President Head, Members of the Boy Scouts:
The year 1935 marks the Twenty-fifth Birthday celebration of the Boy Scouts of America. During these years the value of our organization in building character and in training for citizenship has made itself a vital factor in the life of America. That is why not only the Boy Scouts of today, but the millions of men and boys who have graduated through Scouting, will be joined by millions of other Americans in the proper marking and celebration of our anniversary.
As I review the record of these twenty-five years of Scouting in America, I am impressed with the extent of the volunteer service we have rendered. We as a Nation are proud of the fact that in addition to our splendid system of education and of other services made available through funds secured by taxation, there are in each community so many well-organized and efficiently administered agencies which supplement the work of Government and make available additional opportunities which strengthen the best objectives of the home, the church and the school.
Every Scout seeks to do a good turn daily; every troop seeks to accomplish some community benefit; and occasionally, as last year, Scouts everywhere unite to do a good turn nationally. A year ago, as your Honorary President, I started the national Scout effort to collect household furnishings and clothing and supplies for those in need; and the results were truly amazing. Hundreds of thousands of families were helped by the Boy Scouts.
The program for this year, embracing as it does over one million boys, lasts throughout the year. In May there will be a gathering of the Leaders of Scouting at the Twenty-fifth Annual Meeting of the National Council.
But the outstanding event will be America's first National Jamboree, to be held here in the City of Washington from August 21st to August 30th. I hope to attend it in person. Since I extended the invitation a year ago, definite plans have crystallized. With the cooperation of various officials here in Washington a fine camp site has been made available and will be all ready to receive thirty thousand boys when the meeting starts. I am glad to know that the selection of these boys is being made on the basis of merit and, furthermore, that in many cases these boys will come to Washington at the expense of the troop and not merely because the boy's economic situation in life is such as to make it possible for his parents to send him.
Thirty thousand Scouts brought together under such conditions will mean the most thoroughly representative group of American boys ever mobilized for a purpose of this character.
We hope, too, that other countries will send at least small delegations to meet with us on this occasion. Because Scouting is now in active operation in almost every civilized Nation of the world, this will give us a splendid opportunity to enlarge our basis of mutual respect, of understanding and of friendship among the people of the world, regardless of race or creed.
In a moment Dr. West is going to lead the Scouts in thousands of halls and other meeting places in every State in the Union in repeating the Scout Oath and Law. I hope that the people who are listening to my voice will give careful heed to this Scout Oath. It is the basis of good citizenship; it is the basis of good government; it is the basis of orderly progress for our country in the years to come.