Parents are indicating their displeasure with the Boy Scouts of America after President Donald Trump gave a campaign-style speech to a group of young scouts on Monday, despite promising he wouldn’t speak about politics early on in the speech.
Some parents vented on Twitter after Trump’s freewheeling speech, calling Trump’s comments to the crowd of mostly middle school and teenage boys inappropriate.
While Trump at times encouraged the scouts to follow their dreams and work hard, he frequently fell back on his campaign-rally style rhetoric, which included attacks on journalists and news-media.
When Trump declared he would “kill” Obamacare, boy scouts in the audience began chanting “U-S-A.” When Trump asked the crowd if President Barack Obama had ever attended the jamboree, they booed Obama — who was a boy scout himself, as a child — while Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Price, who were standing behind Trump on stage, laughed and clapped.
Obama delivered a video address to the jamboree in 2010 for the boy scout organisation’s 100th anniversary.
Trump leaned further into his campaign posture at the jamboree, saying “under the Trump administration, you will be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” reviving an old declaration he routinely made on the 2016 campaign trail.
The president also railed against his 2016 presidential election rival, Hillary Clinton, eliciting more jeers from the crowd.
Parents appeared to be outraged by Trump’s speech.
After being involved with the boy scouts for years, this person said they “would never want to be associated with [them] now.”
One Twitter user said she “will be contacting” her district’s boy scout troop representatives.
This parent wasn’t happy with Trump’s standing by while the boys booed Hillary Clinton.
One parent said they were happy their son is at camp, but horrified with what happened at the jamboree.
One father indicated he was not surprised by Trump’s rhetoric, and alleged that he had a “rotten experience” with Boy Scouts, and said he wouldn’t allow his son to be involved.
This man was a former senior patrol leader for the Boy Scouts, and he won’t let his son join now.
Some parents expressed concern about their sons being “indoctrinated” at Boy Scouts events.
Parents were also “horrified” to see their sons’ hard earned achievements be “politicized.”
One parent said they would be withdrawing their son over the “disgusting” Trump speech.
However, some parents like this one said their sons had great experiences as boy scouts.
Parents seemed to agree that Trump’s speech crossed a line.
In an emailed statement to Business Insider, the Boy Scouts of America said:
“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies. The sitting U.S. President serves as the BSA’s honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree.”
The organisation did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about Trump’s specific remarks at the Monday rally.
Watch the full speech below:
My son is saying the same. We were involved with boy scouts for years. I would never want to be associated with organisation now.
— Kate (@Mamaofthreebear) July 25, 2017
Politics do not belong in the jamboree. Citizenship does. I’m the charter organisation rep for my son’s Troop.
Will be contacting district
— Ann ???????? (@GeekTalk51) July 25, 2017
My son is a Boy Scout, too. I am glad he is at camp in CA and not at Jamboree. That was horrifying.
— Mirren (@newhall89) July 25, 2017
I have a really rotten experience with the Boy Scouts when I was young. My son isn’t involved, after today, he will NEVER be involved.
— Furious Buddha (@KofiJamal) July 25, 2017
Right & left in agreement that Trump hijacked Boy Scouts for political rally.
My son worked hard to become an Eagle Scout and I am horrified to see the org allow itself to be politicized.
— Deb Bakes (@BakesDeb) July 25, 2017
I am so sad right now. My son is 15. He became a scout in 1st grade. Don’t take away something he worked so hard for
— Pardon Me Ellen (@ellensweeps) July 25, 2017
My son’s BSA experience was wonderful!!! A lot of diversity of troops near me, and my son’s troop wasn’t church sponsored.
— Benny (@BenBoo2000) July 25, 2017