The Internet and social media have changed the landscape of Scouting. This has been especially evident with the 2010 Jamboree. In near real time we’re seeing all kinds of reports from the field – thousands of Scouts and Scouters sharing their thoughts, their joys, their pictures sent from AP Hill to readers and viewers around the world.
One of the technical aspects of Jamboree that I’ve really appreciated is QBSA, a radio station (run by Scouts of course) that is broadcasting from the Jamboree via the Internet. Thanks to QBSA I had the opportunity to hear a very inspiring speech from Secretary of Defense Gates as he addressed the Scouts yesterday morning. Regardless of how I feel about who SHOULD have been there to speak, in hindsight I don’t think there could have been a better speaker for this audience than Gates. Gates is an Eagle Scout and addressed the Scouts with an understanding and appreciation of what they do, what they stand for and what it means to be a true citizen of our great country.
I believe that today, as for the past 100 years, there is no finer program for preparing American boys for citizenship and leadership than the Boy Scouts of America.
Earning the Eagle Scout’s badge was “the only thing I had done in my life that led me to think that I could make a difference; that I could be a leader,” he said to applause. “It was the first thing I had done that told me I might be different because I had worked harder, wasmore determined, more goal-oriented, more persistent than most others.”
The secretary told the Scouts some of them will go on to be leaders in industry, the government and the military. But most importantly, he said, Scouting has set them on the path to
“…becoming a man of integrity and decency, a man of moral courage, a man unafraid of hard work, a man of strong character, the kind of person who built this country and made it the greatest democracy and the greatest economic powerhouse in the history of the world.”
A full transcript of Gates’ speech is available: SPEECH
A video of the speech is also available via the Pentagon Channel: CLICK TO VIEW THE VIDEO
So if you’re not at Jamboree there’s still a lot you can experience. Head to http://www.bsajamboree.org/JamboreeRadio.aspx and give a listen.
You can also see the BSA’s Flikr page for great photos of Scouts enjoying Jambo 2010.