Re: Jamboree Article from the Washington Post
Paul Meyermann (Paul.Meyermann@UNI.EDU)
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 16:23:30 -0600
Below is a copy of an article from the Washington Post Web site
regarding the Presidents visit to the Jamboree. IMO The article sheds
a good light on scouting.
Scouts Swap High Praise With Clinton
By Justin Blum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 1997; Page D03
The Washington Post
FORT A.P. HILL, Va., July 30_Appearing before a cheering throng of
more than 30,000 Boy Scouts tonight at the National Jamboree,
President Clinton praised Scouting for pledging millions of hours of
During his 10-minute speech, Clinton drew on the jamboree's theme --
"Character Counts! Be Prepared for the 21st Century" -- and said
Scouting teaches values, particularly the importance of helping those
"We challenged all the adults in America to engage in citizen service,
another way of doing a good turn," Clinton said in his remarks to the
14th National Jamboree. "The Boy Scouts of America, as much or more
than any other organization in this country, has answered our call."
The jamboree, a quadrennial affair, brings together Boy Scouts from
across the country. They have gathered at this Army facility 80 miles
south of Washington for nine days of camping and activities such as
scuba diving, fishing, rappelling and biking.
Arkansas Scouts cheered loudly as Clinton recounted his experience as
a Cub Scout with Pack 1 at Ramble Elementary School in Hot Springs,
Ark. He spent several years in Scouting but dropped out after joining
his school band, Boy Scout officials said.
But Clinton received the most enthusiastic response from Scouts after
the speech, when he stepped off the stage and waded into the audience,
shaking hands. He walked away with a bounty of gifts -- patches,
scarves and pins -- offered by Scouts with outstretched arms in the
"It was probably one of the greatest moments of my life," said Clay
Champagne, 14, of St. Charles, Mo., nearly breathless after receiving
a presidential handshake. "His whole speech just made me realize we're
"I've always wanted to shake the hand of a president!" exclaimed Toby
Philpot, 15, of Pensacola, Fla. "It was just great, because I want to
be president when I grow up."
Clinton thanked the Boy Scouts for a promise made at an April
conference in Philadelphia to perform 200 million hours of community
service over a four-year-period. That translates into about an hour of
volunteering per month for each boy, Scouting officials said.
"Today I ask you to spread the word about doing a good turn," Clinton
said. "If every young person in America would give back to their
community the way you do, just imagine what we could do. Imagine how
many fewer problems we would have."
Scouting already requires volunteer work, but the Philadelphia pledge
was for service in addition to that already performed.
Presidents have attended jamborees over the years; Clinton missed the
last one because of a scheduling conflict. Like presidents before him,
Clinton was given the Scouts' Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished
service to youth and for serving as honorary president of Boy
The president arrived by helicopter at a massive outdoor arena as the
"Star Wars" theme echoed over an ocean of waving Scouts, Scout leaders
and family members. Scouts chanted, "We love you, Bill," while others
begged him to shake their hands.
Clinton singled out several Scouts for service projects and good
deeds, including one who organized efforts to bring meals to the
Scouts said that volunteerism was one of their most important
activities and that they were pleased the president highlighted their
"Helping people, you get a natural high," said Riley Wilhite, 15, of
San Marino, Calif., whose volunteer work has included feeding the
homeless and organizing government records. "You get a feeling that
you've accomplished something. I'm glad to see we're getting
recognized for that."
@CAPTION: President Clinton shakes hands with some of the more than
30,000 Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree. He came away with a hat
and other souvenir gifts.
c Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City