February 4, 2010

The Boy Scouts of America History Through the Decades


  • The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated on February 8 under the laws of the District of Columbia by W.D. Boyce.
  • The first awards for heroism are presented by the National Court of Honor.
  • By 1912, Scouts are enrolled in every state.
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  • After signing of the armistice, the slogan “The War is Over, But Our Work is Not” is adopted. Scouts render nationwide service during the influenza epidemic.1920s
  • The First World Jamboree is held in England; Boy Scouts from 32of 52 countries are present. the Boy Scouts of America sends 301 members.
  • The first achievement badges are earned by physically disabled Scouts.
  • The national Executive Board authorizes development of a program for younger boys, which will eventually become Cub Scouting.


  • The Cub Scout program is formally launched. there are 5,102 Cub Scouts at the end of 1930.
  • In response to the request of President Roosevelt in a radio address delivered February 10, Boy Scout perform a nationwide Good Turn, collecting 1,812,284 items of clothing, household furnishings, foodstuffs, and supplies for the distressed and needy.
  • The 5-millionth copy of the Handbook for Boys is published.
  • The First National Jamboree is held in Washington from June 30 to July 9, at the invitation of President Roosevelt, with an attendance of 27,232.


  • With the declaration of war, the government requests Boy Scout service for the distribution of defense bonds and stamp posters; collection of aluminum and wastepaper; defense housing surveys; victory gardens; distribution of air-raid posters; cooperation with the American Red Cross; and by joint agreement with the Office of civil Defense Mobilization, service in three capacities – messengers, assisting emergency units, and firewatchers.
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  • Long trousers and the Scout cap become part of the official uniform.
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s outstanding Wastepaper Campaign culminates in the General Eisenhower Award; a gold medal is presented to him in December by the Boy Scouts of America in appreciation. Other service includes collections in many communities, distribution of circulars on conservation projects, and the Green Thumb program.
  • Twenty thousand Scouts earn the General Douglas MacArthur Medal for growing food.


  • The Boy Scouts of America celebrates its 40th anniversary.
  • Scouts distribute more than a million posters and 30 million Liberty Bell doorknob hangers in a get-out-the-vote campaign.
  • Boys’ Life circulation passes the 1 million mark. The 15-millionth copy of the Handbook for Boys is published.


  • During Scouting’s Golden Jubilee year, thousands of boys earn the 50th Anniversary Achievement Award.
  • The U.S. Post Office Department issues a Boy Scout commemorative stamp in February.
  • The Inner-City Rural Program is Launched.
  • The 500,000th Eagle Scout badge is presented.
  • The BSA’s 40 millionth youth is registered.


  • Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources) is initiated as an ongoing BSA service project. It is estimated that during the year, 60,000 BSA units take part in SOAR-related conservation projects.
  • The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) is launched.
  • The Cub Scout Safe Bicycle Driving program and Cub Scout Physical Fitness program are introduced.
  • New editions of The Official Boy Scout Handbook and Wold Cub Scout book are published.


  • Cub Scouting celebrates its 50th anniversary and registers its 30 millionth Cub Scout since 1930.
  • The 11th National Scout Jamboree is held July 24-30 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. First lady Nancy Reagan pays a visit.
  • The Boy Scouts of America celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • The BSA is touched by the Challenger disaster, as two space shuttle crew members were active in Scouting as youths. Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka attained the Eagle Scout rank in 1964 in Holualoa, Hawaii. Dr. Ronald E. McNair reached Star rank as a youth in Lake City, South Carolina.


  • Pope John Paul II is presented with the BSA’s distinguished citizen of the World Commendation.
  • The BSA funds training leaders from the former Soviet Union and the writing of the Russian Scout handbook.
  • A focused initiative in Urban Emphasis encourages the formation of Cub Scout packs, boy Scout troops, and Explorer posts in low-income and minority communitites. The bilingual publication of Scouting literature is increased to serve Spanish-speaking parents and leaders.


  • The BSA’s 100 millionth youth is registered.
  • The National Scout Jamboree, held at fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, is the largest single-site jamboree since 1964, with more than 40,000 participants and an estimated 275,000 visitors.
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  • The BSA launches Good turn for America, a national initiative to address the problems of hunger, homelessness/inadequate housing, and poor health. The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity join as national partners.
  • February 8, 2010, The Boy Scouts of America celebrates 100 years of Scouting.