Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks At the Eagle Scout Court of Honor

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thursday, May 27, 2004  •  Speech

Thank you.  I am real proud of the two young men we are honoring here today, and not just because one of them is my nephew.  It is because Ross Hairgrove and Drew Garison have shown great character, loyalty and determination in earning their Eagle Award.

I will always remember with great pride my scouting accomplishments, including the day that all my hard work paid off as I received the Eagle Award.  My dad called it the second most unlikely achievement of my young life, only behind finishing in the top ten of my class at the Paint Creek Rural School, of course, there were only 12 of us.

Scouting instills values that keep our children on the right path.  Scouting teaches young men and women to be resourceful and self-reliant.  It instills an appreciation of the great outdoors, and the survival skills needed to confront difficult challenges.  And in teaching practical skills, scouting imparts invaluable virtues that will last our children a lifetime. 

The lessons of scouting are about the lessons of life: finishing a task to the end no matter how difficult or how long one must endure, demonstrating character and fortitude in the little things as well as the big things, devoting one’s efforts to causes greater than self.  No one illustrates this more than an Eagle Scout. 

If you would, please allow me to read the important words of the “Eagle Charge and Promise” it truly summarizes what this day is about:

“Scouts of all nations make up one of the most wholesome and significant movements in the world’s history.  You have been judged by the Boy Scouts of America as being worthy of this honor. 

“All who know you rejoice in your achievement.  This award, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility. 

“As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to Country, to your fellow scouts and to mankind in general. 

“This is a great undertaking.  As you live up to your obligations you bring honor to yourself and to your brother scouts.

“America has many good things to give you and your children after you; but these good things depend for the most part on the quality of Her citizens.  Our country has had a great past.  You can make the future even greater.

“I charge you to undertake your citizenship with solemn dedication.  Be a leader, but lead only toward the best.  Lift up every task you do and every office or position you hold to the highest level of service to God and to your fellow man.

“So live and serve, that those who know you will be inspired to finer living.  I charge you to be among those who dedicate their hearts, hands, skills and abilities to the common good. 

“Help to build America’s future by continuing to set an example of clean living, honest work, unselfish service, citizenship and reverence for God, regardless of what others may do.  You will leave behind you a record of which you may be justly proud.”

Ross and Drew, I charge you to enter this Eagle Scout brotherhood without reservation and hold always before you the ideals of honor and service.  By repeating the Eagle Scout Promise before your fellow scouts, you will become fully an Eagle Scout.  The last line of the promise, when you pledge yourself on your ‘sacred honor’, you will be sealing your eternal loyalty to the code of the Eagle Scout with the same words which closed the Declaration of Independence.   

Will all Eagle Scouts here today please come forward and stand around the Eagle Candidates as they take the Eagle Scout Promise.  Ross, Drew and Eagle Scouts, repeat after me:

“I (state your name)…
reaffirm my allegiance…
to the three promises of the Scout Oath.
I thoughtfully recognize…
And take upon myself…
The obligations and responsibilities…
Of an Eagle Scout.
On my honor, I will do my best…
To make my training an example…
And my status and my influence…
Count strongly for better Scouting…
And for better citizenship…
In my troop…
In my community…
And in my contacts with other people.
To this I pledge my sacred honor.”

Congratulations!

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