For 102 years old, the Boy Scouts of America sure looks good.
The nation’s top youth-serving organization was born on Feb. 8, 1910 — five score and two years ago today. But despite its age, the BSA remains a vibrant, relevant movement of youth and adults who have a positive impact on the world.
Each Feb. 8 offers a timely opportunity to look back on the year in Scouting. (Just like I did on Feb. 8, 2011 and 2010.)
And what a good one last year was, both for the organization and for me personally.
Scouting’s 101st year, comprising most of 2011 and the start of 2012, included the launch of two new merit badges: Robotics and Chess (Welding, which debuts Feb. 24, will be part of the 102nd year).
The BSA’s four high-adventure bases prospered last year. Philmont, Northern Tier, and Sea Base had record attendance, and The Summit saw construction continue and its total financial contributions pass $200 million.
Registrations for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree are in full swing, so sign up now to attend or serve on staff.
As for me, I attended the 2011 World Scout Jamboree in Sweden (read my Scouting magazine story here), visited Northern Tier for the first time, and just recently returned from Death Valley National Park for a weekend trip with a troop from Berkeley, Calif. (look for that story in our January-February 2013 issue).
How are packs, troops, teams, and crews celebrating today?
I asked our Facebook fans (be sure to Like us!) to share their birthday celebration plans. Here are a few favorites, starting with the best comment ever:
- “I’ll celebrate with a cup of coffee while reading Scouting magazine.” — Barbara J.
- “Wearing my Eagle Scout tie to work (almost always have a Scouting-related lapel pin).” — Fritz C.
- “Our Tiger and Wolf den is celebrating with a birthday party! Cub Scout cupcakes, a lesson on the history of Scouting and lots of fun games that were popular through the years.” — Scott W.
- “By still being in Scouting since January 1943.” — Carl B.
- “I’ll wear my uniform to school… it’s okay to still be a Scout in college!” — Aimee W.
- “Wear your uniform to work and school day! We are promoting this on our Facebook page and encouraging as many people to do this.” — Monmouth Council
What’s in store for Scouting’s 102nd year?
How can Scouters top last year?
Start by reading these nine ways to be a better Scouter in 2012.
Then make plans to offer Welding, Kayaking, and Search and Rescue merit badges — all due out this year — to your troop.
What else do you have planned?