grade, plays violin and piano, and will represent her school at a state mathematics competition. In February, she became one of the first girls to join a Scouts BSA troop in Maine. (Though she’s now in Scouts BSA, Isabella will represent Cub Scouting at Report to the Nation, which is designed as a recap of 2018.)
Avery Neuhart, Explorer from Maryland
National Youth Representative, Law Enforcement Exploring
From: Post 202, Bethesda, Md. (National Capital Area Council)
- Explorer Chief at the 2017 and 2018 National Police Week events in Washington, D.C., leading the integrated youth efforts for posts attending from across the country
- In 2018, elected to a two-year term as National Youth Representative, meaning she leads more than 35,000 federal, state and local law enforcement Explorers nationwide
Noteworthy: Avery prioritizes service, spending time helping law enforcement officers with security operations; honoring veterans and wounded warriors; inspiring students through school visits; and supporting children and families in need.
What she’s up to now: Avery is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in computer science, with a double minor in data science and international studies, at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. She’s also a pitcher for the university’s Division I softball team.
Michalea Oakes, Sea Scout from Texas
From: Ship 26, San Antonio (Alamo Area Council)
- Achieved the rank of Ordinary in Sea Scouts
- Was elected to the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society
- Received the Sea Scout Leadership Award from the Alamo Area Council, becoming the council’s first recipient of that award
- Completed a 100-mile trek at Philmont Scout Ranch
Noteworthy: Michalea is an accomplished pageant participant who features bullying prevention as her personal platform. After being bullied, Michalea joined Scouting and had an experience that changed her life. As a crew member at Philmont, she stood atop the Tooth of Time and looked out at the world. It’s there she found her self-confidence. (Watch her share her story.)
What she’s up to now: Michalea is a high school senior and intends to pursue a degree in law or nursing.
Jack Otto, Sea Scout from Texas
National Sea Scout Boatswain
From: Ship 468, Houston (Bay Area Council)
- Serves as 2018-2019 National Sea Scout Boatswain, meaning he’s the top youth leader in the Sea Scout program
- Received the regional Sea Scout Leadership Award
- Served as 2017-18 boatswain mate for the Southern Region
- Completed the rigorous SEAL (Sea Scout Experience Advanced Leadership) 10-day underway training
- Completed National Youth Leadership Training and served on staff for several courses
Noteworthy: Jack is active in his church, where he serves on the teen leadership board and as a eucharistic minister.
What he’s up to now: Jack is a high school senior who participates in cross-country, band and the Frisbee Club.
Matt Parsons, Eagle Scout from Delaware
National Order of the Arrow Chief
From: Lewes, Del. (Del-Mar-Va Council)
- Serves as the 2019 National Order of the Arrow Chief, representing nearly 200,000 members of the OA, Scouting’s honor society
- Eagle Scout
- Vigil Honor member of the OA
Noteworthy: In high school, Matt found time for school, Scouting and other extracurricular activities. He played football, was involved in the high school marching band and served as vice president of the honor society.
What he’s up to now: Matt is a sophomore at Delaware Technical Community College where he studies architectural engineering. Upon graduation, he plans to attend a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture and then plans to design residential homes.
Te’Lario Watkins II, Webelos Scout from Ohio
From: Pack 26, Columbus, Ohio (Simon Kenton Council)
- Earned his Arrow of Light, the highest honor in Cub Scouting
- Received the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award
Noteworthy: As a Tiger, Te’Lario started growing mushrooms. His crop eventually became too large for his family to eat, so he began selling them at the local farmers market under the name “Tiger Mushroom Farms.” He now sells shiitake and oyster mushrooms, along with shiitake-and-onion soup mix, at 10 farmers markets, several restaurants, two grocery stores and a hospital. His accomplishments have led to an appearance on the Steve Harvey Show, a feature profile in the Columbus Dispatch, and his selection as one of “20 Under 20” by the mayor of Columbus. Te’Lario has been active as a Hunger Hero, helping provide more than 10,000 meals for need families.
What he’s up to now: As he continues on the Scouting trail, Te’Lario wants to eventually work on an Eagle Scout project that would divert 1 million pounds of food from landfills to local food banks.
Vionn Welcome, Eagle Scout from Florida
From: Troop 642, Orlando, Fla. (Central Florida Council)
- Eagle Scout
- Member of the Order of the Arrow
- Regular speaker at BSA functions, including luncheons, auctions and other public events
Noteworthy: When his brother needed a lifesaving medical procedure, Vionn volunteered to donate bone marrow.
What he’s up to now: Vionn is an accomplished student, having earned the Alpha Phi Alpha Merit Scholarship, Omega Psi Phi Friendship Foundation Scholarship, Kiwanis Achievement Scholarship Award and the Edgewater High School Foundation Scholarship. He recently completed a three-week academic program in Italy, Greece and France.
Dominic Wolters, Eagle Scout from Minnesota
National Venturing Officers’ Association President
From: Saint Paul, Minn. (Northern Star Council)
- Eagle Scout with two silver palms
- Serves as the 2018-2019 National Venturing Officers’ Association President, the top youth position in Venturing
- Recipient of the Summit Award, the highest award in Venturing
- Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow
- Recipient of the OA Founder’s Award and National Venturing Leadership Award
Noteworthy: Dominic volunteers as an altar server and lector at his church, as a youth advisory board member, and as a patient care volunteer. He participates with the Nordic Ski Club, Catholic Students United and the Agricultural Business Club.
What he’s up to now: Dominic is a student at the University of Minnesota in the Honors Program. He received an undergraduate research scholarship, and is on the dean’s list of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.