President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69) was an active Scout leader with the Capitol Area Council in Austin, Texas, and was a member of the National Capital Area Council from 1959-63. In 1963, he helped organize Post 1200 in Washington, D.C., which was chartered by the House of Representatives for pageboys working in Congress.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon hosted the first BSA National Explorer Presidents' Congress on the White House lawn. Previously, as vice president, Nixon spoke at the national jamborees held at Irvine Ranch in California in 1953 and Pennsylvania's Valley Forge National Historical Park in 1957.
Gerald Ford (1974-77) was the first Eagle Scout to become vice president and the first Eagle Scout to become president.
President Jimmy Carter (1977-81) was also an avid supporter of the BSA, having been a scoutmaster, troop committee chairman and Explorer adviser.
Before becoming president, Ronald Reagan (1981-89), then governor of California, became involved with the BSA on the Golden Empire Council. He was chairman of Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources) and served as membership roundup chairman and on the council's advisory board.
President George H.W. Bush (1989-93) was a strong advocate for Scouting, too, appearing at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.
Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was a Cub Scout and, as president, greeted 36,000 Scouts and leaders at the 1997 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill.
President George W. Bush (2001-09) was also a former Cub Scout and praised the BSA when he spoke to the nearly 40,000 Scouts, volunteers and leaders at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill.
All that the BSA website can say about President Barack Obama is that he "received the BSA's (SET ITAL) 2008 Report to the Nation (END ITAL) from a group of young people representing all the Scouts of America. In recognition of the president's favorite sport, the report's delegation also gave him a BSA basketball that each of them had signed."
In this historical survey, do you see any U.S. presidential differences in support and advocacy of the BSA?
Mr. President, it's time to come out of hiding from the shadows of the White House, to quit playing duck-and-dodge with BSA's support, and to publicly stand up for and defend this amazing organization.
There's still time to redeem your flailing honorary presidency of the BSA. And you can start by attending the National Scout Jamboree from July 26-Aug. 4 at the 76,000-acre facility of Fort A.P. Hill, nestled in the rolling green hills of Virginia, conveniently close to our nation's capital and your home.
Mr. President, I'm certain the BSA's National Council and local leadership will cater to your schedule so you can attend the NSJ at any time over its 10-day celebration, if even for a single hour. And I'm doubly certain that the prospective 43,000 Scouts and leaders attending there would love to hear from you as they've heard from past presidents. And all of us would be eager to hear what you would say to them, especially me.
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