Scouting for President Obama

This is another guest blog. It is written by Javier Castillo who is the son of Yolanda Castillo, one of my colleagues at Nomacorc. Javier is starting 9th grade at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her son got a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet President Obama as part of a Boy Scout Event a few years ago. This is his story of that special his own words. 
President Obama greets Javier Castillo in The Oval Office- March 3, 2009
Javier is second on the left.
Am I in Trouble? 
Back in 2009 I got home from school when all of a sudden my dad calls me into the kitchen. I walk down stairs and he says " you are not going to believe this". My first thought was "I'm in trouble"  but I ask what was it?  He told me that he got a message from the head office in Texas for scouting. He said they wanted me to go to Washington, D.C. to represent North Carolina and the Boy Scouts. 

"He said I will be meeting The Speaker of the House, Robert Gates a few others and of course the President."

At the time I was 12 so I was pretty amazed to say the least. He said of course I don't have to do it but I said of course I want to since I will miss 5 days of school. The next few weeks was busy with planning with the North Carolina scouting council and all the paper work getting done. On the day I left I had to leave my parents and everyone behind in Raleigh since they could not come with me. When I landed I met with the man in charge whose name was Mr. Keith Christopher. He told me about this Boy Scout's Report to the Nation they called it and the how they started the whole program.

First Hispanic and North Carolinian Scout
He told me how I was the first Hispanic and North Carolina member ever which was great to hear. He told me that I would be meeting the other 6 kids in the group all from across the USA. We stayed at the Madison Hotel which quite frankly the best hotel I have ever been too. 

I met with my host parents Mr. and Mrs. Clark and their son Cameron who was one of the kids to part take in this. I was shown my room and that I would be sleeping in the room with Cameron who was a Cub Scout. I then unpacked and went downstairs with him and his mother to have breakfast at the restaurant they had in the hotel. It was here where I was greeted by another Boy Scout named Ruben Hipolito a 22 year old Sea Scout from California. We sat down to eat and talk about the three of us. We then met at the lobby. The fourth person in the group Amanda Vogt a 19 year old Venturing Scout from Missouri. She was the president of the Venturing Program in the US at the time. I then walked back upstairs and was told to to go meet up with the crew in our own meeting room (filled with snacks I must add) to discuss our agenda.

Honor Society of Scouting
It was there I met Jack O'Neill and Dougles Buck. Jack was the National Chief of the Order of the Arrow the honor society of scouting at the time. He was also 19 and from Missouri. Dougles Buck was a young Cub Scout that actually saved his own teacher! There was only one problem though during all of this excitement. One of the scouts, Tory Green was late due to his plane being delayed. He was a 17 year old boy from Alabama who has his own state holiday named after him because of this trip. So on the second to last day we got to go to The White House to meet President Obama.

Nervous in The Oval Office 
We were all nervous to meet President Obama but we eventually did.  
                    That image of me walking into the oval office and seeing him waiting for me will most likely be with me till the day I die. 
There were camera crews there and everything and the whole encounter was amazing. We all got to shake hands with him so I went up there and stuck out my hand and said...
 "Javier Castillo Raleigh North Carolina pleasure to meet you sir"
Eventually  we had to leave the oval office but while we were walking down the hall you would never guess who we met. It was the First Lady herself walking down to greet us. It was amazing mostly because it was not part of the agenda. Somewhere during the conversation Tory asked if we could get a hug from her and she said yes of course. 

A Hug from Mrs. Obama 
I remember her telling me "hey Mr. Cool guy you get one too". The whole day was amazing really but we had to leave the next day. When I arrived back I had everyone greet me me from friends to the NC scouting council to my family. The whole trip was really a one in a life time thing and I really will be ready to tell the tale to any kids I have about their father meeting The President of The United States in The Oval Office.

This is a video from a local North Carolina TV Station of the event. Click here to watch this video. 

Labels: , ,