Troop 114, selected to be one of the Boy Scout Troops from the National Capital Area Council to be a part of the Presidential Inauguration, is from Fairfax, VA. This is a special honor as 2700 Scouts and Leaders volunteered, but only 750 youth and adults were selected. There are 22,000 boys in the NCA Council. They range from 11-14 in age.
A maximum of 10 youth and 2 adults serve from each troop. The Muslim Link was told by the troop's leadership that the criteria for selection was "the willingness and ability to complete the effort, commit for the hardship as there will be no conveniences." There was also a lottery for selection.
ABOVE: Abdul Rashid Abdullah (far right) with other scout leaders and community members at the Muslim Scouting booth at the 2012 Islamic Society of North America annual convention. CENTER: Scouts from Troop 114 of the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia Trust (ICNVT) will be helping with crowd control at the Presidential Inauguration this month. They will also cater to disabled guests. BELOW: The Boy Scouts of America encourages scouts to express their faith. At a massive Boy Scouts “jamboree” with tens of thousands of scouts, the worship center pictured here was built by scout members. All photos courtesy of Abdul Rashid Abdullah.
Scout leaders will attend a mandatory meeting on Friday, January 18, 2013 at Howard University School of Law in Washington D.C. As thousands converge into the capital, for security reasons, the Secret Service locks down the city on Inauguration Day. Vehicular traffic in and around the parade route, including public parking, is curtailed except for official business. Security will be complex and many roads will be closed. Parking will be extremely limited. "We are preparing next Sunday, January 20 by revisiting the code of honor, and addressing safety. We also have to leave extremely early in the morning," said Scout Leader of Troop 114 Abdul Rashid Abdullah.
"We will be training this coming Friday, [and receiving] the manuals. I do not think the boys realize the [size] of the event yet. My main concern is the food and the weather. The boys must be able to withstand the weather. This is a first and one shot chance. They will not get this opportunity again," said Rashid.
The community from the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia Trust (ICNVT) raised the $30 per scout expense for the trip to Washington DC. This scout troop hosts Hajj and Ramadan Workshops at the ICNVT masjid on Shirley Gate Drive.
"The Presidential Inaugural Committee has asked the Scouts to assist them with the parade route, assisting with American Disability Association (ADA) team, and bleacher responsibility," said Br. Rashid.
According to the Boy Scouts of America website volunteers for access control bleacher will focus specifically on ensuring guests remain in areas appropriate to their credentials.
ADA team volunteers will direct individuals with disabilities to the specific ADA sections from the security checkpoints, and they will check individuals in. Volunteers will guide all self-identifying individuals with disabilities through specific magnetometers. Lines are anticipated to be very long, so these volunteers need to make sure that attendees are greeted and informed about what can and cannot be taken into the venue.
"We are very proud that our unit will be representing the Muslim Community of ICNVT. This is a great honor and will provide memories to our youth for a lifetime," said the administration of ICNVT in an email.
If you are interested in learning more about their scouting program, please visit http://www.muslimscouting.org