BROWNSBURG — It’s an inaugural year for the Brownsburg History Club.
The club, which formed less than a year ago, is already off to a great start. Members will be heading to Washington, D.C., next week to watch President Barack Obama be sworn into office for his second term.
Forty-nine BHS students will leave Jan. 18 and return Jan. 21, after a weekend of sightseeing. In addition to watching the president’s inauguration, the students plan to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that afternoon.
Ben Fouch, club president, said they have more than 100 members in the club. They make up 4.4 percent of the school’s population, he said, which makes them one of the top two or three biggest clubs in the school.
“We have a lot of history classes at Brownsburg, so we wanted to get people really excited about it because a lot of people in our school really had a talent for it and should pursue it in college or wherever their passion leads them,” he said. “We wrote up a constitution, asked some of our officers if they wanted to tag along, and dove in.”
Fouch said the club is popular amongst students because “we actually go out and do stuff.”
Club member Kellie Dippel said she’s most looking forward to visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Dippel last year raised money for the Wounded Warriors project.
“I have no words to describe how excited I am,” she said. “I don’t think any other high school in Indiana has been able to lay a wreath.”
Club sponsor Dawn Crone said the group will also tour the national archives and take a night bus tour of the Washington, D.C., area.
“I’m excited for them,” she said. “I called and there’s a process you have to go through to even apply to leave a wreath and originally when I called I was told it was the inauguration weekend, and it’s a school group, ‘so you have no chance.’ I had to call back about visiting Arlington National Cemetery, and the lady I was speaking to asked if the group was applying and if we had military connections.”
Crone said the group has plenty of military connections, including her husband who just served a tour of duty in Iraq.
They submitted letters of recommendation from some area veterans and on Dec. 7 she received a letter saying they were approved.
Junior Lexi Green’s father works for the U.S. Army race team, and they will be providing Army racing T-shirts and drag racing die cast cars as thank you gifts to the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Queen Anne’s Lace in Brownsburg donated the wreath to the group.
“I think the wreathing experience is going to be the best,” Green said. “That’s going to be so special. I’ve heard so many things (about attending an inauguration). There’s an excitement in the air.”
Crone said they’re hoping the club will expand and the key to that is being active in the community.
“I believe in service learning,” she said. “With the U.S. history class I taught, one of the things that came out of it was the development of a veterans’ memorial in front of the high school.”
One of the concepts of that memorial is an orb with sand samples from across the world in places that U.S. troops have fought.
More information about the BHS History Club may be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/brownsburghshistoryclub.