Councils from several North Carolina chapters of the Boy Scouts of America gathered at the Supreme Court of North Carolina on Monday to give the “2019 Report to the State of North Carolina.” Senior Associate Justice Paul Newby accepted the report on behalf of Chief Justice Mark Martin and opened the meeting with encouraging remarks followed by brief introductions from scouts, their leaders, and parents. The focus of this year’s Report is on the contributions of Scouting’s first responders. These scouts have dedicated their lives to public service by choosing careers in law enforcement, firefighting, or becoming emergency medical technicians in their local communities.
Justice Newby began the meeting by reminding the audience about the origin of natural rights and the role government plays in protecting those rights. He went on to share what lead him as a young scout to choose a career in the law and later to become a Supreme Court Justice.
“When young people ask me today whether they should go to law school, I ask them if they have a real desire for truth and to see justice prevail. If they do, then they are a good fit because the ideals of my profession are to seek justice for everyone,” said Justice Newby.
Justice Newby is an excellent ambassador for the Judicial Branch in the scouting community. He is an Eagle Scout and serves as Scoutmaster Emeritus of Troop 11 and as a board member of the Occoneechee Council. He recognized the need to expose scouts to the operations of state government and began the annual Report to the State of North Carolina in 2012.
In addition to visiting North Carolina’s highest court as part of the Report to the State of North Carolina, the scouts presented the Report to Governor Roy Cooper at the Governor’s Mansion then visited the North Carolina General Assembly. There, the scouts performed honor guard duties including the presentation of the colors to the House of Representatives. In all, the scouts gained valuable experience by interacting with all three branches of North Carolina state government.
“I couldn’t think of a better civics lesson. This is an incredible opportunity and not many scouts will ever get to see the inside of the Supreme Court,” said Chris Murray, Scout Leader from Knightdale, NC.
In 2016, the North Carolina Judicial Branch began a civics education program and Speakers Bureau to engage youth and adult organizations, student groups, and the general public about the role of state government and the North Carolina court system. The Speakers Bureau is comprised of over 350 volunteers and is active in all 100 North Carolina counties. To learn more and schedule a speaker for your organization, please visit celebrate.nccourts.org.