Boy Scouts and learning respect


From the daily Chattanoogan website, a letter to the editor:

The Boy Scouts Are Supposed To Teach Respect
posted August 9, 2010

I just watched one of the most disturbing videos I have seen in a long time. A friend posted a video on “Facebook” of the Boy Scout’s of America, jeering, and booing, the President of the United States. I absolutely couldn’t believe what I was watching.

Like most guys my in my age group, which is older than dirt, I was a Boy Scout. I never rose much above the “Tenderfoot” level, but I really have fond memories of my experiences with the “Troop.” I was taught a lot of “life’s lessons” from some of the finest men in Chattanooga, one of those lessons was respect.

The President of the United States of America is the “Commander in Chief” of our military. He also serves as the President of the “Boy Scout’s of America.” That appointment is automatic upon his, or her, swearing into office. I was taught to respect the office of the President, whether you agreed with the “office holder” or not. Whether the President is Bush, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, or Obama, he deserves the respect that title carries.

I served as both a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout Counselor several years ago. I enjoyed the time I spent with the kids I was entrusted with, and I am proud of the adults they grew to become. At the time, we didn’t have to compete with the internet, cable television, and “Twitter”, to capture the boys attention. Those days will forever stand as another Norman Rockwell painting of better, more innocent days.

Now the BSA has attempted to become another breeding ground for the religious zealots, where homophobes abound. They have even been compared to the quasi-right wing military groups. Somewhere along the way, the purpose, and usefulness, of scouting has been diminished, or in some cases, erased completely. The kids are obviously not taught respect, nor civility.

I remember, “On my honor, I promise to do my duty to God, and to my Country.” That promise didn’t say anything about respecting only Republicans or Democrat’s. In fact, politics wasn’t even brought into the equation. A Scout is “trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous”, and that is the oath they take. Where is the courtesy in booing?

If we can’t even try to teach our youth civility, to disagree without being disagreeable, what hope do we have for our future? From what I saw today, things look pretty bleak.

Rod Dagnan
Chattanooga

From the Op-Ed News Network:

August 10, 2010 at 09:34:27     Permalink
Time to Add ‘Respect’ to the Scout Law

The Boy Scouts owe President Obama an apology for their disrespectful conduct at this year’s National Jamboree.

::::::::

I just read that 45,000 Boy Scouts booed the President of the United States for failing to address them in person at this year’s National Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. Instead of addressing the Scouts, President Obama appeared on “The View” television show.

I was a Scout myself for 10 years and received the Eagle Rank in March 1962. Later I was an adult leader. When my own son was old enough, he joined the Scouts and I was a den leader, assistant scoutmaster, and District Committee member. I think I have a pretty good idea of what Scouting is and ought to be.

The Scouts’ shameful display of disrespect at the Jamboree is not it.

Here’s a memo to the Scouts: sometimes in this life – and may yours be long and happy – things don’t go your way. You don’t always get everything you want. Life has its disappointments and setbacks. As incredible as it may now seem, there are some people and things in this world that are actually more important, or at least more immediate, than you are.

When that happens, you can boo and complain. Or you can suck it up, man up, and move on. Which do you think good Scouts should do?

Understand this: the President of the United States is an elected official. In today’s partisan political climate, he has to gauge almost all of his actions partly in terms of their electoral impact. He can’t do the job at all if his team doesn’t get elected or re-elected. And the mid-term elections are only three months away.

You may not like it but that’s the way it is.

No offense to you, but the President will gain a lot more electoral advantage from appearing on “The View” than he would by addressing 45,000 people who are too young to vote anyway. That’s just a fact of political life. Sorry, but it’s true; that’s the way our system works. It’s not a perfect system.

I am not a religious man; in fact, for more than 50 years the Scout Law has been my religion. I believe that when I come to the end of all my days, I will have very little explaining to do if I can say to the Almighty that I lived my life according to the Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent.”

But because I am not a religious man, I have substituted for “Reverent’ in my own personal credo another “R’ word: Respectful. A Scout is Respectful. A Scout is respectful of himself and others, whether he agrees with them or not.

Maybe it is now time to add Respectful to the Scout Law.

The shameful lack of respect these Scouts showed to the President at this year’s Jamboree reflects poorly on the organization, its proud legacy, and on the Scouts themselves. They have disgraced the uniform and its heritage.

The Scouts owe the President an apology.

Rick Wise is an industrial psychologist and retired management consultant. For 15 years, he was managing director of ValueNet International, Inc.

Before starting ValueNet, Rick was director, corporate training and, later, director, corporate strategy for Travelers Corp., an international insurance and financial services firm. He lost six friends in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Rick was a Vietnam-era Navy Hospital Corpsman.

Rick holds PhD and M.Ed. degrees from Penn State. His BS is from West Chester University. He completed post-doctoral work at Rensselaer, Northwestern, Colorado, and Harvard. A native of Pennsylvania, Rick now lives in New England.

