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News | March 12, 2024

Scouts Honored at National Cryptologic Museum's Annual Scout Day

“Best day of my life!” One Scout exclaimed as he left the National Cryptologic Museum’s (NCM) annual event on Saturday March 2nd, 2024.

Rain couldn’t damper things for the scouts and their families as the event drew a near record number of attendees with more than 650 people coming through the doors of the NCM in just six hours.

The NCM's Scout Day was open to scouts and their families all over Maryland and beyond, with some even traveling more than two hours to take part in the festivities. Activity stations ranged from fingerprinting and robotics, to invisible ink and a scavenger hunt. With activities set up throughout the museum, kids and their parents had the opportunity to take in all kinds of lessons. In addition to cipher wheels and decoding encrypted messages, they learned about language, cryptology and the history of coding during slavery.

Scouts could earn a Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge after completing tasks that showed what it was like to live with visual, hearing and physical impairments.
Scout leaders say events like this help their scouts see the bigger picture.

“People just don’t realize all the way from Hobos to Space Shuttle, to Military to State secrets, code has been around since the Egyptians," said Stan Zdun, Scoutmaster for Troop 249 in Edgewater, Md. "Since the beginning of time," he added.
Jennifer Wilcox, the museum’s Director of Education, and her staff prepared for the event for months. She said that this year’s Scout Day was one of, if not the most successful to date.

The National Cryptologic Museum is the only fully public museum in the Intelligence Community and is now open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and no reservations are required — click here for more information about the museum or to start planning your visit!