By the President of the United States of America
The Boy Scouts of America have rendered notable service to the Nation during the world war. They have done effective work in the Liberty Loan and War Savings campaigns, in discovering and reporting upon the black walnut supply in cooperating with the Red Cross and other war work agencies, in acting as despatch bearers for the Committee on Public Information, and in other important fields. The Boy Scouts have not only demonstrated their worth to the Nation, but have also materially contributed to a deeper appreciation by the American people of the higher conception of patriotism and good citizenship.
The Boy Scout movement should not only be preserved, but strengthened. It deserves the support of all public-spirited citizens. The available means for the Boy Scout movement have thus far sufficed for the organization and training of only a small proportion of the boys of the country. There are approximately 10,000,000 boys in the United States between the ages of twelve and twenty-one. Of these only 375,000 are enrolled as members of the Boy Scouts of America.
America cannot acquit herself commensurately with her power and influence in the great period now facing her and the world unless the boys of America are given better opportunities than horetofore to prepare themselves for the responsibilities of citizenship.
Every nation depends for its future upon the proper training and development of its youth. The American boy must have the best training and discipline our great democracy can provide if America is to maintain her ideals, her standards and her influence in the world.
The plan, therefore, for a Boy Scout week during which a universal appeal will be made to all Americans to supply the means to put the Boy Scouts of America in a position to carry forward effectively and continuously the splendid work they are doing for the youth of America, should have the unreserved support of the Nation.
Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America do hereby recommend that the period beginning Sunday June 8th to Flag Day, June 14th, be observed as Boy Scout Week through the United States for the purpose of strengthening the work of the Boy Scouts of America.
I earnestly recommend that, in every community, a Citizens' Committee, under the leadership of a National Citizens' Committee, be organized to cooperate in carrying out a program for a definite recognition of the effective services rendered by the Boy Scouts of America: for a survey of the facts relating to the boyhood of each community, in order that with the cooperation of churches, schools and other organizations definitely engaged in work for boys, adequate provision may be made for extending the Boy Scout program to a larger proportion of American boyhood.
The Boy Scout movement offers unusual opportunity for volunteer service. It needs men to act as committeemen and as leaders of groups of boys. I hope that all who can will enlist for such personal service, enroll as associate members and give all possible financial assistance to this worthy organization of American boyhood. Anything that is done to increase the effectiveness of the Boy Scouts of America will be a genuine contribution to the welfare of the Nation.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done this first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-third.
By the President:
Secretary of State.