Gerald Ford, Eagle Scout, at age 16.

Boy Scouts


[My parents] urged me to join Boy Scouts as soon as I was old enough.  We didn’t have Cub Scouts, so when I was 12, I and about five others my age in the neighborhood all joined Boy Scouts – Troop 15, Trinity Methodist Church…My parents strongly supported my Scouting.  My stepfather was on the Troop Council, went to the Boy Scout camp my first year for two weeks. And for the next three or four years I worked as a non-paid aide or assistant.
-Gerald Ford


The Ford's were involved with several organizations aimed at improving the community. In addition to being a dutiful church-going family and members of the South High Parent Teachers association, Gerald Ford Sr. was involved in the Youth Commonwealth, an organization he helped create to help provide support for young boys in poor families. He was also a dedicated member of the Masons. Dorothy was involved with her organizations as well, such as the Santa Claus Girls, a group of women who would make or collect gifts to give to impoverished families of Grand Rapids. Junior, no doubt influenced by his parents’ engagement with the community, became involved with an up and coming organization called the Boy Scouts of America.


Jerry Jr. became eligible to join the organization on his twelfth birthday, and his scouting career began in December of 1925. He was sworn in by giving the Scout oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” It was in Scouts where he learned an appreciation for nature, became a masterful swimmer, and gained experiences that he would take pride in for years to come. Ford would eventually become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, and remain connected to the organization and its ideals throughout his life.