Letter of the Day at the website of the Mineapolis Star-Tribune, for August 11 (added here late on that day):

Letter of the day: Eagle Scout: Booing Obama broke the Boy Scout Law

Last update: August 11, 2010 – 6:42 PM

As an Eagle Scout, I was appalled that some Boy Scouts reportedly booed President Obama when he appeared in a taped message at the recent National Scout Jamboree in Virginia. While I can understand their disappointment at not being addressed in person, the Boy Scouts involved in this incident broke about half of the tenets of Boy Scout Law: They were not loyal, friendly, courteous, kind or obedient in the least. Their leaders should help them understand what the Boy Scout Law means and how to follow it.
TOM KELSEY, SHOREWOOD

A different view from the National Guard’s video of Day 4 of the Jamboree:

BSA’s version (go check out the comments):

You don’t need to know Morse code to send the message along:

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37 Responses to Boy Scouts and learning respect

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Scouters sometimes talk in code. “Pass the grits” means it’s time to stop jawing on an issue where there is profound disagreement, and worry about things everybody can agree on, like grits (though how those grits are served is another area of contention: Sugared, with cheese, with butter and salt only, with bacon, with bacon mixed in, with peanutbutter, chilled-sliced and refried . . .)

    Some thoughts from the Scouts-L list — unedited except for cutting out e-mail addresses (there are a few factual errors):

    Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 19:56:07 -0400
    From: Robert Guillen
    Subject: Presidents at Jamboree

    Every group that meets within driving distance (or quick helicopter flight) of Washington DC wants the President to make an appearance. The President cannot accept every invitation to every event. But isn’t BSA special? Sure.

    So is the VFW, so is the NAACP, so is the NRA, so is the National Association of School Principals, so is the (fill in the blank).

    But every President visits the Jamboree, right? Well, no – of the 16 previous Jamborees, only six had Presidental visits:

    1937 – Roosevelt
    1950 – Truman
    1964 – Johnson
    1989 – Bush I
    1997 – Clinton
    2005 – Bush II

    President Obama has had at least two formal White House visits/ceremonies involving Scouts. He has not ignored or snubbed the BSA. During the Jamboree, every time someone complained to me that the President was not coming, I asked them if they knew how many Presidents had visited during Jamborees. Without exception, they all believed that every Jamboree had had a presidential visit. Most had no response when they found out it was less than half.

    Presidential visits involve a great deal of time, trouble, effort, and cost. The security requirements were a major contributing factor to the debacle of the Death March in 2005. In addition to those problems (extra early start for moving troops to the arena, long lines for security screening, limits on water brought into the arena – all resulting in tens of thousands out in the blazing sun and heat during the hottest part of the day without sufficient water) BSA higher-ups were so concerned that they not miss the PR opportunity that they ignored their safety training (and common sense) that the show should be postponed due to the weather conditions.

    Also, any event at which the President is appearing has to accept that the entire schedule could be thrown into disarray right up to the second the President is to walk onstage. In this instance, BSA wanted to put on an elaborate and carefully scripted centennial show and an appearance by the
    President had the possibility to totally disrupt that. While certainly an event to be remembered, a presidential visit has its downsides. I’m willing to bet that the BSA higher-ups weren’t too put off that the President wouldn’t be appearing in person – it avoided a lot of headaches.

    I’ve had the opportunity to be present at four presidential appearances (Reagan twice, Bush I, and Clinton) and they were all memorable. I am a strong supporter of this President and would love the opportunity to see him speak in person; however, in this context I was not at all disappointed that he would not be appearing and that BSA could put on its show as planned.

    YIS,

    Rob Guillen
    Scoutmaster, Troop 50, Newark DE

    And:

    Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:39:18 -0400
    From: Roman Smith
    Subject: Borish behavior was Maintaining our focus

    – Soapbox mode on –

    I remember that when I went to a Catholic high school, booing another athletic team was a punishable offence. Now, the same school seems to relish in the practice. Booing has become a sign of the times. That makes it so much more difficult to teach youth that it really is inappropriate behavior – always, everywhere, anytime for any reason.

    Greg is right: Booing is rude and unbecoming of a Scout or Scouter in uniform. But I say, in uniform or not, whatever generation you belong to, it is unbecoming of a human being.

    There is much behavior that others call patriotic that I personally find boorish. Like whistling and cheering halfway through the National Anthem at a sporting event, instead of standing at attention until the last note. I will save my other peeves for a more private post before I am run out of town because they are more petty but still get me going.

    – Soapbox mode off –

    The bottom line is that we need to teach respect for others and other people’s thoughts. Part of “A Scout is reverent” is teaching them to respect the right that others are allowed to believe what they want. We can extend that to the political arena as a citizenship lesson. The scouts will not learn it on their own. They need to be taught. We have the power to teach.

    Roman Smith

    And:

    Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:11:19 -0400
    From: jmheagle@PIPELINE.COM
    Subject: Focus?

    Greg Easterly said: “So on this issue of the booing scouts I am clear that it was wrong, rude, and inappropriate behavior at a Scouting event, while wearing the uniform, regardless of whether the speaker appeared via jumbotron (either live or taped) or in person, or whether or not the speaker may have committed some slight or faux pas. The fact that the speaker in this case was the POTUS does not change this fact: Booing is rude and unbecoming of a Scout or Scouter in uniform.”

    Well said, Greg.

    I can only add. To condemn the entire BSA because of the behavior of a few is wrong.
    To excuse the behavior because of someone else doing it is wrong. Let’s see… what’s the old saying; “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    Those of you who have the opinion that being discourteous to the office of the POTUS or anyone else for that matter, is ok, must have forgotten the 5th point of the Scout Law.

    There is a time and place for all things. Protest, rant, or otherwise do what your heart desires, but do it away from the program and out of uniform if it does not demonstrate Scouting at it’s best.

