March 2, 2010

Scouting Corner – 100th year of Scouting

By Thomas McDermott
Scout Executive, Illowa Council
Boy Scouts of America

As we at Illowa Council celebrate the 100th year of Scouting, I want to share some of the activities that our council will be doing.

In February, our Cub Scout Packs held their respective Blue and Gold Banquets. A Blue and Gold Banquet is the annual “Birthday Party” that the packs hold each year. Our Boy Scout Troops held many Courts of Honor as the boys advanced in rank. Our Council held its annual Recognition Dinner to honor the many volunteers that help the program. The high-light of the evening is the presentation of the Silver Beaver Award. This is a national recognition, the highest recognition a local council can bestow upon its volunteers. This year’s recipients for outstanding service to youth include long time Scouters Mark Burton, Harold Cover, Kathleen Tarnow, Christopher Thompson and business leaders David Bender, Loyal Tullius and Pete Pohlmann.

In March, one of our high lights is a special training course for adult leaders known as the “College of Commissioner’s Science” to be held at Augustana College. The president of the college and Illowa Council board member, Steve Bahls, has graciously provided meeting space for volunteers from across Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin to come together to hone skills that prepare them to better serve the Scouting groups in their communities. A council’s commissioner staff is the unit service branch of a local council. A very special guest speaker will be in attendance, Tico Perez. Eagle Scout, Hector A. “Tico” Perez is an American attorney and a partner in Baker Hostetler. He is the current national commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the Florida Board of Governors, president of the Orlando Utilities Commission and vice-chairman of the Orlando Arts Council

Another exciting event for our centennial is our partnership with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. We hope to have a blood drive that will challenge Scouters to donate 800 pints (100 gallons.) David Green from the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and I are very excited about our partnership to promote blood donations! If you are a Scouter and would like to donate, contact the

Mississippi River Regional Blood Center at 563 359 5401 for more information

Soar with the Eagles! On April 14, we will have our Eagle Scout Dinner on Rock Island Arsenal to recognize all men and boys that have earned Scouting’s highest rank. Major General Ives Fontaine will be our guest speaker. If you are an Eagle Scout and would like to learn more, contact the Illowa Council office at 563 388 7233.

For the next ten months, we will countdown to 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Scouting

100. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were Scouts as youth, and Jimmy Carter was a Scoutmaster. President Kennedy was the first Scout to become president; Gerald Ford was the first (and to date, only) Eagle Scout president.

99. The pages of Boys’ Life have been home to noteworthy writers such as Alex Haley, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Van Wyck Brooks, Ernest Thompson Seton, Bobby Fischer, Catherine Drinker Bowen, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur B. Reeve, and John Knowles.
98. In 1964, 41 Scouts were the first to earn merit badges for Oceanography, presented to them by Rear Adm. Denys W. Knoll.

97. During World War II, Scouts collected 7,000 tons of clothes for people in Europe and Asia.

96. The BSA was the first youth-serving organization to have a U.S. combat vessel, the USS Esteem, dedicated in its honor. It launched in December 1952.

95. In 1952, the World Book children’s encyclopedia published a special book on each of the merit badge subjects.

94. Ralph Bunche was the first Boy Scout to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1950. (Robert Baden-Powell was nominated in 1939 but did not win.)

93. During the Depression, the BSA employed special railroad executives who started and supported Scout troops in some 300 rural communities along railroad lines.

92. “Uncle Dan” Beard wrote that his greatest honor was having a mountain named after him—Mount Beard, which adjoins Mount McKinley.

91. Mickey Mouse, who was created in 1928, was the authorized name of a patrol in the 1930 Bronx Council Troop 246.

Join us again next month to learn 10 more unusual facts about the Boy Scouts of America and what we are doing in Illowa Council.