You have been in Scouting since you were 7 years old. You are an Eagle Scout with a gold palm. You and your troop have gone to Philmont twice and Sea Base once. You have been to more summer camps and weekend campouts than you can count. After all you have done for Scouting and after all Scouting has done for you, how much do you know about the Scouting movement in the United States?
As I prepared to write an article on the BSA’s first hundred years, I’ll have to admit that there was a lot I did not know or remember. We all know that Sir Robert Baden-Powell stated the Scouting movement but did we know that it was William D. Boyce who incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in 1910? How many of the questions below can you answer?
Who is Ernest Thompson Seton and what role does he play in BSA history?
What is the Silver Buffalo Award?
What society within Scouting did E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson create in 1934?
What are the four major program groups in Scouting today?
What contribution to Scouting did Waite Phillips make in 1938?
In what year was the 100 millionth youth member registered in Scouting?
Where is the national Scout headquarters?
In what year was “Boys Life” first published?
How was the term Webelos conceived?
The answers to the quiz questions are below.
- In 1902 Seton formed a youth organization called the Woodcraft Indians. By 1910 membership was more than 100,000 boys. He sent a copy of the group’s handbook to Bayden-Powell to review. The two met that same year and Seton put together a handbook for Bayden Powell’s new group. In the handbook he claims credit for beginning the Scouting movement. He is quoted as saying, “Seton started it; Bayden-Powell boomed it…”
- The Silver Buffalo Award was first presented in 1926 and is the highest commendation given to individuals in recognition to their contribution to Scouting on a national level. Many well known figures have received the award but at least two Silver Buffaloes have been awarded to unknown people. In 1909 the unknown Scout who helped William Boyce in the fog in London and refused a tip because he was a Scout doing his Good Turn received an award. In 1928 a Silver Buffalo was awarded to the “Unknown Soldier” for patriotism.
- Goodman and Edson had listened to Seton talk about traditions of the American Indian. They developed a program based on the lore of the Lenni Lenape Indians and stressed brotherhood, cheerfulness and service. This group became the Order of the Arrow.
- The four major groups in Scouting today are:
- Cub Scouts- boys under the Scouting age of 12
- Boy Scouts- ages 12 to 18
- Venturing- Scouts 14 to 21. The program is based on the Sea Scouts of 1912, encompasses the Explorer program begun in 1935. In 1998 the career oriented program “Learning for Life” was developed and this group kept the Exploring name. All other high adventure groups and personal development programs became Venturing.
- Varsity Scouts- ages 14 to 17. This group focuses on sports as a theme. The patrol becomes a squad, the troop becomes a team, and the Scoutmaster becomes a coach.
- In 1938 Waite Phillips donated the initial 35,857 acres of land near Cimarron, NM that became Philmont Scout Ranch.
- In 2000 The Boy Scouts registered their 100 millionth youth member. In 1982 Alexander Holsinger became the 1 millionth Eagle Scout registered and in 2009 Anthony Thomas became the 2 millionth Eagle Scout registered.
- After 25 years in New Jersey the Boy Scout national office was moved to Irving, Texas in 1979.
- “The first issue of Barton's Boys' Life was published on January 1, 1911. Five thousand copies were printed of that first issue. Very few of those copies actually reached the public. The widely accepted first edition was published on March 1, 1911. With this issue, the magazine was expanded from eight to 48 pages, the page size was reduced, and a two-color cover was added. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine, making it an official BSA magazine. BSA paid $6,000, $1 per subscriber, for the magazine.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
- In the original Cub Scout program the ranks were Wolf, Bear and Lion. The first letter of each of these ranks along with the “S” from Scout and some appropriate vowels formed the word Webelos. The Lion rank was dropped in 1967. Webelos then came to mean the slogan “We’ll be Loyal Scouts.”