    Making all the justifications or excuses in the world doesn’t make it ok.

    Mike Hinson
    Eagle ’63

    Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 14:10:49 -0400
    From: scouterglenn@AOL.COM
    Subject: Re: Maintaining our Focus

    Thank you Nelson for your well thought out and stated comments.

    I have a similar story from Northern Ireland that brings the point home. I visited a troop in Eglington, NI while I was there on business. The troop was a British troop, not an Irish Republic troop. We had a great time, the kids and leaders were great.

    Afterwards, the Scoutmaster invited me to his home for tea and cookies. As we talked, I asked him. “I noticed that the British Standard was not displayed at your meeting tonight, why not?” He smiled and responded that not all of the members of his troop come from families that support Great Britian. Some strongly support unification with the Republic. He then said that one thing they could all agree on were the values of Scouting and that’s why only the troop flag and the scout flag were displayed.

    That answer set me to thinking and his response is quite profound. We all have political opinions that range the spectrum. Ever since that day, I have striven to keep my opinions out of my scouting interactions and when asked by a scout, I use the chance to talk about the responsibilities of a citizen to read the news, read history, become informed, and then become involved. If they press, I will share my beliefs and why I have them but then remind them again to read the news, read history, become informed, and then become involved. Do I always succeed, no, but I sure do try.

    Please pass me grits with butter and black pepper or depending on my mood, maybe a bit of honey. The scrambled eggs can stay to the side and the johnny cakes I tried to make once can be delivered to the shotgun range.

    Thanks.

    Glenn Simmonds
    Unit Commissioner

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    This was posted on Scouts-L, the popular list-serv for Scout leaders:

    Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 15:44:56 -0500
    From: Nelson Block
    Subject: Maintaining Our Focus

    Friends – On Sunday, I sent the following e-mail to a number of friends. Based on recent discussion on this listserve, I thought I’d send it along to all:

    Dear Friend:

    Like you, I enjoyed some wonderful experiences during the last two weeks as America watched her young people celebrate the centennial of Scouting. Unfortunately, I had a couple of bad experiences – both related – that I need to share with you.

    As you know, the press and the pundits decided that the President’s decision not to speak at the big Saturday night Jamboree show was a news item. We’ve learned long ago that their business – selling newspapers, books and TV and radio airtime – is not always supportive of BSA’s mission of helping young people develop strong characters and healthy minds and bodies.

    Many friends discussed their feelings about this topic with me one-on-one, and I appreciated hearing from each of them. What I didn’t appreciate was the public incivility that Scouters – yes, Scouters – exhibited on this issue.

    A veteran Scout executive used his Facebook page (where he proudly claims 40 years service as a BSA professional) to link to a Fox News story bearing the headline “Obama Missing Historic Boy Scout Jamboree for Fundraisers, ‘View’ Taping” with the statement, “How about this news? This seems to say a lot about priorities and where over 46,000 Scouts rank with this administration.”

    At the Saturday night show, the Scouts saw a video of the President, congratulating them for being part of an organization with a 100-year history of service to our country. Upon its conclusion, I heard adults booing.

    Both of these public uses of Scouting as a political football are insupportable. During the last three years, BSA has worked hard to present the public with our own definition of who we are, rather than permit our organization to be used as a tool of partisanship.

    It’s clear that some Scouters just don’t get the message. They’ve decided that their view of America is so correct that they’re willing to try and co-opt Scouting to support that view. They don’t understand that Scouting is one of those places where Americans put aside their differences to help our children become better citizens.

    I’m writing to suggest you can help correct this trend. When we see Scouters exhibit this hurtful behavior, we should address it immediately. This can be done without taking sides on the issue itself. For example, I asked my friend, on his Facebook page, why he thought this news story and his comments about it helped Scouting? He replied that he was entitled to his opinion as an individual, never realizing that most of his Facebook friends connected him with Scouting and that his criticism of the administration involved Scouting in politics.

    Had I been able to identify the adults booing, I would have had a personal discussion with them about whether they were the sort of positive role model we wanted in Scouting.

    This tendency to politicize Scouting is widespread. Often, I think people don’t realize what they’re doing. Last year, a Scouter friend suggested that we host a reception of Scouters for a political candidate we both like. I responded that gathering an audience of Scouters to support a candidate was inappropriate. Her hesitation made it clear this hadn’t occurred to her, and then she agreed this was not the right use of her Scout connections.

    Part of the work of a democracy is the give-and-take of politics. It’s important that our children see us engaged in this endeavor. It’s just as important that they not be pawns in it.

    Best wishes,

    Nelson

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  3. […] Boy Scouts and learning respect « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub […]

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  5. jsojourner says:

    Ed,

    I know the GAR encampment — the national one — was held every year until the final meeting in 1949, in (of all places) Indianapolis. I suspect there were some drummer boys and other child soldiers who survived until them. Supposedly, the last Union CW veteran died in 1956…though I read one account of an African American who claimed to be 122 when he died in 1971. Sylvester Mack Magee allegedly served in the U.S. Colored Troops, but I really think the story was bullpuckey.

