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A few samples of Scouting in pictures, from pages of old history to a more modern panorama, beginning with the 1st Natonal Jamboree, 1937 in b/w.

A Salute to Scouting

   This web page reflects what Scouting means to the author.

   

To be a scout means a lot of different things, including the idea that when the chips are down, don’t be an alarmist and don’t give up. That includes both boys and girls.  And, to be prepared. 

The future is for the young and with the advent of better and newer technologies, the potential can be, like the sky—,unlimited (courtesy of Venture City.)

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     The history of the Boy Scouts goes back over 100 years, and within the span of those decades, their programs gave young people the opportunities to learn and use ideas that they would not otherwise learn.  Scouting brought special times in the lives of many who went through those Scouting programs.  

     Here is probably the first video in color about what is known in scouting as a jamboree.  This Scout Jamboree was the first held after WW II, held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1950.  America was at peace, but at this time North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel and the Korean War started.  (Raise the vol. on your devise.) 

     It had 600 showers, 4400 patrol kitchens, 4 miles of specially laid sewer lines, 1200 latrines, a bank, and own telephone system.  Jamborees are like a little city.  Pres. Eisenhower appeared July 4, when the scout pop. rose above 125,000. 

     This was still the era of trains, and at one station over 200 trains packed with Scouts unloaded their consists. 

     A really big jamboree occurred here on the West Coast, in California in 1953; alas before I was born.  If you like history, this is not to be missed.  It is initially narrated by Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart, a big, big star from the last century and very internationally recognized. This Jamboree had commissaries, hospitals, post offices, trading posts, a bank, fire crews, 1,224 troop campsites, 1,400 showers, 4 miles of sewer pipe, 4,500 latrines, and some 30,000 tents.  Scouts from 16 nations attended. 

     Our third video is a short 44 seconds, a clip that shows the Boy Scout Jamboree in the Philippines.  The fourth video is an interesting video from 1960, a color corrected video, sharpened, courtesy of Robert Starling.  This national jamboree was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado with over 56,000 Scouts.  

     I found this video created in 2018.  This last video pertains to the first jamboree of a new century, 2001, where over 40,000 Scouts encamped—another continuation of future leaders of world peace.  Ah, the things they can do with computer wizardry.  

The Boy Scouts of America underwent an explosive spike from the 1950s to the early seventies. I was part of the ladder part of that.  It was a wonderful time for me and my younger brother. This is a picture of the author and of his brother as Boy Scouts in the early 1970s.  Then is a picture of the founder of Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell.  Here are two nice little bios of him on video.  Link 1, as England faces a slow decline, courtesy of Xanthein.   Link 2, courtesy of Roger Chatell

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Check out the new style cap, from the decade of the 70s.

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     Here is a picture of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt with scouts at the oval office during the decade of the Great Depression, followed by a sample of the Boy Scout Handbook from my era.  It was printed in 1964 and was still used til the mid-seventies or so.

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     Above is the previous edition of the Handbook (1959), while this next edition goes way back to 1923, if you can believe that.  I’m not sure when my brother and I joined the Boy Scouts but during the 1970s, the Scouts underwent a big change, and not just the wearing of a beret.  It emphasized the participation of the inner city kids; some parts were good, some bad.  For instance, they did away with learning the skill of camping, hiking or cooking to attain First Class, which seemed impossible.  What kind of a Boy Scout are you without camping?   Conservation, however, came out on top, especially with the new program called SOAR,(Save Our American Resources), a national campaign that hit tilt after the lousy 1973 Arab oil embargo and recycling was the name of the game.  Today, these values are still carried on.  Here I am in a beret, below the patches.  Nice to look at, but at camp it would easily fall off.  Our neighbor, the British Scouts in color.

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     We joined Troop 1063, under the protection and leadership of three LAPD officers, police officers Hayney, Bresler and Ledesma; forgive me if I misspelled the names.  We had close to 35 boys from humble origins in a neighborhood called Boyle Heights.  But, those were great times to be alive and experience what all Boy Scouts do, thanks to the time and effort those three men from Hollenbeck Div. gave us.  We learned how to be self-reliant, practiced innumerable First Aid and conservation deeds, Native American lore and a million other things, including being in awe of seeing the Boy Scout Troop called the Koyosans, that I will never forget first seeing at camp, and later at parades with their astounding drum and bugle corps.  They were mainly Japanese-Americans from Little Tokyo and brother, were they tops in everything.  They had a bugler who really knew how to sound taps and reveille.

