How could I let February slip by without mentioning the centennial of Scouting in America. Although it first originated in the United Kingdom in 1907 by General Robert Baden-Powell Scouting first came to America on February 8, 1910 and this massive youth organization has been unstoppable ever since. Today there's 4 million youth members in the BSA and over 110 million Americans have been members at some point in their lives including Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
No doubt about it, Scouting has had an enormous impact on American culture for 100 years and I am more sure than ever that it will continue in strength for another 100 years. Why? The simple answer in my opinion is because "boys will be boys" and the BSA meets their needs for adventure ten-fold. Despite a modern culture that now seems to foster less personal responsibility and self-reliance and with political correctness gone berserk at every turn.. I still predict that Scouting will become larger and stronger than ever before.
Scouting offers the experiences that a boy needs to be successful and the kind of activities that have been engrained in their very being for eons. It's hard to erase those impulses that makes boys boys.
Scouting is light years apart from the prepackaged entertainment produced by modern culture and overprotective parents. Sure it seems easier to just place the kid in front of a TV screen or video game inside the house all day but doing so will produce only mediocre adults at best. Boys need adventure, hands-on activity, competition, and opportunities for "in the field" leadership. Scouting is all that and much more.
One of the best things about Scouting is that a troop is youth led. At a certain age, usually by sixth grade, most boys begin saying to themselves, "That I don't need to listen to adults as much". But when an older boy tells them to "Clean up your tent" or "Do the dishes" they listen. Peer pressure works miracles and the Scouts of today are youth-led.
Membership in Scouts only costs $15/year and about $200 for summer camp. No doubt about it you can't get a better bang for the buck when it comes to building character for the next generation. So long as Scouts continues to be youth-led, high adventure, and 100 percent hands-on then it will be around for another 100 years. Happy anniversary!
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