    Anyway, what I don’t know is what interaction (if any) the BSA had with the GAR — or, for that matter, the United Confederate Veterans. Presumably, none that was official…but I suspect at the local level, scouts were treated to some marvelous stories. I have an 1870-ish ticket for a retired Colonel’s lecture in Massachusetts. The ticket reads “BOYS AND MEN ONLY”. Of course, this was pre-BSA…

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  6. I’m not sure what Miss America’s slip-up has to do with whatever excuse Obama has for not making a 60-mile trip across a span of ten days, Ed, but I’ll take your word for it there’s a great one in there. And I’m sure the Scouts would have felt honored if Obama was there in the flesh, to make similar mistakes.

    May I respectfully suggest He should re-do His slogan of “Yes We Can!” to something more fitting. Like “No, Can’t Quite Fit In In To My Schedule” or something.

    Regarding the decline of an invitation being the equivalent of a snub…hey, it is a feeling more than anything else isn’t it? “I felt snubbed.” It is a more and more intense feeling, as it becomes easier and easier for the declining party to attend. In this case, it is ten days’ intense.

    But hey, you’re entitled to your opinion. The (what is it you’re saying the conflict was, again?) just couldn’t be avoided. For ten days.

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    When an invitation is made, and then declined for whatever reason, it’s purely a matter of opinion whether it was a “snub” or not. “Inaccurate” is a, well, inaccurate word to use around opinions.

    Quote Miss Manners on that, would you?

    Generally it’s a snub if the invitation is not responded to at all, but that is considered mere lack of manners (and maybe a loss in the mail). A snub would be accepting the invitation, but then failing to show or send regrets.

    None of the complaints were conducted within the bounds of any kind of etiquette, but if you want to say regrets to an invitation is a snub, you’re in a very small minority. It would be rude to insist someone must accept an invitation — which is the position of the Obama critic howler monkeys on this one.

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  8. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ve seen film from the last GAR reunion, but that was about 1915, as I recall. I don’t think there were official gatherings after that — a kid who was 20 in 1865 would have been 70 in 1915. Great question. Look for that film.

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    The headline in the New York Times was NOT “Miss America insults Boy Scouts,” nor should it have been:

    Boy Scouts Seek a Way to Rebuild Ranks

    By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
    Published: July 30, 2010

    FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Her crown glinting in the morning sun, Miss America was telling 45,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders the other day how thrilled she was to be here at the National Scout Jamboree, to be among “the most amazing young women …”

    Whoops! The scouts, ever courteous and kind, could nonetheless barely stifle a collective groan. Some covered their faces in embarrassment. Miss America — Caressa Cameron, the former Miss Virginia — quickly recovered, apologized and explained that she usually speaks to groups of young women.

    The slip was an inadvertent reminder of a host of issues, including whether to admit girls, that the Boy Scouts of America faces this year as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

    The organization, long an icon of wholesomeness in a simpler America, has seen its membership plunge by 42 percent since its peak year of 1973, when there were 4.8 million scouts. In the last decade alone, membership has dropped by more than 16 percent, to 2.8 million.

    More, here.

    Not my idea of great coverage (though the photo was pretty good). A better, more accurate report of how Scouts behaved at the mass arena shows.

    Boy Scouts prepare for flag ceremony at 2010 Jamboree, Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia

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  10. jsojourner says:

    Thanks, Ed. I appreciate the clarification. Regarding that 1937 jamboree, I’d be curious to know if there was a presence (speakers, bands, etc.) representing the Grand Army of the Republic at that event. The Civil War vets were mostly gone by then, but I have seen GAR meetings as late as the 1940’s.

    I think it would have been so cool to be a boy in the 1930’s and listen to the old fellows talk about their Civil War experiences. I have read brief accounts of Civilian Conservation Corps members meeting with veterans when the former were helping build and establish our National Battlefield Parks. What a treat (and an honor) that must have been!

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  11. When an invitation is made, and then declined for whatever reason, it’s purely a matter of opinion whether it was a “snub” or not. “Inaccurate” is a, well, inaccurate word to use around opinions.

    It’s perfectly legit to regard this as a snub. The jamboree is an event that goes on for ten days. It’s not as if Obama had pressing engagements with heads of state, booked months in advance, brokering a cessation to hostilities in Afghanistan, anything of the like.

    The Jamboree was held in Ft. AP Hill in Virginia, less than an hour’s drive away. Yes, the jamborees are held four years apart, so the bit about “his three predecessors attended at least one” isn’t quite so incriminating. If Obama is re-elected to a second term, He hasn’t really blown anything here.

    In other words, He blew it.

    Imagine how the history books will have to record this one: Presidents 41, 42 and 43 managed to find the time…44 could not be bothered, even though it was the Centennial. All factual.

    Just a boneheaded decision. But hey, He’s entitled to His priorities.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Just for reference, can someone clear this up for me? Exactly how many Presidents have missed this annual boy scout event?

    First, it’s not an annual event — about every four years. Last year would have been the fourth year, but the Jambo was bumped to 2010 to coincide with the centennial of BSA.

    Second, the first Jambo was scheduled during Franklin Roosevelt’s term. So Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover had no opportunity to attend (nor to “snub Scouting,” as the wags inaccurately put it). Coolidge’s two boys were active Scouts — so that was the first time Scouting was big in the White House.

    The first Jamboree, in 1935, was cancelled when polio started breaking out everywhere. A few thousand Scouts made it to Washington, D.C., but were sent home (a few patches from that Jamboree were made and passed out — extremely valuable, should you run across one). The second scheduled Jamboree was 1937, also hosted on the Mall in Washington. Roosevelt met with Scouts during the week sometime, but they went to the White House, as I understand it.

