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Public Papers - 1990 - February

Remarks Upon Receiving the Boy Scouts of America Report to the Nation


Well, let me just say how pleased I am to be here. And thank you, Curtis, and thank you, Secretary Skinner -- Sam proudly proclaiming what we all are reminded of around here all the time: that he is an old Eagle Scout, and he's working on a new merit badge for national transportation policy. We hope that it -- [laughter]. But to Harold and Ben Love and Earl Graves and the members of my administration and, of course, especially to the Scouts who've come here today, it is my pleasure to welcome all of you and to participate once again in this tradition that dates all the way back to 1910, when President Taft received the first Boy Scout delegation right here in the White House.

Let me say to all how deeply honored I am to receive this highest award: the Silver Buffalo. I live with a Silver Fox -- [laughter] -- and now she lives with a Silver Buffalo. But I'm honored because down through the years I've seen what the Boy Scouts mean in the lives of young men. And scouting is more than learning how to build a campfire or to tie a knot. And scouting teaches a love of outdoors and appreciation of our environment. It teaches the spirit of serving others, and self-respect. And let me make it pure and simple: It teaches lessons that last a lifetime. And so, when I hear about Boy Scouts that are out there helping the homeless or feeding the hungry or cleaning up our cities and towns or helping other kids stay drug-free, when I hear about boys as young as 8 and 9, Cub Scouts, doing things like that, I see a glimpse of the future -- what this nation can be like if we follow the lead of the Scouts.

And I know the Scout slogan is ``Do a good turn daily'' -- and every day you do. And that's why right now, with you here representing the national Boy Scouts organization, I want to recognize the work of the Montana Council of Boy Scouts for an environmental program they call Project Good Turn. In the past 5 years, Project Good Turn has collected over 5,000 tons of trash from all across Montana and involved more than 30,000 young people in the cleanup effort. And the Montana Scouts have made this a real community project, enlisting everyone from the Girl Scouts to the State Highway Patrol and the Montana National Guard. And so, today I take great pleasure in naming Project Good Turn the 65th daily Point of Light, a shining example of the kind of community engagement that makes a difference, the kind we've come to expect from the Boy Scouts of America.

I'm proud to accept this year's report to the Nation, the new edition of the handbook, and to have this opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful works done by the Scouts all across this country. Thank you all very much, and God bless you. Thank you for coming.

Note: The President spoke at 11:50 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Eagle Scout Curtis W. Hawkins; Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner; Harold Sokolsky, assistant to the chief scout executive; Ben Love, chief scout executive; and Earl Graves, national commissioner.

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