President's Speech -
Support for Scouting
posted on October 20, 2002
Exerpts from the President's Speech on October 18 at Rochester, MN
"But the truth of
the matter is, the best way to make sure America addresses some of our
deepest problems is to remember that if you want to do some good in the
face of evil, love your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.
(Applause.) In our country, it's important to remember, amongst the
plenty, there are people who hurt -- people who are addicted, people who
need love, people who are hopeless. And we can solve that problem, too. We
can solve that problem."
"You can help solve that problem by putting your arm around somebody
in need, and saying, I love you. You can solve that problem by mentoring a
child. I saw the Scouts when I walked in. You can solve that problem by
running a Boy Scout troop or a Girl Scout troop. You can solve that
problem by going to your church or synagogue or mosque, and listen to the
call of the Almighty and feed the hungry and house the homeless.
"That's how we can solve the problems of America. Government can hand
out money, but government can't put hope in people's hearts or a sense of
purpose in people's lives. That's done when a fellow American understands
there's a new patriotism in this country. It's more than just putting your
hand over your heart. The new patriotism calls upon each of us to be that
one person, helping to change America, one heart, one soul, one conscience
at a time. (Applause.)"
Ed Henderson writes:
Certainly in this time after 9/11 we can all take pride in what we do in
the lives of young people with our Scouting involvement. Scouting has
produced Astronauts, Explorers, Great Scientists & Physicians and even
a President, Gerald R. Ford - all of whom are Eagle Scouts. Also as we
approach this time where we once again vote to choose our leaders it is
important to remember that Scouting is non-partisan, and we can claim
among our Eagle Scout alumni leaders from many political and idelogical
backgrounds. Democratic House leader Richard Gephardt, Texas Governor Rick
Perry, African-American Congressman Samford Bishop of Georgia, recent
Presidential Candidates H. Ross Perot and Bill Bradley are all Eagle
Scouts. Today there are over 130 members of the U.S. House & Senate
who are either Eagle Scouts, or were in Scouting as a youth, or served as
an adult Scout Volunteer Leader.
The president's message is very timely tonight. We have youth who need
leaders today. There are Cub Scout Packs active right now that do not have
Den Leaders. We are only reaching a fraction of the possible Venturing age
youth who want these programs, and each year some troops do not recharter
because there are no adults willing to be trained and serve as leaders.