2022 Report to the State
On March 15, 2022 seven Scouts from Grand Canyon Council visited the Arizona State Capitol to deliver the Report to the State, a short presentation highlighting Scouting’s successes in Arizona in 2021. The contingent was made up of Wipala Wiki Lodge Chief Joshua Balch, Melanie Lin from Troop 3280, Christopher Boadu from Troop 513, Soren Lindquist from Troop 818, and Audra Lindquist from Pack 116.
The day had an early start with a meet and greet in the House of Representatives with Representative John Kavanagh and some other members of the legislature. It seemed as if every member had a Scouting story to share, whether it was about attending summer camp in upstate New York or attending weekly meetings as a Cub Scout.
Before too long, the group was informed that Speaker Rusty Bowers would unfortunately not be able to attend the meet and greet but would like the contingent to quickly join him on the house floor to be introduced. And so, the group rushed upstairs – arms full of neckerchiefs – and joined him. Speaker Bowers shared with the legislators present that Grand Canyon Council would be spending the day at the capitol and encouraged them all to take some time to meet the group. As he continued with his agenda, the Scouts distributed neckerchiefs to everyone who wanted one – and it seemed like everybody did. Many of the representatives put them on right as they were handed to them, and some asked for extras for children at home.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the Arizona Capitol Museum, where Council Civic Service Committee Chair Vianney Careaga and Committee Member Kelsey Files gave a complete tour of the building, from the old Senate chambers to the giant LEGO sculpture of the state flag.
Once the group was finished in the museum, they crossed over into the Executive Tower to go through security and meet with Governor Doug Ducey. After the brief presentation – which included the gifting of a copy of the report, a neckerchief, and a challenge coin – Governor Ducey spent a considerable amount of time with the group, asking about their Scouting experiences and sharing some of his own. In fact, after being asked about his most memorable Scouting memory, he immediately exclaimed that he will never forget getting second place in his Pinewood Derby (something that the Scouts would share with nearly everybody else they met that day).
After lunch, the contingent reconvened at the House of Representatives to deliver the pledge and prayer before being recognized on the floor. Before that, though, they were invited by Speaker Bowers to spend some time in his chambers so that he could get to know the group. During the meeting, he shared that he is from a Scouting family and that his children are Eagle Scouts. He also showed them some art from his sketchbooks since he is a classically trained artist. He then escorted the group back onto the floor where the sergeant at arms gave them instructions before the beginning of the session.
Following the pledge and prayer, the contingent was led to the house gallery and subsequently recognized by Representative Kavanagh to the chamber. During his speech, he asked that all in the room with a Scouting history stand to be identified by the group. Amazingly, most of the room then stood up. It was a great reminder of the impact Scouting has on the community.
Everyone then had to rush to the Supreme Court to make it in time for their meeting with Vice Chief Justice Ann Timmer. After making it to the courtroom, the group had some time to meet with some of the justice’s clerks and ask questions about law school and possible legal careers. Then Justice Timmer arrived and invited the group to join her on the other side of the bar as they gave their presentation. The Scouts then had the opportunity to take pictures behind the bench, in the same seats the justices use while hearing cases.
After a long walk back, the group then headed to the Senate for the last meeting of the day with President Karen Fann. Coincidentally, they also had the chance to meet with Assistant Minority Leader Lupe Contreras who happened to be in the room right before the Scouts arrived. Since it was near the end of the day, the meeting ended up being much more casual than many of the others, which gave a great opportunity for the Scouts to ask questions and gain valuable insight from two senior members of the Senate.
And following some final thoughts from Scout Executive Andy Price, the day was finally complete. Special thanks to Marketing Assistant, Tarryn Hutchison, for helping design the report and joining the contingent to photograph the day’s activities.