August 5, 2010

Scouting Corner – Year of Celebration

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

Scouts put the OUTING in SCOUTING

Did you know that even after one hundred years, the mission statement of the Boy Scouts of America has remained about the same? In 1910, the statement said, “The purpose is to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.” In 1937, Deputy Chief Scout Executive George Fisher stated the mission as “Each generation as it comes to maturity has no more important duty than that of teaching high ideals and proper behavior to the generation which follows. Now the current mission statement is “ to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

Summer camp and its experiences are one of the tools used to help implement the mission statement. Day camp activities help with learning some of the requirements for rank advancement, as well as team-work, leadership and citizenship. The older boys learn more indepth lessons while living and working in a week-long outdoor experience. Some of these skills are put to the test in the more adventurous camping experiences of Philmont treks and the National Jamboree.

At the writing of this column, over 50,000 Scouts and leaders are converging on Fort AP Hill, VA for this year’s National Jamboree. The statement is put to its test when this many strangers come together for a week-long camping experience. The statement has proven victorious each time. One hundred years and it is still going strong! Aren’t you glad that we have this organization to help our youth become tomorrow’s leaders?

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

50. Norman Rockwell designed the first 12 Scout medals for the BSA.

49. The only recorded Tyrannosaurus Rex footprint cast was discovered at Philmont Scout Ranch.

48. Rafael Petit and Juan Carmona of Caracas, Venezuela, hiked to the 1935 National Scout Jamboree, only to find that it was canceled due to a polio outbreak. They returned for the rescheduled 1937 Jamboree—a total of 8,000 miles.

47. Of the 12 men who would eventually walk on the moon, 11 were former Scouts.

46. These days, boys may earn the rank of Eagle Scout only until age 18, but until 1965, both boys and men could achieve Scouting’s highest rank.

45. The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is one of the largest scuba-diving operations in the United States, conducting more than 25,000 individual dives annually.

44. The first African American Boy Scout troop was organized in 1911 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

43. Each year, the BSA awards 6 million pocket certificates. If stacked on top of one another like a deck of cards, they would be as tall as the Empire State Building, the Washington Monument, both Sears Towers (now Willis Tower), and the John Hancock Conservatory combined.

42. At the outbreak of World War I, the Boy Scouts of America was the largest uniformed body in the United States—twice as large as the U.S. Army, nearly twice as large as the National Guard, four times larger than the U.S. Navy, and 11 times larger than the U.S. Marine Corps.

41. More than 1.5 million pinewood derby cars are sold each year. If the cars were lined up end to end, they would stretch 166 miles.

Be sure to join us next month for more of the countdown