OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:
White House Girl Scout Campout
Girl Scouts join hands and sing “Taps” at the White House Campout, as part of the “Let’s Move! Outside” initiative, on the South Lawn of the White House, June 30, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
Remarks by The First Lady at Let’s Move! Campout on The South Lawn
Source: WH, 6-30-15
4:36 P.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: Great job, Aniyah! (Applause.) Hey, guys. You ready for this?
MRS. OBAMA: We are so excited to have you here. I’m not going to talk long because I really just wanted to formally welcome you to the White House. There it is. It’s right there. It is right there. And you’re going to be sleeping out here. Can you imagine that? This is the first time we’ve ever done a campout on the South Lawn of the White House. You are making history. This is something you can tell your kids and your grandkids. Do you understand the impact — (laughter) — the importance of this moment, today?
It’s exciting. Well, you know who’s more excited than you all? Me. (Laughter.) And everyone here at the White House. I have to tell you, to make this happen it took a lot of work. We have security. The Secret Service had to be involved. The Social Office, the Department of the Interior. We couldn’t do this without them. We’re so excited and so proud of Secretary Jewell, who couldn’t be here because she’s doing stuff for the President. But she wanted to say hi. And she put a lot of energy into making this day and night happen for you guys.
So I want to make sure you thank all the people around you while you’re here, all the staff people. Because people are going to be sleeping out here with you, making sure that you’re safe and that everything goes well. Okay? So make sure you thank folks. But everybody is excited to have you here.
We’re doing this because I am the honorary [National President] of the Girl Scouts. I’m very proud to be the honorary co-chair. And I am also very — a big proponent of getting outside and staying active. You guys have heard of Let’s Move. That’s my program about keeping kids active and healthy. And one of the components of the program is something called Let’s Move Outside. And this is something that we’re doing to encourage kids to get outside and get moving in their National Parks, because this is the 100th anniversary of our National Parks. And we have so many beautiful parks all over this country that are free to families and kids, and they can hike and they can camp and they can discover the great outdoors. We want people to find their parks all around.
And one of the reasons why we wanted you all here — did you know that the White House is a National Park? You knew that? You did your research? Well, what better way to highlight Let’s Move Outside than to have the Girl Scouts camping out right here in a National Park at the White House. Good idea, huh?
Well, I’m very proud of you all because you all get outside a lot. You’re good campers. And I’m happy that Kathy and the Girl Scouts — you’ve developed these new outdoor badges that you can earn, I understand. All these things — hiking, and all these exciting outdoor things. So you guys are going to teach me how to do some of these things, will you please? I don’t know if I can officially earn a badge, but I want to try. All right?
So I want to get going. But you guys have got to be helpful. I don’t know anything. I don’t know how to tie a knot. I don’t know how to pitch a tent. I can sing a little bit. I’m definitely not climbing that wall. (Laughter.) That’s up to you all, okay?
So will you help me get moving and learn how to do some new stuff? All right, let’s get going! (Applause.)
4:40 P.M. EDT
Remarks by the President at Let’s Move Camp Out on the South Lawn
Source: WH, 6-30-15
8:35 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Why are you guys still up here? (Laughter.) How’s it going? So what’s been going on? What have you guys been up to?
THE PRESIDENT: You’re singing camp songs?
MRS. OBAMA: Is that all you’ve been doing is singing — and why are you all dusty? (Laughter.) What game were you all playing? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: So you’ve been singing. What were you doing before you were singing? You guys had dinner.
THE PRESIDENT: You did some rock climbing?
THE PRESIDENT: Where did you go rock climbing? (Laughter.) There are no rocks over there. What are you talking about? (Laughter.) So you guys been having fun?
THE PRESIDENT: So most of you guys are going into 5th grade or 6th grade?
THE PRESIDENT: Going into 5th. And so you guys are from a bunch of different troops, or —
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, from all over the country?
THE PRESIDENT: So you guys are making new friends.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s terrific.
MRS. OBAMA: Look at their cool little chairs.
THE PRESIDENT: They’re very nice chairs.
GIRL: They roll back. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Can I just say back when I went camping my tents weren’t as nice. (Laughter.) And I didn’t have cool chairs like this. (Laughter.)
GIRL: Where did they come from?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. They just showed up. (Laughter.) I don’t know what you guys are doing here. (Laughter.)
GIRL: Camping on your lawn. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: You’re camping on my lawn. I don’t know how that happened.
MRS. OBAMA: They’re making history.
THE PRESIDENT: I think the reason you guys are here is because we’re celebrating the Great Outdoors and the National Park Service is trying to make sure that young people get outside — so you guys aren’t watching TV all the time, or playing video games all the time, but you’re getting outside, getting some fresh air and spending time with your friends and having adventures. And there are national parks all across the country, and it turns out that the White House is a national park. (Applause.) I didn’t know that.
MRS. OBAMA: They knew.
THE PRESIDENT: You guys knew. Okay. So you guys are helping to celebrate and kick off this whole Great Outdoors adventure that everybody is going to be having this summer, right?
THE PRESIDENT: All right. So I don’t really know any campfire songs. Are you guys going to teach me one?
(The President and the First Lady sing along to campfire songs.)
THE PRESIDENT: Did you see the First Lady rocking out a little bit? (Laughter.) She had the moves.
All right, well, you know what, you guys are having so much fun. Unfortunately, I’ve got to go to work.
GIRLS: Noooo —
THE PRESIDENT: I am not allowed to have fun. (Laughter.)
GIRL: Can we have a hug?
THE PRESIDENT: We can have a group hug. (All the girls at once come running up for a group hug.) Those are some good hugs! I didn’t know that Girl Scouts gave such good hugs. (Laughter.) Who are those Girl Scouts over there? (pointing to the troop leaders.) They look at least like they’re juniors. (Laughter.)
I’m so glad you guys are having fun. But I want to make sure — you guys better clean up this mess. (Laughter.) When I wake up in the morning — I’m teasing. You guys aren’t going to be making a racket, are you?
THE PRESIDENT: All right. It was good to see you guys. All right, have fun.
8:47 P.M. RDT