Skip to comments.Gates: Scouting Instills Principles, Integrity, Honor
Posted on 03/04/2011 5:03:09 PM PST by SandRat
DALLAS, March 4, 2011 Recalling his own experience as an Eagle Scout, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates last night praised scouting for instilling principles, integrity and honor in tomorrows leaders.
The secretary told the audience of 1,500 that he could fit everything he owned in the back seat of his car when he went to Washington, D.C., at age 22 to work for the CIA. At that time, he said, earning his Eagle Scout badge was the only thing he had done that made him believe he could make a difference.
It was the only thing I had done that distinguished me from so many other high school kids, he said. It was the first thing I had done that told me I might be a little different because I worked a little harder, was a little more determined, a little more goal-oriented, more persistent than others. Earning my Eagle gave me the self-confidence to believe, for the first time in my life, that I could achieve whatever I set my mind to.
Much has changed, and not all of it for the better -- especially for young people -- in the 50 years since he was a Boy Scout, Gates said.
One thing, however, that has remained the same over the years is the positive experience of scouting on boys and young men, he added, and the ability of so many of them to surprise us and inspire us with their determination, their character, their skills, and their moral and physical courage.
Good homes and good parents produce good boys, but scouting tempers the steel, the secretary said.
At a time when many American young people are turning into couch potatoes and, too often, much worse, Gates told the audience, scouting continues to challenge boys and young men, preparing them for leadership.
One way scouting creates leaders, the secretary said, is by presenting new challenges that build confidence, self-reliance and the spirit of adventure. Another benefit, he added, is that Boy Scouts learn the importance of service to others.
The scouting movement shows dramatically that service -- public service -- still beckons the best among us to do battle with complacency, neglect, ignorance and the emptiness of the spirit that are the common enemies of social peace and justice, Gates said. Adults like you who support scouting are generously investing in our collective future - in [columnist] Walter Lippmans words, you are planting the trees we may never get to sit under.
Caring beyond ones self, the secretary added, is fundamental not only to scouting, but also to democracy and to civilization itself.
Scouting also prepares boys and young men to live lives based on unchanging values such as trustworthiness, loyalty, honesty, kindness, and the respect and dignity every person deserves, he said.
We in scouting believe that personal virtues -- self-reliance, self-control, honor, integrity and morality - are absolute and timeless, Gates said. There are in too many places too few people with scouting values -- people who say, On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty, and mean it.
The secretary noted that scouting allows adults who are leaders to teach boys to be leaders.
In challenging boys to learn skills, to master challenges, to strive to live up to high principles and moral values, to find the greater beauty in a life of cheerful service, to build strong character, scouting tempers them into strong leaders for tomorrow, Gates said.
Former President George W. Bush introduced Gates to the audience. Gates service as defense secretary dates back to December 2006, during Bushs administration.
Robert M. Gates
Is it too late for Gates to get his colleague Eric Holder enrolled in the Boy Scouts?
I can’t imagine what it would have been like to not have been involved in Boy Scouts.
As a youth yes. As an adult leader no, but I doubt he could pass the adult leader traing requirements.
The feminists, United Way and the libs want to destroy that !
As long as they aren’t being run by the UN’s World Scouting Organization!!
You nailed it!
The problem with Mr Gates.
He is still a boy scout loyal ,obedient, brave, clean ,reverent to Bush, Obama, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Whoever.
He never became a Man.
SandRat, love your posts.
I’d feel more buddy-buddy with Gates had he enlisted, earned the rank of PFC and at least run a patrol in enemy territory.
Semper Fi, SandRat.
I was just thinking that exposure to that Boy Scout honor and integrity might help Mr. Holder do a better job running the Justice Department.
And the Scouts are still “don’t ask, don’t tell”. We should have found some other Eagle Scout to be Secretary of Defense, this one is clearly devolving.
Ya, I’m surprised to see anyone in authority in our gov’t praise scouting. Because of their stand on homoseuxal leaders, the Boy Scouts have been condemned by the left.
Yes, Homosexuals founded the boy scouting units in Germany. It is why homosexuality became the “national vice” and, of course, united the SA Brownshirts which also embraced Hitler.
It is so great that the real men have not allowed homosexuals to infiltrate the Boy Scouts in America. I know a few have snuck in to sodomize the boys but for the most part their leaders have been very vigilant, indeed, and are fighting the culture that wants to normalize pederasty again like in ancient pagan cultures.
It is the only group I donate to.