    That first Jamboree was treated much differently by all of America:

    The first national jamboree was held in Washington, D.C. for ten days in July 1937, attended by 25,000 Scouts, most of whom arrived by train. Region campsites were set up around the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin.[1] The event was covered extensively by radio and newspapers. A press tent accommodated 626 news media reporters, photographers, and broadcasters. Sixty-four news releases were issued and the BSA assisted in the making of 11 newsreels and 53 magazine articles.[3] The three major U.S. radio networks of the time, NBC, CBS and Mutual, had broadcasting studios near the jamboree headquarters to produce almost 19 hours of live, on–site jamboree coverage broadcast coast–to–coast. Celebrities also visited the jamboree, including well–known broadcaster Lowell Thomas and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. While at the jamboree, Scouts also attended a three-game baseball series between the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox at Griffith Stadium, as well as touring nearby Mount Vernon.[3]

    We were a much smaller nation, then. Media were concentrated on the East Coast, and putting on the affair in D.C. helped a lot, I’m sure. One might wonder why more media outlets don’t cover it more tightly today.

    The next Jamboree was 1950, 13 years later, at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. President Truman attended and dragged along what some accounts have said was a reluctant Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Eisenhower skipped the 1953 Jamboree in Irvine, California, the 1957 Jambo in Valley Forge, and the 1960 Jambo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the only three-time no-show so far in history.

    No Jamboree was held in John Kennedy’s term of service; Lyndon Johnson attended the 1964 Jambo at Valley Forge. (Count so far: Three of five presidents; all attenders were Democrat.)

    Nixon skipped 1969 in Farragut State Park, Idaho, and 1973’s dual event in Farragut State Park and Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania.

    No Jambo was held during Ford’s term of office.

    Carter missed 1977’s Jambo at Moraine State Park.

    Reagan missed Jambos at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia, in 1981 and 1985 (he sent Nancy to the second one, as I recall). All the following meetings were held at Fort A. P. Hill until the next one, in 2013.

    George H. W. Bush made the Jambo in 1989, I think — the first president since Johnson, and the first Republican to make one. Clinton missed 1993, but spoke in 1997. Bush II missed 2001, and in 2005 got fouled up by a thunderstorm between D.C. and the Fort — hundreds of Scouts waiting in the heat (because of security they had to get there early and stay) had to be treated for heat exhaustion, and about 30 were hospitalized. Bush rescheduled a couple of days later, and BSA went through the whole security rigamarole again. Many critics complained then that keeping Scouts for hours on the hottest days of the year was not a good idea, even for security reasons. Obama missed this year.

    So, Presidents who appeared: F. D. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II; missed: Eisenhower, (Kennedy), Nixon, (Ford), Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush II.

    18 Jamborees. Presidents appeared six times, or 33% of them.

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  13. If Fox said Obama is the first to miss it, that isn’t even close to being correct.

    It’s rather remarkable that a centennial anniversary is being missed, and I’m sure there’s no shortage of Obama apologists just wishing like the dickens the Scouts turned 100 years old in 2001. But that is not the case; it was a rather remarkable milestone our current President chose to sit out on. As it has been pointed out many times, and will be again, that was His prerogative. Had He been required to attend, or not attend, it would be impossible to figure out from this incident what is important to Him. But now we can.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    I just wish it wasn’t so difficult for His true believers to defend His judgment errors, without using the B-B-B-But BUSH defense. It’s true of any office involving any level of real responsibility: When you mention your predecessor too much, people start to miss him.

    My only mention was that you remained silent when Bush stood Scouting up. So did the current group of critics.

    Hypocrisy is what we see there, not Bush behaving well.

    Why couldn’t Bush come off of his vacation to speak to Scouts? I don’t know. (I don’t know for sure Bush was on vacation then, but it’s a safe bet.)

    Where’s your outrage?

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  15. jsojourner says:

    Just for reference, can someone clear this up for me? Exactly how many Presidents have missed this annual boy scout event? I keep hearing in some media (not just Fox) that Obama is the first and only President to miss it. Yet other reports I’ve read/heard cite as many as 13 other U.S. President missing the event during one or more years of their respective administrations. I trust Politifact and Factcheck but I have found nothing on either site to set the record straight.

    I’m not invested in the issue either way, but I hated it when the truthers lied about Bush (much as I disliked his policies) and if Obama is truly being lied about, I’d like something to correct the record with. Anyone have the undiluted truth here?

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    I can find actual fault with a policy of putting the Boy Scouts’ 100th anniversary at the very bottom of the list of priorities, and then going on an airhead talk show.

    The two things were not at the same time. Had the Jamboree been in Northern New Jersey (say, at the old Schiff Scout Reservation that the National Council disposed of), an appearance in the afternoon could have replaced taping of the View — except, the Obama appearance was set for several days later.

    It’s not exactly an even trade-out, one two-hour period for another. Obama was in the New York area. There was some down time in the afternoon. The View offered an invitation to interview Obama. Scouting didn’t offer an invitation for the same time. Had BSA offered an invitation for the same time, there’s the problem that southern Virginia is a good ways from New York City — not helicopter travel distance, typically.

    If you find fault, could you find the facts, first?

