In Defense of Scouting: Gerald Ford

This article excerpt by Richard Gunderman of Indiana University, hosted on the “Gerald Ford Forum” website,, describes the importance of Scouting to Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States of America. 

From the White House, Ford later wrote, “My early years as a boy scout were invaluable in helping to shape the course of my later life. Throughout my public service and extensive travels around our country, I have seen firsthand evidence of the immeasurable worth of the basic values taught by scouting. The Scout Oath to help other people, keep physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight, and to do one’s duty to God and our country provides a solid basis on which to build both individual and national strength.”

Later in the article, Gunderman further describes President Ford’s ideas of the importance of Scouting to not only himself but the government and nation.

Ford continued, “I truly believe that the ideals and aspirations of all Americans and all Boy Scouts are as one, and I will continue to use these ideals as a guide and a compass in all my official duties. I think our goal should be more scouts in government, not less.” He invoked the nation’s history as the “new world,” where people could leave behind “oppressions and injustices that had darkened old civilizations,” and heralded the long, hard work of building a better nation that “still goes on today as we tackle new problems and challenges.”