Fwd: Clinton Rejoins Boy Scout Troop
Bob Knudson (rknudson@DU.EDU)
Wed, 30 Jul 1997 22:16:13 +0000
More jamboree news on the wire.....
By NANCY BENAC
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. (AP) - Boy Scout dropout Bill Clinton
rejoined the troop Wednesday, and appealed to thousands of young
do-gooders to ``spread the word about doing good turns'' for others
in their communities.
Clinton, who gave up scouting for band and debating, took a
helicopter to Fort A.P. Hill to address 37,000 Scouts at the
National Scout Jamboree.
``Your whole nation is counting on you. We need you to remain
focused on the strong values you're learning through scouting,''
Clinton said, speaking out onto a sea of boys in khaki-and-green
Clinton highlighted the Scouts' pledge to perform 200 million
hours of community service over the next four years and renewed his
call for all Americans to do more volunteer work.
``If every young person in America would give back to their
communities in the way you do, just imagine what we could do.
Imagine how many fewer problems we could have,'' Clinton said.
Reviewing the story of how William B. Boyce organized Boy Scouts
in the United States after a British Scout helped him find his way
in a dense London fog, Clinton urged the boys to remain true to the
idea of performing ``good turns'' for others.
He singled out for praise scoutmaster Andrew Leahy of Brentwood,
Mo., who on Tuesday tackled a suspect being pursued by U.S. Capitol
Police for nearly running over several pedestrians.
``I want to thank him personally for that good turn,'' Clinton
said. ``Today, I ask all of you to spread the word about doing good
turns. I hope you'll go home and help others to serve, and learn
the joys you share by the service you do.''
The Scouts presented Clinton with its most distinguished award,
the Silver Buffalo. The president proudly wore the medallion around
his neck on a red-and-white ribbon, and donned a red-and-white
The president is the most famous alumnus of Cub Scout Pack One
at Ramble Elementary School in Hot Springs, Ark. The Arkansas
contingent at the Jamboree stood and waved flags when Clinton
arrived, and the president immediately took notice.
``Don't boo 'em too hard,'' Clinton told the crowd. ``They're
just sticking up for one of their own.''
Records from the 1950s are sketchy, but show that young Bill
went on to join the Boy Scout troop at a local Baptist Church
before scouting lost out to music and debate, said Regina McKinney
of the Ouachita Area Council in Hot Springs.
``He became increasingly active in band and he became
increasingly less active in scouting,'' said Jamboree spokesman
``I think he gave up the Boy Scouts for politics,'' speculated
White House spokesman Mike McCurry.
In her autobiography, Clinton's mother, the late Virginia
Kelley, wrote that her son loved to ``plop himself up on the bed
squeaking and squawking on his clarinet.'' His young friend, Rose
Crane, squealed in surprise, ``You're playing a real song! That's
`Old Rugged Cross,''' when she finally recognized a pattern to the
noise, Mrs. Kelley recounted.
Clinton's clarinet later gave way to the saxophone, of course.
And his debating paved the way into politics.
Clinton's stepfather, Dick Kelley, made it all the way in
scouting. He's an Eagle Scout.
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