Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 102nd anniversary this week. The youth organization was incorporated on February 8, 1910. In many churches in Georgetown County and around the United States of America, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture and Varsity Scouts will celebrate the beginning of the movement.
Chicago businessman William D. Boyce was on a business trip to London and was lost in the pea soup-like fog. A young boy came up to him, offered to lead him to his destination and refused a tip, saying “I can’t accept it. I’m a Boy Scout.”
Boyce was so intrigued he asked the boy to take him to Scout headquarters.
There he met Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, a retired British Army general who started the movement in England in 1907.
Boyce and other men organized the Boy Scouts of America.
Standing at national headquarters in Irving, Texas is a monument to that unknown Scout whose good turn helped bring Scouting to America.
Since those early days, there have been 62 million Cub Scouts, 52 million Boy Scouts and Venturers for 114 million total youth served. To do that work, more than 33 million adults have volunteered untold hours to help mold the boys in their charge. There are also girls who are members of some of the older youth programs and the separate Learning for Life program.
More than two million boys have earned the rank of Eagle, which many people equate with at least a high school education.
Georgetown County, also known as the Black River District, is home to five Boy Scout troops and eight Cub Scout packs. They range from Andrews to Plantersville, Georgetown to Murrells Inlet and serve as terrific vehicles for character development, citizenship and personal fitness.
Across the country in 2010, more than 2.7 million youth and 1.1 million adults were members of the Scouting movement.
Many outstanding citizens have been and are Scouts.
Boys learn to be good men, of bedrock character and honor.
They no longer have to know how to stop a runaway horse or build a log cabin — among the requirements for First Class Scouts in 1911 — but they learn a lot about life while having fun.
Tell the Scouts and leaders and former Scouts you know how glad you are that they give of themselves for the future of our country.
Happy Birthday, Boy Scouts of America!
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