Boy Scout writes rules, rings bell for Washington |

Boy Scout writes rules, rings bell for Washington

by Heidi Alder

“I will not be a bully.” This is one of Boy Scout Marcus Evan Wittig’s Ten Rules of Civility.

Wittig is a sixth grade student at C.C. Meneley Elementary School who recently took a keen interest in the life of President George Washington.

His mother Susan said that his interest in Washington started in April when he attended his older sister’s graduation from Army Basic Training at Port Jackson, South Carolina.

“He got a real sense of patriotism,” Susan said, describing the strict marches and salutes that were part of the ceremony.

Wittig then researched Washington on the internet and began to realize the amount of love and respect Americans had for their first president, which is not the case for all presidents, Susan said.

With the George Washington Bicentennial 1999 approaching on Dec. 14, Wittig decided to heed the United States Congress’s call for bells to be rung at noon for one minute, and the American flag to be lowered to half-staff in honor of George Washington’s death.

Parents Gary and Susan supported their son in his decision, and were happy to see his eyes opened a little more to the history of America.

Wittig is a Second Class Scout in Troop #495, and he proudly wore his uniform as he rang the St. Gall Catholic Church’s bell Dec. 14, with Father William Nadeau and Susan in attendance.

Wittig shared the results of his research on Washington with Father Bill, who will use it in his homily, Susan said.

When Washington was in his early teens, he wrote 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation, which he used to guide his life.

Washington’s first Rule was “Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.”

Wittig wrote 10 of his own Rules of Civility, and sent them to Mount Vernon, to be considered for the 110 Boy Scout Rules of Civility for the 21st Century, Susan said.

“He hasn’t heard, yet, if his were chosen,” Susan said. “They did send him his 200 Year Anniversary emblem for those that sent in rules.”

Wittig wore the patch on his uniform when he rang the bell.

His rules included his behavior to adults, his parents, other students and his teacher.

“Marcus realized that you can’t tell other people how to behave, but you can always control how you behave,” Susan said.