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SecDef Gates at the Boy Scout Jamboree

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates addresses an audience of more than 45,000 scouts during the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Scout Jamboree on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., July 28. The massive group of boy scouts from all across America came to the 12,000 acre site for 10 days to celebrate the Boy Scouts' centennial.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates addresses an audience of more than 45,000 scouts during the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Scout Jamboree on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., July 28. The massive group of boy scouts from all across America came to the 12,000 acre site for 10 days to celebrate the Boy Scouts' centennial. Photo by Cherie Cullen

Story: Gates Shares Common Experiences, Vision With Scouts

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates July 28 shared his personal experiences and passion for Boy Scouting with tens of thousands of Scouts and their families gathered for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Boy Scouts of America.

“Scouting has been a big part of my life and my family’s life,” Gates told an estimated crowd of 45,000 gathered on 12,000 acres on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., as part of the annual National Scout Jamboree.

Gates, an Eagle Scout who has served on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts and is past president of the National Eagle Scout Association, shared his experiences growing up as a Boy Scout, earning scouting’s top rank 52 years ago, and being involved in his son’s Boy Scout troop. Even after serving eight presidents and years of working with world leaders, the secretary said, his memories of his Scout leaders are just as memorable.

I’ve written before that Murdoc’s son is a Boy Scout and that I am a huge supporter of of the BSA. Last night we went to a local cinema to watch the 100th birthday celebration live on the big screen, and though I was not a big fan of some of the selections for entertainment, it was fun to share in the excitement a little bit.

Scouting has been a big part of my son’s life and I credit a lot of what makes me so proud of him to Boy Scouts. He’s recently been elected Senior Patrol Leader of his troop, was chosen for the Order of the Arrow, and is also closing in on his Eagle rank. And I think that even boys who don’t aspire to such things benefit greatly by unplugging from the grid once in a while and getting out in the woods and learning some skills. There’s plenty of time to watch TV or play video games.

On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For by Rick Perry

Readers may be interested in the book On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I also posted on the exact 100th birthday date in February and the comments section had some good discussion.

Note: Over the years, a number of readers have contacted Murdoc to criticize the Boy Scouts of America or to try to enlighten me about all the bad things the organization stands for, so I’ll be clear right now and spell it out: Though no organization is 100% perfect and no organization is made up only of perfect individuals, the things the BSA stands for ARE THE REASON I support them so strongly. So while you are still free to tell me all about how the BSA is discriminatory or too religious or how you like organization X because they aren’t so hateful or how the Order of the Arrow is really an Indian/Masonic/Satanic/Whatever secret society, I will kindly invite you to go pound sand and like it.

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