2009-12-17 / Letters

Boy Scouts Of America Turns 100 In 2010

To The Editor:

On February 8, 2010, the Boy Scouts of America turns 100 years old. Let us go back a little more than 100 years to the beginning of the Scouting movement. In 1899 a man named Robert Baden-Powell published a book named Aids to Scouting, a guidebook of outdoor skills. Baden-Powell was a war hero of the Boer wars in Southern Africa. When Baden-Powell returned to Britain, he was surprised to find young boys following his book. In 1907, Powell decided to launch the Scouting movement by hosting a camp at Brown Sea Island near the southern coast of England. Thus, the Boy Scout program was started.

The next interesting event is what brought Scouting to the United States. In 1909 an American businessman named William D. Boyce visited London. While there he lost his way in the fog and a British Boy Scout helped him find his way. This sparked Boyce’s interest in the Scouting program and bringing it to the United States. Meanwhile, Ernest Thomas Seton met with Baden-Powell to discuss promoting opportunities for boys. Also around the same time, Daniel Carter Beard started The Sons of Daniel Boone based on the values and skills of the American frontier. These three men pulled together and on February 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded.

In 1910 President Theodore Roosevelt was named Chief Scout Citizen. Ernest Thomas Seton was selected as Chief Scout and Daniel Carter Beard agreed to serve as National Scout Commissioner.

It didn’t take long for Scouting to be accepted. In 1913 the famous painter Norman Rockwell started illustrating for Boy’s Life magazine.

Other important dates are 1912 the first Eagle Scout, 1915 the Order of the Arrow was founded, which is Scouting’s honor society, 1925 BSA tops 1 million members,1930 Cub Scouting started, 1959 the Exploring program started, 1965 Scouting recorded its 40 millionth member and its 500,000th Eagle Scout, 1972 the National Eagle Scout Association started, 1982 the amount of Eagle Scouts passed 1 million, 1983 a presidential committee recognizes the BSA for offering a program to 200,000 Scouts with disabilities, 1988 the first Scouting for Food drive, which resulted in 65 million cans of food by a million Scouts, 1998 the Venturing program started, 2000 the 100 millionth Scout joined, and 2009 awarded the 2 millionth Eagle Scout award.

Boy Scouting has been an important part of our country’s history. The BSA has helped with many things, including the war efforts, helping with the hungry, many service projects, some of which have been nationwide, instilling good values and morals in youths, and shaping it’s youth members into the leadership of tomorrow.

On Saturday, January 23, 2010, the Great Cove District of the Boy Scouts of America is hosting a banquet to celebrate this special occasion. We are inviting all Scouters past and present to join us. The banquet will be a covered-dish dinner at the Fulton Theatre. Come and see what the Boy Scouts are doing in your community today. If you are interested in attending, please contact Joe Mellott at 717-485-9264 or at jdmellott@ pa.net.
Joe Mellott

Return to top