On February 8, 1910, now 114 years ago, the Boy Scouts of America was chartered. Scouting had started just over two years earlier in Britain, thanks to Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, who wisely tended to be called “BP”.
A war hero in England, he came home invited to do anything, but decided he wanted to find a way to use his unexpected fame to serve the youth. His experiences around the world led him to wonder what it meant for children to grow up in an ever-developing industrial revolution, in residential areas that we would today call suburbs, with fewer and fewer contact with nature or the opportunity to walk and wander. pretty much in it.
“Scouting for Boys” launched World Scouting in 1908; the girls asked to join early and in 1909 he established guides in Britain. A chance meeting with Juliette Gordon Low led to the creation of the Girl Scouts in the United States after 1912.
Today, the scout movement spans more than 200 countries and has at least 35 million members. Scouting is one of the most formative experiences of my life, and I owe more to Pack 20 and Troop 7, Camp To-pe-nee-bee and Wood Lake Scout Reservation than I can say in this column alone. As a Cub and Boy Scout, youth member and adult leader since 1979, what I learned while participating in the Scout program has helped me in all kinds of activities and life quests far beyond the fires camp and dutch ovens.
Many are familiar with the Scouting Oath and Law, but you may not know as much about the “aims and methods” of Scouting. The four goals are character, citizenship, fitness and leadership. These are the elements that we aim to develop in the young people who participate in the Scout program.
To achieve these goals, Scouting uses eight methods: Our Scout ideals (exemplified by the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto and Scout Slogan); use of the patrol method; our advancement system (best known in Scouts BSA through ranks and merit badges); the opportunity to…