Scouting has a long and honorable historyShould your son or grandson join a Boy Scout troop this year? Perhaps the history and present status of this revered program will help you decide.
Scouting began in England in 1907. Robert Baden-Powell, serving in the Boer War, found that British troops knew little about wilderness survival. He rewrote the military manual of outdoor skills and called it Scouting for Boys. He successfully tested it with 22 boys in the first Scout camp. Scouting was born.
Chicago publisher William Boyce introduced Scouting to America after a trip to London. He became lost in a dense fog. A boy showed him the way, but refused to accept a tip, saying, "I'm a Scout, sir." Intrigued, Boyce found Baden-Powell and learned about Scouting. In 1910, he incorporated an organization called Boy Scouts of America. In coming years, the movement spread to create the largest voluntary youth movement in the world.
The Boy Scout Pledge: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country ... to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
There are countless stories of Scouts who have saved lives with skills they learned in Scouting. Through the years, they have worked in groups to help where and when help was needed. For example:
* In the Depression, Scouts collected millions of pieces of clothing and distributed them to the needy.
* In World War I, they grew vegetables on mini-farms, sold war bonds, organized coastal patrols to watch for enemy ships, and discovered enough black walnut trees (for gunstocks and propellers) to fill 5,200 rail cars.
* In World War II, Scouts collected many tons of rubber, scrap metal, paper; and countless of books for GIs to read. Admiral Chester Nimitz said the 100,000 Sea Scouts who enlisted after Pearl Harbor played a major role in the Navy's ability to strike back.
Scouts have planted millions of trees, worked in "Get Out the Vote"
campaigns, and collected food for the poor. A Louis Harris Poll found that
95 percent of U.S. parents want Scouting programs and values for their