May 5, 2010

Scouting Corner

Year of Celebration

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

The Boy Scouts of America have some exciting news from Kennedy Space Center! The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has officially taken its 100th Anniversary Celebration to new heights. Four Year of Celebration patches left the stratosphere recently as cargo on the space shuttle Discovery’s STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. A Year of Celebration, A Century of Making a Difference is the BSA’s 100th Anniversary patch-earning program that allows participants to earn recognition for making a difference in their communities.

“This collaboration between the BSA and NASA underscores a long history between Scouting and space programs,” said BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “At the earliest opportunities in Scouting, we are exposing young people to space exploration and preparing them for future work in science and technology fields.”

The relationship between Scouting and space stretches to before man’s first steps on the moon. In May 1964, 29 of America’s 30 astronauts
visited Philmont Scout Ranch, the BSA’s high-adventure base in Cimarron, New Mexico, for a two-week training trip to learn geological mapping and seismographic studies in preparation for the Apollo programs. Of the 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon, 11 were Boy Scouts. More than half of all U.S. astronauts have been involved in Scouting, including well-known astronauts Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovell, who are Eagle Scouts.

After the patches return from space, they will be displayed as part of the 100th Anniversary exhibit at the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas. Flying high on the space shuttle isn’t the only high-speed recognition of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary. Earlier this year, the BSA announced its Scout-themed IndyCar collaboration with Dale Coyne Racing. Just last week, Union Pacific unveiled UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America, only the 14th commemorative locomotive in the company’s history.

Continuing with our countdown to……..
100 Things You Didn’t Know About Scouting

80. On September 10, 1910, S. F. Lester of Troy, New York, became the first person to hold the Scouting leadership position of Scoutmaster (commissioned by the BSA).

79. Edward VIII, former Prince of Wales, is the only person who received the BSA Silver Buffalo Award (1929) and later became a king. The Silver Buffalo Award is awarded for distinguished service to youth.

78. The Kansas City Area Council has had an exceptionally productive advancement program and won the distinction of “Most Eagle Scouts” from 1912 to 1969, totaling 13,943. The council still ranks in the top 10 today.

77. Early Scouting leaders James E. West, Daniel Carter Beard, and Ernest Thompson Seton sat on first Eagle Scout Arthur Eldred’s Eagle board of review.

76. Dr. E. Urner Goodman, the founder of the BSA’s national honor society, the Order of the Arrow, was once a volunteer Scoutmaster of Troop 1 in Philadelphia.

75. Virtually unchanged since 1911, the design of the Plumbing merit badge is a water faucet.

74. The total number of merit badges earned in 1911 was 85; the number earned in 2008 was 1,913,676.

73. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has dived from the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base.

72. As part of the two-year “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty” campaign in 1949–50, Scouts erected more than 200 81⁄2-foot-tall replicas of the Statue of Liberty across the country. Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the statue on Seattle’s Aiki Beach became an impromptu memorial and gathering place for stunned Seattle residents.

71. In Scouting’s early years, institutions such as Cornell University, Columbia University, and the universities of Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, and California offered training courses for Scout leaders. More than 400 colleges and 34 seminaries offered such courses by the mid-1930s—half for college credit.

Be here next month to see some more trivia about the Boy Scouts of America.