AUSTIN (KXAN) - From Scouting to stumping... if you have followed the first week of Gov. Rick Perry's campaign for president, you have probably heard this story.
"When I wasn't farming or attending Paint Creek Rural School, I was generally over at Troop 48," Perry told South Carolina voters as he announced his candidacy last Saturday.
A day later, he repeated the story for Iowa voters.
"(I was) going to Boy Scouts, where I worked mighty hard, and obtained the rank of Eagle Scout,"
Charles Mead with the Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council in Austin said he sees why Perry would use scouting as a campaign point. It has deep roots in the presidency.
"There's always an instant recognition when you hear the term Eagle Scout," Mead said. "There is an automatic respect that goes along with that term."
Since the BSA started 100 years ago, every U.S. president since William Howard Taft has served as the organization's honorary president. John F. Kennedy was the first Boy Scout in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were both Cub Scouts. And Gerald Ford was the first Eagle Scout to run the country.
"Service to your country is critical," said Mead. "Politics is not."
But politics has created controversy in the past - even with some of Perry's current opponents.
"I wanted to send my greetings to everyone taking part int he National Scout Jamboree at Fort. A.P. Hill," President Barack Obama said via video at last year's centential jamboree. Some in the crowd were disappointed he did not appear in person, like many past presidents – some even booing his video from the crowd.
And, read Perry's first book, "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For." It points out a political hiccup with his GOP rival, Mitt Romney.
Perry talks about the Winter Olympics Romney headed up, where gays and Boy Scouts became an issue, saying: "We know that Romney, as a political candidate in the politically liberal state of Massachusetts, has parted ways with the Scouts on its policies over the involvement of gay individuals in Scout activities."
"I happen to believe our best days are in front of us," Perry told an Iowa crowd later this week.
Perry is both proud and protective of his Eagle Scout past. And it is clear, depending on how you use it, Scouting can be a powerful tool.
"The presidency is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities to make a difference in our country," Mead added.
But Perry is not the lone Scout in the group of GOP contenders. Running neck and neck with the Texas governor, Romney is also an Eagle Scout. Right behind them, Michele Bachmann was once a Girl Scout.
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.