     I remember being enthralled by the merit badges Astronomy, Coin Collecting, Communication, Space Exploration and Soil and Water Conservation.  I envy the Scouts of today with Graphic Arts, Environmental Science, Moviemaking, Pets, Robotics and Game Design. I probably would have broken my neck in Kayaking or Whitewater. I never rose above the rank of Star, but I loved every minute being a Scout.  And, I was able to accomplish receiving the Ad Altare Dei Medal.  It is a Religious Emblem in Boy Scouting, that many non-scouts I bet never heard of.  The Boy Scouts of America requires all Scouts to believe in a God or comparable higher power. 

 Check out the different types of medals that are available to a Boy Scout.

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The BSA programs allow the practice of every faith.  You could be, for example, a Baptist, Buddhist, Jains, or Hindus from non-theistic section faiths. 

 

The examples of Medals pertain to various religions of faith in Scouting; every religion was allowed participation. A youth had to be 13-14 years old, and completed 6th grade before starting a program.  Each medal gave a chance in a boy’s religion to grow in a spiritual experience in their relationship to God. 

In the United States, we were all taught to respect Boy Scouts of other religions.  The following two pictures  This short 10 min video link, from 2019, is called The Story of the Scouting Movement and it impressed me; it reminds me somewhat of the scenes from the hit musical Alexander Hamilton, actually I think it was just called Hamilton.

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Ladder Day Saints 

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Jewish

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Salvation Army 

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Moravian

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Baptist

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Eastern Orthodox

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Catholic

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Lutheran

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Presbyterian

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      The Boy Scouts allowed girls into the organization in 2016, which was novel.  The following is a short history on Boy Scouting.

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1908: Robert Baden-Powell establishes the Boy Scout Association in Britain.

1910: The Boy Scouts of America was established by W.D. Boyce, with character development, outdoor recreation, and survival training very important.

1911: Scouting is open to all beliefs and faith traditions, officially.  Respect of other faiths is important. “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training”: the BSA Religious Declaration (Boy Scouts of America Charter and Bylaws.)  Atheism is excluded.

1912: Juliette Gordon Low launches the Girl Scouts when American women are not allowed to vote.  

1913: Norman Rockwell’s artwork Scout at Ship’s Wheel appeared in the Sept issue of Boys’ Life.

1920: First international Boy Scout Jamboree, London, attended by 8,000 Scouts from 34 nations.

1923: The first program for Scouts with disabilities introduced.

1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first president in history to have served as a Scout leader.

1935: The BSA (Boy Scouts of America) created a “Senior Scout” division for boys 15 and older. The Senior Scout programs included the Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Rover Scouts, and a few others. 

1938: Philmont Scout Ranch in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico initially opened, America’s largest National High Adventure Camp. It was donated by oil baron Waite Phillips. Despite The Great Depression, the 1930s ended with a membership of 1,391,831 Boy Scouts.

1940: Famous composer Irving Berlin created a foundation to distribute the royalties from his song “God Bless America” to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, with most going to troops in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

1949: The BSA consolidated the senior programs, with the exception of Sea Scouts and Air Scouts, into Explorer Scouts. Sea Scouts was renamed Sea Explorers, and Air Scouts was renamed Air Explorers.

1950: The Second National Jamboree.  The United States Post Office issues a Commemorative Boy Scout stamp.

1953: The Third National Jamboree went west of the Mississippi, with over 50,000 Boy Scouts attending it in Irving Ranch, present-day Newport Beach. 

1957: The concept of World Scout Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) was launched whereby Scouts communicated with each other by amateur radio.

1959: The Boy Scout Handbook first time published in color. The Explorer Program was renamed the Exploring program.  Between 1950 and 1960, the Boys Scout strength rose from 2.8 million boys to 5.2 million.

1960s: Mid 1960s Civil Rights legislation goes beyond voting and employment barriers, especially in the Deep South, opens opportunity and dignity to Black Americans in the Scouting movement, where before dignity, opportunity, achievement went lacking; before the Mid-sixties, the Ku Klux Klan strongly denounced the Boy Scouts as a puppet of the Catholic Church and preached segregation on every account. 

1965: The Inner-City Rural Program gave rise to Scouting programs in the lower-income inner cities and rural areas, from the Appalachians to the inner most corners of a city housing project. 

1967: First time the Boy Scouts of America host a world jamboree (Farragut State Park, Idaho).

1969: The BSA allowed young women ages 14 to 20 to join special-interest Explorer posts.

1971: Young women were admitted to full membership in Exploring, and the upper age limit for Explorers was raised to 21.

1972: Boy Scout membership totals 6.5 million boys.

1973: The red beret extends to the Boy Scouts as normal wear.  Boy Scout Handbook emphasizes modern conservation practices and inner city awareness, deemphasizing pioneer survival. The Senior Boy Scout program is replaced by the Leadership Corps in the seventies.

