President Kennedy, saluting the representative Scout family, chosen by The Boy Scouts Of America for Scout Week on February 8, 1962. Yes, Scouting has been an American tradition, going back to 1910 and whose yearly jamborees have been marked by Presidential remarks and greetings going back over 80 years. One of the largest youth organizations in the U.S., with some 2 1/2 million members and over 110 million members since its inception. President Theodore Roosevelt was one of its early champions and sponsors. And most every President and most members of Congress since then have been either honorary members or spent their youth in one of the many branches of the Scouts available to both boys and girls.
And so each year, around the time of the annual Jamboree, a Presidential address has become an integral part of the American tradition throughout the 20th and now the 21st century.
As a reminder of the rich legacy Scouting has had in the U.S. – here is an address on the occasion of 1962 Scout Week, where President Kennedy acknowledges the choice by the Scouts of the family of Harry G. Fair as their representative family and expresses his gratitude to the Scouts for their continuing tradition and fine example of a democratic system at its best.
Needless to say, recent events and a questionable appearance have done their level best to destroy that tradition and bring it into question. But to let you know, it hasn’t always been that way, and has been the subject of numerous addresses by Presidents throughout history. Here is what former Boy Scout John F. Kennedy had to say about the tradition on February 8, 1962 from the Oval Office at The White House.