Video: Eagle Scout Mike Rowe tells Scouts to work smart AND hard

9330066163_b958b31ea7Eagle Scout Mike Rowe once got the worst advice he’s ever heard.

A teacher, Mr. Dunbar, told him to “work smart, not hard.” Ever heard that advice from a boss or teacher?

At Saturday afternoon’s stadium show, Rowe rewrote Mr. Dunbar’s bad advice, telling the crowd of tens of thousands of Scouts, Scouters and Venturers that the key is to “work smart and hard.” And he needs the help of all of us in the Boy Scouts of America.

If anyone can rouse a crowd through hilarious stories and inspiring words, it’s Mike Rowe. He did it at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree and at the BSA’s 2012 National Annual Meeting. The third time was his best yet.

The former Dirty Jobs host has embarked on a mission to increase the profile of skilled labor, where 3 million jobs are waiting “for people willing to get their hands dirty.”

The problem: Too many people consider skilled labor to be a “vocational consolation prize,” Rowe said. “I’m not talking about you guys,” he said. “The Boy Scouts get it. The Boy Scouts have always got it.”

Watch the full video of Rowe’s speech after the jump.

Photos from BSA Flickr


  1. Mike Rowe rocks! He should be the USA version of Bear Grylls. Make him a actual Commissioner, have him promote BSA on an official level.

  2. Steve, I agree. Would love to see him officially promote Scouting.
    BUT, if he doesn’t, that’s fine, too. Advocates for Scouting who don’t wear the shirt are just as important as those who do. Instead of saying, “hey, come over here. look what we’re doing.” He can say, “Hey, look over there at what they’re doing.”

  3. Very inspiring speech delivered by Mike Rowe, my son is attending the Jamboree and I watched online. His message will be the mantra my son and I will keep for the remaining years of his high school and post graduation education!

  4. Mike’s speech was the highlight of the Arena Show! A great message that appeared to be well-received by the Scouts, leaders, parents, and friends in attendance. I’m sure many will be talking about it in the days, weeks & years to come.

  5. I was at my 5th Jamboree and heard Mikes message outstanding for the young folks . If the BSA wants young folks to become part of the BSA maybe they should ask Mike what he would do to increase the membership. Oh i know there will be those you don’t care for the policy’s of the BSA,that’s OK but look at what the BSA IS doing in america to help others. Thats my rant for the day. Enjoy the weekend.

  6. Work smart and harder? How about get a decent wage while doing it? That is important as well, don’t promote being a good worker with out ample wages and protection that if you get injured you will still have some dignity. Not in losing 20% of your Social Security disability benefits.

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