It took a few days, but the chief scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America finally weighed in publicly on President Trump’s highly politicized speech at the organization’s National Jamboree on Monday. In a statement posted online, Michael Surbaugh acknowledged that the country is locked in a polarized climate but said the tenets of scouting—trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, bravery—haven’t changed:
“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”
Read the full statement here.