Today marks the first day of Boy Scout Anniversary Week, a time devoted to recognizing the origins of Scouting and the tradition that Boy Scouts and Scout leaders carry on.
Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts in 1907. An American, William D. Boyce, became lost in the fog in London, and was helped by a young boy to find his way. When Boyce offered the boy a tip, the boy declined, saying that it was his duty as a Boy Scout to help others. Boyce was so impressed by the boy's character that he met with Baden-Powell to discuss bringing the Scouts to the United States. Boyce was helped by Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard and James E. West, and the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1910.
For many who have been Boy Scouts, the real benefits aren't really apparent until much later in life. Scouting shapes boys through strong moral and ethical values, helping them make good choices and set a straighter path than other youth who have not had such an opportunity.
Whether it's learning how to set up a camp, shoot a rifle or bow or help others, Scouting give those lifelong skills that never go away.
Boy Scouts who have the tenacity and determination to become Eagle Scouts are a special breed apart. If you've ever been to a Scouting ceremony, such as the Arrow of Light, you've heard how many U.S. representatives and senators, army generals and astronauts have been Eagle Scouts. The percentage is enormous.
And that's no coincidence. The values and skills Scouting imparts are the very same ones that men use in the courtroom, the operating room and the battlefield. There is no difference.
If you have a son who could benefit from Scouting, find a local pack or den. If you think you have what it takes to be a Scout leader, volunteer. Or if you would like to support Scouting, offer to sponsor a Boy or Cub Scout in your community.
Boy Scouting molds today's boys into tomorrow's leaders. So help Scouting. And help our country.