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5 FAST GOOD READ Hailing the Chiefs

As author David Scott explains, Scouting’s “long, symbiotic relationship” with the American presidency started in 1911, when Boy Scouts of America offi- cials met with President William Howard Taft in the Oval Office. Taft endorsed the fledgling organization and became

Scouting’s first honorary president, giving the BSA a huge publicity boost. Now Scott has written My Fellow

Americans: Scouting, Diversity, and the U.S. Presidency, a fascinating history of Scouting’s “unique and influential partnership” with the 19 consecutive presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. It’s a great companion to Scott’s previ- ous books about the BSA, which include The Scouting Party and We Are Americans, We Are Scouts. “I knew Scouting had ties to the

presidents, but I didn’t know how strong those ties were,” before researching the book, Scott says. Teddy Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge played “an enormous role” in Scouting, as did Franklin D. Roosevelt, who made an annual address to Scouts and “used them to the hilt” in the homefront war effort. FDR said that Scouting “represents a new era of moral force in America.” Richly detailed, My Fellow Americans


News You Need


As the BSA embarks on a new era of training opportunities for volunteers and professionals, we already know of one

change in training for professionals: District Operations 2 will replace PD-L2 in 2015.

plenty of info at

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The 2015 Order of the Arrow Conference happens Aug. 3 to 8 at Michigan State University, and those

who attend (and only those!) will receive a cool new white-on-red sash. Get the details at


Coming soon: Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions, an inspiring feature film that highlights

Venturing got a major makeover earlier this year, and its new awards become mandatory at year’s end. Find

Scouting’s power to build character in young people. The BSA will help local councils use the movie as outreach to chartered orga- nizations about organizing a pack or troop. Get more information and see a preview at


“Sustainability” isn’t just a buzzword with the BSA; it’s a part of our DNA. That long-standing pledge to appreci-

ate and conserve the natural world set the stage for the 2014 Sustainability Summit in October at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. With a theme of “Green to Deep Green,” the conference gave leaders and volunteers a chance to learn from some of the world’s leading sustainability experts, corporate leaders, Scouting profes- sionals and even the youth we serve. See what was shared at

reminds us that John Kennedy was the first Boy Scout alumnus to reach the White House, and Gerald Ford is the lone Eagle Scout to hold the office. “Ford’s morality was based on the

Scout Oath and Law,” Scott says. “You saw it in the way he handled the Watergate scandal, the way he took it on the chin for the country by not pros- ecuting Nixon.” Buy My Fellow Americans ($21) at


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