​1978: The age restrictions for severely disabled persons were removed so that they could continue to participate in Scouting programs beyond the cutoff ages--11 for Cubs, 18 for Boy Scouts, 21 for Explorers.

1980: Boy Scout membership declines to 4.3 million, in part due to less emphasis on camping. A new Boy Scout handbook is issued and Camping is restored to the required merit badge list to be an Eagle Scout. The word “campfire” which was totally dropped in the 1970s Handbook for all Scouts was restored.  A new Boy Scout uniform with red shoulder loops is designed and introduced by Oscar de la Renta.

1981: Boy Scouts could earn a Handicapped Awareness merit badge.  Posts that primarily consisted of seminars at high school with guest speakers were recategorized as Career Awareness Explorer posts (Exploring specialty programs were categorized into aviation, business, science and engineering, law and government, law enforcement, health careers, outdoor, Sea Exploring, sports, career education, arts, skilled trades, social service, fire and rescue, and communications).

1984: The Varsity program introduced for older scouts, emphasis included athletics, outdoor high-adventure and service, after a 2-yr pilot test. Boy Scout membership: 4.7 million. Girl Scout membership: 2.8 million.

1994: Boy Scout membership: 5.3 million. Girl Scout membership: 3.3 million.

1995: The concept of World Scout Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) operates as an official event whereby Scouts use the web for communication as a special yearly event in October.

1998: Venturing was officially created by the BSA executive board. The old Exploring program was completely reorganized and split into two program categories. All the career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life under the name Exploring, while the rest (including outdoor-oriented posts) became the new Venturing program. Sea Exploring was renamed Sea Scouting.

1999: Boy Scout membership: 6.2 million. Girl Scout membership: 3.6 million.

2003: The James M. Stewart Museum Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America present a new award  for Boy Scouts, The James M. Stewart Good Citizenship Award.  The picture of James Stewart is at the very top, in a blue border.

2011: Boy Scout membership: 2.5 million. Famous Scouts from the past: astronaut Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King Jr, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, astronaut Guion Bluford, Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, Willie Banks, Tommy Lasorda, Bill Gates, Jimmy Stewart, Bill Marriott, former Presidents Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Harrison Ford, Nolan Ryan, Joe Theismann, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Bloomberg, Jay Leno, Mark Spitz, John Wayne (Marion Robert Morrison), Andy Griffith, Tony Cavalero, John Ritter, Chris Pratt, Walter Cronkite, Dan Reynolds, Charles Dolan founder of HBO, John Lithgow, James Valentine, Percy Sutton, 2003 Nobel Prize laureate Peter Agre.

2012: Boy Scout membership: 2.4 million.  On the 100th Anniversary of the Eagle Award first issued to Scouts, 58,659 Eagles received the special honor, a new national record. 

2013: Philmont has an attendance of 35,054 campers. Corporate sponsorship of Boy Scouts continue to plummet (such as Intel, Merk, United Parcel Service.)

2014: Openly gay individuals will be allowed into the Scouts, announcement made.

2015: Boy Scout charters permit an individual adult leader/employee from the homosexual lifestyle into the Scout program if local units’ (troop/council) parents choose to do so.

2016: Sea Scout program separates from Venturing.

2017: The BSA announced future programs would allow females into single-gender Cub Scout dens and Boy Scout troops (Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring remain co-ed). BSA membership stands at 2,282,584 in 2017.

2018: A horrendous fire strikes Philmont, known as the Ute Park Fire, which burned nearly 58 sq miles. The BSA announces a new name for its Boy Scout program: Scouts BSA.

2019: Philmont held some 21,000 Scouts on its 300 miles of trails, but also in 2019 it mortgaged the property.  BSA membership below 2 million in 2019. Girl Scout membership: 1.7 million.  Feb. 2019 girls admitted into (Boy) Scouting and chartered new girl troops.  Soldier Field is filled to the brim with 61,353 young men who earned their Eagle Scout award, topping the old record of 2012.  Utah is the top state with Eagles: 9,723 Eagle Scouts; Calif #2 w/5,534.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints forced to end its longtime alliance with the BSA, after Dec. 31.  

2020: COVID-19 pandemic affects all summer Boy Scout activities, response against the pandemic was met with a challenge of vigor in all aspects of society, but not at first and the United States, and the world, saw people dying left and right.  Isabella Tunney becomes the first girl scout in the Boy Scout organization to attain Eagle Scout, Oct. 1. 

2021: The 2020-2021 Eagle Scout Yearbook price?: a whopping $120 digital version, $150 print version.

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