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Although Theodore Roosevelt was no longer president of the United States when the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, he was an ardent booster of the organization. He was a troop committeeman of Troop 39 in Oyster Bay, New York, and first council commissioner of Nassau County Council. As a former president, he was elected honorary vice president of the Boy Scouts of America. Roosevelt was the first and only man designated as Chief Scout Citizen. For many years after his death in 1919, several thousand Scouts and leaders in the New York area made annual pilgrimages to his grave in Oyster Bay.

"More and more I have grown to believe in the Boy Scout movement. I regard it as one of the movements most full of promise for the future here in America. The Boy Scout movement is distinctly an asset to our country for the development of efficiency, virility, and good citizenship. It is essential that its leaders be men of strong, wholesome character; of unmistakable devotion to our country, its customs and ideals, as well as in soul and by law citizens thereof, whose wholehearted loyalty is given to this nation, and to this nation alone."

Roosevelt's Thoughts On Scouting

"The movement is one for efficiency and patriotism. It does not try to make soldiers of Boy Scouts but to make boys who will turn out as men to be fine citizens and who will, if their country needs them, make better soldiers for having been Scouts.

No man is a good citizen unless he so acts as to show that he actually uses the Ten Commandments and translates the Golden Rule into his life conduct - and I don't mean by this in exceptional cases under spectacular circumstances, but I mean applying the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule in the ordinary affairs of every-day life. I hope the Boy Scouts will practice truth and square dealing and courage and honesty. The man who counts and the boy who counts are the man and boy who steadily endeavor to build up, to improve, to better living conditions everywhere and all about them.

The same qualities that mean success or failure to the nation as a whole mean success for failure in men and boys individually. To be helpless, self-indulgent, or wasteful will turn the boy into a mighty poor kind of man just as the indulgence in such vices by the men of a nation means the ruin of a nation. Any boy is worth nothing if he has not got courage, courage to stand up against the forces of evil and courage to stand up in the right path. Let him be unselfish and gentle, as well as strong and brave. It should be a matter of pride to him that he is not afraid of anyone and the he scorns not to be gentle and considerate to everyone, especially those who are weaker than he is. If he doesn't treat his mother and sisters well, then he is a poor creature no matter what else he does; just as a man who doesn't treat his wife well is a poor kind of citizen no matter what his other qualities may be. Let the boy remember he must have knowledge, he must cultivate a sound body and a good mind and train himself so that he can act with quick decision in any crisis that may arise. Mind, eye, muscle all must be trained so that the boy can master himself and thereby learn to master his fate."

Boy Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911

Association Of Christians Through Scouting - ACTS

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More Great Thoughts By TR!


I believe in honesty, sincerity, and the square deal;
in making up one's mind what to do - and doing it.

I believe in fearing God and taking one's own part.

I believe in hitting the line hard when you are right.

I believe in speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

I believe in hard work and honest sport.

I believe in a sane mind in a sane body.

I believe we have room for but one soul loyalty,
and that is loyalty to the American people.