For many on June 14, the Flag Day ceremonies include multiple flags flying and showing their colors. A tradition of YMCA Camp Greenwood is to retire a worn or damage US Flag on the Friday before Flag Day. So, today’s Flag Retirement Ceremony at YMCA Camp Greenwood was even more special since it was actually held on Flag Day.
Gray Stallworth, CEO of the Greenwood Family YMCA said the purpose of the ceremony at summer day camp is to demonstrate this seldom seen act of patriotism. According to Stallworth, this is the fourth time the ceremony has been held since he started in 2004. Each ceremony has been led by a local Boy Scout Troop.
This year, Troop 66, which meets at the YMCA, was unavailable for the ceremony. That’s when Stallworth, who serves as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 911 decided he would gather Scouts from his troop to step up and lead the ceremony.
Three Scouts from the troop participated. Matthew Holmquist and his brother Kieron are both Tenderfoot Scouts and working on their Second Class Scout requirements. Eagle Scout Asa Stallworth has seen the ceremony at Camp Greenwood before, but not participated as a leader. CEO Gray Stallworth added that Richard Thomason, a YMCA Board Member, also participated as a guest. He also stated that 13 day campers were selected to participate as the Honor Guard. They had the privilege of placing the stripes, cut away from the flag, onto a fire. Thomason had the honor of placing the field of blue onto the fire, the last act of the ceremony.
At the beginning of the ceremony Assistant Scoutmaster Stallworth faced the Color Guard and gave them these instructions, “Color Guard, it is your duty today to properly retire this US Flag with honor, dignity and respect.” While saluting the Color Guard he continued “Color Guard, retire this Flag of the United States of America.”