Remarks by Telephone to Eagle Scout Award Recipient Alexander M. Holsinger

September 14, 1982

The President. Alex?

Mr. Holsinger. This is Alex Holsinger.

The President. Well, this is Ronald Reagan. And, Alex, I'm kind of familiar with the place where you are right now. I played football a few times there in Bloomington against Illinois Wesleyan a long time ago. But now as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America, it's a pleasure to join with all those gathered in Bloomington today to congratulate you on becoming the 1 millionth Eagle Scout in our nation's history.

Mr. Holsinger. Thank you very much, sir.

The President. Well, listen, this accomplishment not only represents a major achievement in your own life, but it also demonstrates the important contribution that scouting continues to provide to so many young people. You, I know, must be very proud. And, indeed, you should be very proud of this outstanding honor, as I'm sure your parents and your friends are.

Mr. Holsinger. Yes, we are, sir.

The President. Well, your hard work and high ideals have carried you on a successful journey through the ranks of scouting. And along the way, I know you've learned many valuable lessons and have built a framework on which to constructively lead the rest of your life.

You've joined an elite group of scouts, too, because some of them are close associates of mine -- former President Gerald Ford; Secretary of Health and Human Services in this administration, Richard Schweiker; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce; and our good friend, Jim Brady.

Your accomplishments in scouting are, indeed, something to be very proud of. And I join you in extending my congratulations and best wishes for many more prospective years to come.

Mr. Holsinger. Thank you, sir.

The President. Well, it's been a pleasure to be able to participate even from long distance in what's going on. So please give my best to your family and friends. And again, to you, congratulations.

Mr. Holsinger. Thank you, sir. I will, sir.

The President. All right. Goodby.

Mr. Holsinger. Goodby, sir.

Note: The President spoke by telephone from the Oval Office at 11:16 a.m. Mr. Holsinger was in Bloomington, Ill., at a press conference to announce the 1 millionth Eagle Award recipient.

The Eagle Award is the Boy Scouts' top advancement award and has been earned by only 2.5 percent of those young men who enroll. It was first awarded in 1912. Alex Holsinger is an eighth grade honor student from Normal, Ill. For his service project, a part of the Eagle Award requirements, he directed the restoration of an abandoned and historic cemetery in Shirley, Ill.