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    Another view, from the Whitman and Hanson (Massachusetts) Express:

    Sixteen Boy Scouts from Hanson Troop 34 recently returned home after their 10-day trip to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, where there were 45,000 Scouts in attendance.

    The Hanson Scouts went as part of Contingent Troop 538 which had a total of 40 Scouts from the South Shore.

    Contingent Troop 538 joined over 300 other Scouts from the South Shore and Old Colony Council to travel to Fort AP Hill in Carolina County, Virginia for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree and 100 year celebration of scouting.

    * * * * * * * *

    This year’s theme was, “the most fun filled safest jamboree” Winters said.

    The event was opened and closed with two arena shows featuring performances by military bands, the National Jamboree Band and Switchfoot, with speakers from Scouting along with Distinguished Eagle Scout, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Eagle Scout Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, along with an inspiring message from President Barack Obama.

    “All Scouts arrived home on Aug. 4, tired, dirty, and wishing they had 10 more days to do everything all over again,” Winters said.

    “I think the kids truly enjoyed it and they want to go back in three years for the next jamboree,” he added.

    Like

  18. Where is the requirement that the President have attended the Boy Scouts event? Or are you willing to admit that you and your side are conjuring things to be upset with him about since you can’t find actual fault with any of his actual policies?

    Trust me, Nick. I can find actual fault with a policy of putting the Boy Scouts’ 100th anniversary at the very bottom of the list of priorities, and then going on an airhead talk show. Especially if you’re going to be specifically saying, on said airhead talk show, “we can’t be campaigning all the time” when that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    Regarding your first question, the requirement does not exist anywhere. Obama can do exactly what He wants. That’s what makes it such a wonderful occasion by which we can assess what is important to Him. And, of course, once we have so assessed we have a perfect right to whatever opinions it is we have reached. It’s a free country…or at least, so far it is.

    Like

  19. Quite right, Ed. Conjecture is tricky, seductive stuff. And it only makes sense when the conclusions it reaches, hold up across a great big sampling of similar incidents…which, come to think of it, does apply here.

    Americans have always wanted to be better, even if they have to follow someone else to get there. That’s why Obama was elected in the first place, I think. This is where we get into the thing about politicians not delivering. The perception is that Obama is leading us into becoming a nation of people who watch The View. Maybe Americans are unwilling to put any work into being anything better than that, but they’re not willing to let the dream die and that’s the real reason why Obama’s decision is so unpopular. It should be unpopular.

    I just wish it wasn’t so difficult for His true believers to defend His judgment errors, without using the B-B-B-But BUSH defense. It’s true of any office involving any level of real responsibility: When you mention your predecessor too much, people start to miss him.

    Like

  20. Nick K says:

    Morgan, tell me this.

    Where is the requirement that the President have attended the Boy Scouts event?

    Or are you willing to admit that you and your side are conjuring things to be upset with him about since you can’t find actual fault with any of his actual policies?

    Like

  21. Ed Darrell says:

    Google is not forthcoming about Obama missing a fundraiser. The matches all seem to have to do with Obama attending them, passing up something else in order to do so. Another hoax, I’m sure.

    Why would it show up on Google? How would anyone be able to track such stuff?

    For that matter, since Obama’s message was carried a week after his taping of the View, on what basis does anyone say Obama substituted a television appearance for an appearance with the Scouts? We don’t know for certain when or where Obama would have appeared.

    There’s a lot of conjecture on very little information, and those who take offense at it are those looking to take offense.

    Like

  22. Yeah, He’s such a swell guy it’s impossible to defend Him from these hoaxes without mentioning His predecessor. Why are we back at Bush yet again? Was Bush known for doing a lot of “gotchas”?

    Google is not forthcoming about Obama missing a fundraiser. The matches all seem to have to do with Obama attending them, passing up something else in order to do so. Another hoax, I’m sure.

    Like

  23. Ed Darrell says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to sell your point, if every once in awhile these scheduling difficulties interfered with a speech at a democrat party fundraiser?

    About 100 times so far since May (I exaggerate only slightly). Of course, the denizens of the barnyard don’t bray about those occasions.* When the President cancels out of a fund-raiser, it doesn’t score points for the hoaxsters and Republicans to note how much time Obama spends on the peoples’ business.

    And, Obama has a bizarre ethical streak. He likes to talk issues, not “gotchas.” At this point of George W. Bush’s first term he had spent more than 100 days officially on vacation (by some counts George W. worked only two of every three days his entire 8 years). Obama takes heat every time he takes two hours to golf.

    _____________
    * Old-timers may recall when The American Spectator actually had standards, was published from Indiana, and did more than copy talking points off the fax machine and e-mail.

    Like

  24. heydave says:

    I, for one, would rather have a president who played country music with inbreds than acted during Katrina, or sat stunned while reading books to kids while an attack took place.

    Get over it kids, your gripes about Obama are the misplaced misanthropic blatherings of reactionaries of the lowest order.

    Like

  25. This is a strong trend, we see, of the President being victimized by these “hoaxes.” Kind of interesting, given that He was elected because He’s so good at communicating things to people. Of course it’s quite out of His control to decide what hoaxes will & will not be launched against Him, so that cannot be a commentary upon Him, His skills, His priorities or His decision-making.

