Just as presidents before him have done for the past 80 years, President Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America on July 24 at the organization’s national scout jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia. Approximately 40,000 scouts were there to witness the president’s speech, which naturally made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
In general, mainstream media outlets panned the president’s speech for being too political, and he caught a lot of flak for saying, “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the boy scouts?” before speaking about politics and even threatening to fire his Health and Human Services secretary if he couldn’t convince members of Congress to vote for the Republican healthcare bill. It was President Trump being himself, and the boy scouts in the audience loved it.
Speaking for roughly half an hour at the quadrennial event, President Trump told the enthusiastic group of young men that when he’s at work, he’s literally surrounded by former scouts. “As president, I rely on former boy scouts every day,” said Trump, noting, “Many of my top advisers and ten members of my cabinet were scouts.”
He went on to point out that not only was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a scout, serving the organization as its former national president, but Vice President Mike Pence was also a scout.
“Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?” President Trump asked the group, referencing the fact that Obama was the only sitting president who never personally addressed the group’s annual jamboree. In fact, Obama missed the organization’s 100th anniversary, which was celebrated at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia in 2010, although he did send the scouts a brief videotaped message.
The crowd booed when Trump mentioned Obama’s name, before chanting, “We love Trump! We love Trump!” This is a fact that wasn’t widely reported in the mainstream news outlets.
White House intern Andy Schwarz of Bel Air, Maryland, is a junior studying Political Science and Advanced Leadership Studies at American University and is also an Eagle Scout. As the summertime session of the White House Internship Program under President Donald J. Trump winds down on Friday, Schwarz reflected on his time spent working in the heart of our country’s government.
Posted on the government’s website, the Intern Series has been giving the public a glimpse of what it’s like to work in the White House as an intern in the interns’ own words. Here’s what Schwarz wrote about the presence of boy scouts throughout our government’s leaders.
His blog entry is titled, “From an Eagle’s Eye.”
Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has had over 110 million youth members. A few years ago, I was one of those members, an Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 238 from Hickory, Maryland.
When BSA was founded by W.D. Boyce, their mission was “to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.” That mission statement; combined with Boy Scout Oath and Law, have set a standard both for how I conduct myself and how I expect my mentors to conduct themselves.
It is hard to miss the presence of scouting within the Trump Administration. I applied for and accepted an internship at the White House in part because this Administration puts faith in individuals who meet my expectations of leadership. Four of President Trump’s Cabinet members are Eagle Scouts. They are Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who even served as former President of the BSA. That means 25 percent of President Trump’s Cabinet Secretaries are Eagle Scouts: impressive, considering only 2 percent of scouts will ever attain the rank of Eagle!
Scouting promotes commitment to our local communities. President Trump has gone to great lengths to show his appreciation for local heroes, including police officers, first-responders, and active duty military. His vision for domestic and foreign policy, religious faith, and care for hardworking, self-reliant, middle-class Americans, all align with the tenets of scouting.
President Trump’s Cabinet appointments, as well as his emphasis on serving America first, demonstrate this Administration’s commitment to Making America Great Again and embracing the Scouting Principles of Duty to God and Country. I am beyond proud to be among the Eagle Scouts who are serving in this Administration.
Andy Schwarz is a junior studying Political Science and Advanced Leadership Studies at American University. Andy is a member of the Summer 2017 White House Internship Program in the Office of Presidential Correspondence.
If you or someone you know is considering a future career in government, the application process is now open for the Spring 2018 White House Internship Program. Designed to mentor and cultivate future leaders, the White House intern program gives young adults a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills while it prepares them for public service opportunities.
The application portal will remain open until 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2017. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered.