With little urging by Sgt. Ken Weichert, thousands of Boy Scouts from around the country cheered as NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon walked onto the stage here at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree July 29.
“It’s awesome to be a part of this and an honor to be here … as we represent the men and women of the National Guard every week out there on the race track,” said Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 National Guard-sponsored NASCAR racecar. “To get to see what you have been doing here the last few days, and the excitement you guys have, it’s incredible.”
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., told the Scouts that he had no idea what to expect at the jamboree. “I went on YouTube to figure out what we were getting in to, and this is pretty cool what you are doing.
“We appreciate you guys welcoming us like this and we hope you have fun today while we’re here,” said the driver of the No. 88 National Guard-sponsored NASCAR racecar.
After answering a few questions that were previously submitted by some of the Scouts, Gordon and Earnhardt participated in a head-to-head competition on stage with members of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society.
The competition between Team Gordon and Team Earnhardt required the Scouts to use their first aid training, as they had to splint the leg, sling the arm and treat the burn of the driver of their respective teams.
After a lightning round, Team Gordon took home the prize, but in the end, everyone was a winner, and they each received a small trophy and a group photo with the drivers.
In addition to the NASCAR superstars, the National Guard featured American Motorcyclists Association superbike driver Jason Zemke and several World Wrestling Entertainment personalities, including Sgt. Slaughter.
“The kids are really enjoying seeing the military here, and there is a lot of buzz in the air because of that,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Brubaker, a Montana National Guard member, who was the master of ceremonies for the Guard activities.
More than 44,000 were here to celebrate the 100th year of Scouting, and about 600 National Guardsmen from 15 states supported the jamboree.
“To be a part of this organization and have the opportunity to come out and support the Boy Scouts like this is a great privilege,” said Brubaker. “Seeing them have so much fun has motivated myself to have fun as well.”
Story and Photo By: Sgt. Darron Salzer