    But it does say something about Him when the hoaxes take off. Just like the hoax that the Bush administration said “imminent threat” rather than “eminent threat.” It took off, because there was truth in the observation that the administration was trying to sell a war. That is the situation here: It is easy for people to believe this President wants American citizens to be weak and helpless…non-Boy-Scout material. What has He done to make it easy to believe that? We-ell…what has He done to make it difficult to believe that. Not much.

    It just might be an idea worthy of contemplation. This President talks about responsibility a lot, and seems to have a lot of apologists like Ed saying this-thing or that-thing is so unfair, PrezBO has been slimed unfairly yet again. Responsibility, in His position, would be something to the effect of: What can we do to make it harder for these hoaxes to take on a life of their own, harder for people to believe the hoaxes?

    And Ed, I see what you’re saying about the scheduling. Seems to me the President should be helping out people like you now and then. Wouldn’t it be easier to sell your point, if every once in awhile these scheduling difficulties interfered with a speech at a democrat party fundraiser? It’s odd that those sit-downs always seem to enjoy the benefit of His presence in the flesh…and those are the off-prompter speeches that get Him into the most trouble. Maybe a lot of things would improve if He could have scheduling difficulties with regard to those, similar to what made it unworkable to attend the Boy Scouts’ 100th anniversary celebration.

    When the trends hold up over time, eventually you have to chalk it up to priorities.

    Like

  26. Paul Nash says:

    Adults made this political.

    Flatlander, “I am saddened that so many people these days seem to be applauding turning the Scouts into a political organization, and one with definite right-wing leanings.”

    ” And, again, if any Scout, in uniform at a troop event had booed the President of the United States, or any elected public official for that matter, the Scoutmaster would have come down on him like a ton of bricks.”
    How do you know this did not happen later?

    I am an Eagle, OA, God and Country scout. The POTUS choosing political gain over the Boy Scouts says it all for me.

    Like

  27. Paul Nash says:

    You have got to be kidding me.

    This is past shamefull

    OP ED “No offense to you, but the President will gain a lot more electoral advantage from appearing on “The View” than he would by addressing 45,000 people who are too young to vote anyway. That’s just a fact of political life. Sorry, but it’s true; that’s the way our system works. It’s not a perfect system.”

    You have got to be kidding me. Ed shame on you for putting that on your “respected” site.

    Like

  28. Nick K says:

    To quote:
    We would probably do well to shift our attention away from the global warming scam,

    Oh you mean the scam that it’s not happening? The scam that it’s a hoax?

    Like

  29. Ed Darrell says:

    There is something truly regrettable taking place with regard to the way people treat other people who have different value systems and opinions. We would probably do well to shift our attention away from the global warming scam, and on to the other more immediate crisis of “human dispute warming.” One thing’s for sure: Politicians like Barack Obama have had more to do with creating this situation than the Boy Scouts. They present themselves to the voters as forces of unity, here to usher in a new age of harmony and mutual respect, the voters say “That sounds great!” and then once elected, they don’t deliver. They call their opponents stupid, overly-religious, “clinging to their guns and Bibles,” et al.

    Manufactured controversy, and it’s sad the Scouts fell for it, too.

    There never was a choice, “Boy Scouts or The View.” For whatever reasons, the White House chose to schedule actions and public appearances on the economy and holding the Senate, concentrated around New York City in the afternoon and evening. There were a couple of hours down, and The View invited Obama to appear.

    Presidential scheduling is always about making those kinds of choices. President Bush failed to attend the Scout Jamboree in 2001, a “snub” by the standards voiced by the booing Scouts and a bunch of ill-tempered, ill-informed or polemic conservative blogs. (The theme for that year was “Strong Values, Strong Leaders — Character Counts.” Can you imagine what today’s hyperventilating conservatives would have made of a president skipping such a meeting today? Oh, but they’d complain only if that president were not a darling of the conservatives.)

    BSA and the White House agreed Obama wouldn’t appear in person weeks ago, perhaps as early as February. It only became a controversy when a so-called Christian news group wrote it up, falsely, as the White House choosing Barbara Walters over Scouts. Conservative blogs and a few conservative pundits jumped on that.

    That news got back to Scouts at the Jamboree via cellphones and smart phones. Only then did any Scouts get worked up about it — and then, based on false claims.

    The Power of Hoax: Based on false information communicated by informal networks, a group of Scouts acted badly at the closing ceremony, giving a black eye to Scouting. Some oaf recorded it, and posted a few seconds of video on YouTube, and again, conservative sites anxious to make Obama look bad, even if they had to drag Scouting into the mud to do it, picked up on it.

    There is a famous aphorism that the truth can make us free. Assuming some accuracy to that, we should assume that untruths can shackle us.

    That’s what we see now.

    Like

  30. thomas says:

    hattip – I just read your remark about the president. President Obama has wisdom and grace and dignity as well as having a great intellect. He is a Professor of Law and he is a former US Senator who served Illinois with distinction. Most importantly, he is a superb partner to his wife and a great father to his two daughters. He has earned the respect and love of millions around the world. He carries out the duties of his office with competence and confidence. He never presents as foolish or silly or unable to lead effectively. I hardly think you could say anything like that about yourself or about his predecessor.

