February 8 is National Boy Scouts of America Day. This year celebrates the group’s 108th birthday.
The idea of what we know as the Boy Scouts came from a retired British military officer and war hero, R.S.S. Baden-Powell, in 1908. Baden-Powell, who wanted boys to have an understanding of the outdoors, wrote a book called “Scouting for Boys.” The book was popular and soon sparked a movement.
It’s said that in 1909, an American publisher named William Boyce was visiting London and got lost in the fog one day when he was out and about. A Boy Scout came to his aid and guided the man to where he needed to be. A grateful Boyce offered a tip, but the Boy Scout refused, saying he couldn’t take payment for a good deed. Boyce was so impressed that when he returned home, he made it a mission to set up Boy Scouts of America, incorporated in 1910.
Boy Scouts took off like wildfire in the U.S., especially in places like Texas where boys had already been reading the scout books Baden-Powell was putting out. Although Baden-Powell was from Britain, his books often told tales of Native Americans and U.S. Army scouts on the Texas plains. And it ignited the imaginations of young Texas boys.
Within a short time, community leaders began to see the value in the Boy Scouts. And by the late 1920’s, scouting had spread throughout the state. Places like San Antonio, Austin and Houston were the first.
For more than 100 years, scouting has helped teach young Americans the value in getting outside and roughing it. It’s helped reinforce ideas about doing what’s right, and it’s helped prepare these children to live balanced lives as adults.
From all of us here at Veteran Energy, happy birthday Boy Scouts of America!