Scouting for a Quote
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded to help young people grow into responsible, well-rounded citizens. As a result, more than 100 million Americans have experienced the traditional, values-based program offered by the BSA.
Here, a few celebrated Americans offer their thoughts on the Scouting experience.
"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 Americans."
President George W. Bush
"You look at the Eagle Scouts that are in business that are well-known people; that’s the image of Scouting that we want to show to America because this investment that is made is the greatest enduring gift any youth movement can make to this nation, to turn out more and more and more young people with the values of Scouting."
John Gottschalk, president, Boy Scouts of America,
and chairman and chief executive officer, Omaha World-Herald Company
"Scouting brings value to every segment that it touches. We really need to reintroduce the American people to Scouting. I’m very proud to be an Eagle Scout . . . I’m more proud of the fact that we touch millions of kids with this wonderful experience."
Robert J. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America
"The BSA represents where tradition meets tomorrow… it has a nearly 100-year-strong foundation, and continues to evolve to be relevant to today’s youth and to the communities it serves. BSA is preparing the leaders of the next millennium."
William F. “Rick” Cronk, past president, Boy Scouts of America,
and retired president, Dreyer’s Ice Cream
"Scouting gives young boys who are seeking identification an opportunity to identify with a group that cares for them…. Are they a generation that’s lost or are they a generation that’s just been left? The presence of a Godly man in their lives can make all the difference in the world."
Reverend Stephen John Thurston, president,
National Baptist Convention of America
"My Scoutmaster made an indelible impact because he showed interest in young men by teaching us to do the right thing, to live right, and to be responsible for our actions."
Reverend Dr. C.C. Robertson, president,
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
"The generation now being shaped by Scouting will be strengthened by deserved self-confidence and molded with its own history of kindness, bravery, honesty, and its all-out pursuit of excellence.
Earl G. Graves, vice president, Boy Scouts of America,
and publisher, Black Enterprise magazine
"Scouting reinforces values you brought from home. It gave us an opportunity to share them with others whose values were not as strong."
Jose Nino, president and chief executive officer, El Nino Group,
"Following the Scout Law sounds like a game plan that would give us all a better chance for success in life—and I mean every area of life."
Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker
"I think that American leadership is vital to peace and prosperity and the advancement of democracy in the world, and that requires having strong leaders. And I don't think there's any organization in the world, certainly not in the United States, that better prepares young men for leadership in this country than the Boy Scouts of America—in teaching leadership skills, in teaching values, in teaching importance of standing up for what's right."
Bob Gates, executive board, Boy Scouts of America,
and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
"The Scouting program fosters development in youth and helps them become good citizens of their communities and loyal adherents to their religious heritage."
Rabbi Binyamin Walfish, former executive vice president,
Rabbinical Council of America
"The Boy Scouts of America has something going for it that all the government welfare programs in America can't match: success. Besides families and religion, Scouting is probably this country's single best program for building character in boys, and has been for nearly a century."
The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
"The American people recognize that Scouting today is one of the few organizations that has retained its basic values from its origin, and that is our best hope for future leadership of America. It is the only organization that completely endorses family values, which are being recognized belatedly by the American people as one of the real strengths and hopes for the future of our country."
H.E. Bovay Jr., advisory council, Boy Scouts of America, and
president, Mid-South Telecommunications Company Inc.
"The Boy Scouts of America stands for a set of principles. These principles have a lot of staying power. The values you learn as a Scout are like a compass. They can help you find your way through difficult and sometimes unchartered terrain. The principles of Scouting give you a sense of what's important. I feel I owe the Boy Scouts a great deal, both personally and professionally."
Bill Bradley, former U.S. senator, New Jersey
"I've never forgotten my days as an Eagle Scout. I didn't know it at the time, but what really came out of my Scouting experience was learning how to lead and serve the community. It has come in handy in my career in government."
Lloyd Bentsen, former secretary of the treasury
"Scouting is an enormously important and useful discipline for young people, particularly young boys. It can build character and can awaken an appetite for learning."
Raul Yzaguirre, president, National Council of La Raza
"I admire the Boy Scouts of America because the BSA has meant finding real solutions to some of the problems plaguing our country and has kept the faith in what America is and must mean to the world. You show that character comes from one small act at a time, caring for each child as if he or she were our own."
George Bush Sr, former president of the United States of America
"Scouting has always reflected the expectations of the American family. That so many American parents have chosen to involve their children in Scouting is a powerful testament to Scouting's effectiveness in building character in American youth."
John W. Creighton Jr., honorary vice president, Boy Scouts of America,
and chairman and chief executive officer, UAL Corporation and United Airlines
"Parents and troop leaders in this room, you are succeeding in your mission, our nation's mission, and also the Boy Scout mission to perpetuate the fundamental values that made our nation great, and to ensure that our young people become productive adults and responsible citizens."
Elizabeth "Betsy" McCaughey Ross, former Lt. Gov. New York
"I assure you of my own personal appreciation of Scouting as a magnificent experience and form of social and religious commitment."
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican
"I think the character that you learn in Scouting—working together, being honest with each other, being close knit ... and depending on one another, on our camping trips and doing things—all these things build character in a young man that he takes with him into adulthood and makes him a much better citizen. And that's why Scouting to me has always been an organization I've always wanted to help. I think it's one of the best youth organizations that we ... have in this country."
James A. Lovell Jr., advisory council, Boy Scouts of America,
President, Lovell Communications, and mission astronaut, Apollo 13
"Scouting exposes young men to people and experiences that encourage and nurture positive moral values. But we mustn't take Scouting for granted. You can do nothing more important for young people today than to continue, or begin, your support of Scouting. I have never met anyone with devoted Scouting experience who was not a solid citizen, a loyal friend, and a patriot. We need more of them."
Wallace G. Wilkinson, former governor of Kentucky
"There's no question that character counts. Character counts today, it counted a century ago and it will count a century from now. It's absolutely critical because you're reflecting some basic beliefs of honor, integrity, and those different elements of life that will aid you in progressing and frankly, [you'll get] in trouble if you don't believe in 'em."
Milton Ward, past president, Boy Scouts of America,
and chief executive officer, Ward Resources Inc.
"In the 30 years that I've been doing this for a living, I've never had a parent say to me, 'I regretted the time I spent with my son or child in Scouting.'"
Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America
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