My Experience at the White House
December 20, 2018
By Brooke Zacher
Kid Scoop Media Correspondent; age 17
The day began with pouring rain. Bundled up, we arrived at security to check in on Pennsylvania Avenue. Press and guests all huddled under umbrellas, searching for proper identification to present at the gate. After the all clear, we were escorted up the driveway to the James Brady Press Room in the West Wing.
This was the very spot that has served as the public forum for the presidency. Dozens of cameras and White House Correspondents stood collecting all the factual and sensory information they could acquire. I was excited to be just a few feet away from the Oval Office knowing that I was in the heart of Washington D.C. and among people who were involved with pressing issues of this country on a daily basis. It was awe-inspiring.
I was there to participate in the 2018 Press Preview of the White House holiday decorations. It's an annual event, hosted by the First Lady, and I was one of two lucky student reporters representing Kid Scoop Media.
We had some time in the press room before heading out with all the reporters to enter the White House. A long hallway was lined with beautiful, dark red Christmas trees which led the way to three differently decorated state rooms.
As I climbed the nearby stairs, I saw dozens more Christmas trees incredibly decorated in a more traditional style. The room was enlivened by the United States Marine Band performing Christmas music that echoed through the historic mansion. I was blown away by all the beauty and history that stood before me, and I sensed everyone else felt it, too. It was traditional, elegant, and magical.
We hustled quickly back through the rain to the briefing room. I waited in anticipation for what was next to come. I felt so honored being in the mix of the prominent journalists. In their company, I was able to learn more about what it meant to be a reporter in a 24-hour news cycle era.
After a short couple of hours, we were escorted to the South Lawn just adjacent to the Rose Garden. A huge gust of wind almost knocked me over. As I looked up, Marine One was slowly landing on the lawn. It was loud and enormous. The scene was spectacular with the iconic Washington Monument in the background. We were all waiting excitedly for the President to appear.
President Trump exited the Oval Office and made his way over to the group of reporters to answer questions before boarding the helicopter. I could not believe my eyes! The President was just an arm's reach away. He made his way closer to us as he headed towards the helicopter, and our smiles widened. I never expected to be so fortunate to see the President in real life.
I brought home a red MAGA hat to serve as a reminder of the greatest day of my life. I have never felt so lucky and thrilled to have had the chance to observe something so important. Previewing the holiday decorations at the White House and seeing President Trump so close was an unforgettable experience for me and an adventure I will never forget. Being a reporter for Kid Scoop Media presented me with an amazing journalistic experience.