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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 30, 2001

Videotaped Remarks by the President for Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Boy Scouts, and thanks for this opportunity to send a word of greeting to your National Jamboree. Let me also thank General Colby Broadwater and the fine men and women of Fort A.P. Hill for hosting this event.

I'm so sorry the weather didn't allow me to join you in person, but I wanted to say a few words to the Scouts and Scoutmasters who have come to this Jamboree from all across the country.

You know, next month I'll be going to my ranch in Crawford, where I'll work and take a little time off. I think it is so important for a President to spend some time away from Washington, in the heartland of America. And whenever I go home to the heartland, I am reminded of the values that build strong families, strong communities and strong character, the values that make our people unique.

It is those values that are such an important part of Boy Scouts. And I want to thank the adults here who have shown good values, who have taken the responsibility upon yourself to build the wisdom and character of our young people. And the Scoutmasters of America accept this responsibility every day. I want to thank all the Scoutmasters who set a good example and help Scouts learn the values that give direction to their lives.

When you join a Scout troop and put on the Boy Scout uniform, you, too, make a statement. Like every uniform, yours is a symbol of commitment. It is a sign to all that you believe in high standards, and that you are trying to live up to them every single day. As you do that, you bring credit to the Scout uniform and credit to your country. And I want you to know your country is proud of you.

Many of you have been to Washington this past week, maybe for the first time. You know, it's interesting, one of my predecessors, President Gerald Ford, saw Washington for the first time a few years after he became an Eagle Scout. Back then, in the '30s, Scouts helped collect food and clothing for people suffering from the Great Depression.

In our own time, you all have taken the lead in the fight against drug abuse. In Texas, Boy Scouts were among the first to take up a reading challenge that I set. All across America, Boy Scouts are doing good turns daily. And every time you do a good turn, this becomes a better country. There are needs in every community, and those needs can be met one heart, one soul at a time.

You can make a difference for America by the life you lead and the lives you serve. Times and challenges change, yet the values of Scouting will never change. Scouts of any era would recognize every word that you live by today, because those words have always defined Scouting. The goodness of a person and of the society he or she lives in often comes down to very simple things, and words found in the Scout Law. Every society depends on trust and loyalty, on courtesy and kindness, on bravery and reverence. These are the values of Scouting and these are the values of America.

What you have learned in Scouting will see you through life. In good times and difficult ones, the Scout Motto will always help you: "Be prepared." And whatever you do, the Scout Oath will always guide you: On your honor, do your best.

I thank every Scout and Scoutmaster for being a part of this great organization, and for being a part of this successful Jamboree. May God bless you all, and may God bless the United States of America.



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