    Like

  31. jsojourner says:

    A couple things…

    1. Thomas, thank you and God bless you for your service to our country. (And for chiming in here!)

    2. Morgan, very classy indeed, my friend. Thank you.

    Like

  32. thomas says:

    I am a former Boy Scout, up to Eagle level candidate. I am a USAF veteran who served honorably. (joe, you need to learn that children model their behaviors after adults – so – writing “keep you(sic) stupid pussy opinions to you(sic)self” is a pretty sad way to behave). It is so very wrong to see both organizations being used by right wing fanatic christian homophobes, to push their sick and pathetic views onto younger and impressionable Americans.

    When I served in the USAF in the late ’60’s and in the ’70’s, there was complete and total separation of church and state (religion and the USAF). Absolute. Zero Tolerance for anything other than having Chaplains available (Chaplains were given respect & they helped many). This was made clear to all. Racism was also given Zero Tolerance, so much so, that the USAF mandated what was called “Race Relations Training” for all personnel. It was an in your face and lengthy training that had staff make those Airmen/women who had racist views or opinions (most, considering the times) face their demons. It was effective. Those who refused to change and/or shut up, were forced to leave the USAF.

    I learned about the encroachment of the right wing fanatic christians (evangelicals and dominionists) at the USAF Academy some time ago. Fortunately, that is being addressed thanks to a Jewish Officer who refused to be subjugated to that BS. I also have seen video of US Combat troops praying to avenge their christian god before going into combat during the Iraq war (not praying for protection, praying for revenge). That video was troubling.

    Change only happens when we shine sunlight on the vile behaviors and words of those who think it’s “their way or the highway,” as they say. Another way of saying that is. The cockroaches run when you shine the flashlight on them.

    Like

  33. flatlander100 says:

    Let’s see…. I joined the Boy Scouts at age 11, that’s 56 years ago now. Joined a good troop which camped a lot. Sponsored by an American Legion post on Long Island, NY. I eventually became an assistant Scout Master with that troop. At no point do I recall politics being any part of troop meetings, camping trips, service projects, no matter which party had done well in the last election nor with the hot button issue of the moment was. Had any of us, in uniform at a troop function, booed the President of the United states [or any elected official for that matter], our Scoutmaster would have descended upon them like a ton of bricks. And rightly so.

    When my own son was old enough, he joined the Tiger Cubs, then the Cub Scouts [where I served as a Packmaster for a while and even, one year, when no one else volunteered, a Den Mother], then he went on to Boy Scouts [where again I became an Assistant Scout Master]. He went on to become an Eagle Scout and now works as a Democratic campaign organizer. The troop he was in, also a good one, sponsored by a protestant church in Louisiana, contained adult leaders from all across the political spectrum. And politics, as I recall never, but never, came into matters during Troop meetings, trips, service projects. And, again, if any Scout, in uniform at a troop event had booed the President of the United States, or any elected public official for that matter, the Scoutmaster would have come down on him like a ton of bricks. Politics just wasn’t part of the program, ever, and showing respect [while in uniform] for people put into office by vote of the people was expected.

    I am saddened that so many people these days seem to be applauding turning the Scouts into a political organization, and one with definite right-wing leanings. It was a great experience for me and gave this city boy a life-time hobby [hiking and camping]. Sad to see so many attempting to turn it into Camp Glen Beck.

    Like

  34. Ellie says:

    joe markovich says:
    August 11, 2010 at 6:38 am
    “rick you certainly have a lot of credentials but i think you are a big pussy. those kids did not get encouraged to dis the president they wee just responding to him dis-ing them. keep you stupid pussy opinions to youself.”

    Do your female patients know with what disdain you hold half the human race?

    Like

  35. As I’ve said before, Ed, I’m in your corner on this one. My scouting experience was a little bit unique because we were fortunate enough to live close to the Canadian border, and it was nearly an annual ritual to go on a bike trip into Vancouver, BC, and environs. We really had it drilled into us that we were representatives, from one country into another, and there was a serious responsibility in this.

    In uniform, OR at an official event of any kind, there is only one political opinion you need to have and that is to display the proper respect. And this was with that douchebag Carter in office so it wasn’t easy by any means.

    There is something truly regrettable taking place with regard to the way people treat other people who have different value systems and opinions. We would probably do well to shift our attention away from the global warming scam, and on to the other more immediate crisis of “human dispute warming.” One thing’s for sure: Politicians like Barack Obama have had more to do with creating this situation than the Boy Scouts. They present themselves to the voters as forces of unity, here to usher in a new age of harmony and mutual respect, the voters say “That sounds great!” and then once elected, they don’t deliver. They call their opponents stupid, overly-religious, “clinging to their guns and Bibles,” et al.

    So the person the Boy Scouts were jeering, essentially created the situation or at least contributed to it — but that’s not excuse. Boy Scouts is about maturity, when you get down to it, and maturity means all provocations need not be answered with a reaction.

    Like

  36. hattip says:

    Obama deserves absolutely no respect nor does the entire Democrat Party. The BSA deserve a great deal. The people that attack the BSA over this show just how low they really are. Obama deserves this and worse.

    This goes to show just how morally debased you are: You attack the decent and defend what cannot be reasonably defended.

    Of all your loony rantings, this one most clearly show that you do not deserve to be among decent Americans.

    You are a moral cretin.

    Like

  37. rick you certainly have a lot of credentials but i think you are a big pussy. those kids did not get encouraged to dis the president they wee just responding to him dis-ing them. keep you stupid pussy opinions to youself. dr joe markovich

    Like

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