Two excellent historical books on Scouting are:
On My Honor, The Hawk Mountain Council Story ... 1908-2010
and
Boy Scouts of America: A Centennial History

Historical Perspectives on Scouting


Scouting

The word scout comes from the French verb ecouter, which means "to listen." Armies have long used scouts to gather information about the enemy. On the American frontier a scout was someone always on the lookout for danger. He also used outdoor skills and knowledge of nature to help him in his work.

The 20th-century scouting movement began as a series of games and exercises to help men--primarily soldiers--learn to live in the open under difficult conditions. The program was started during the Boer War in South Africa by Robert Baden-Powell. In 1899 as a colonel in the British Army, he developed the military textbook called 'Aids to Scouting' as a way of training recruits. In 1900, Baden-Powell became a national hero in Britain for his 217-day defense of Mafeking. After becoming a national hero, his book became an instant hit among boys. Baden-Powell was a little dismayed that boys were using a military manual. He was convinced that he should take time from the military to create a non-military version for the boys to focused on observing nature and tracking animals rather than spying on enemy soldiers and tracking troop movements.

When Baden-Powell returned to England in 1903, he began to adapt his program to the training of boys. On July 25, 1907, he took a diverse group of 21 adolescents to Brownsea Island in Dorsetshire where they set up camp for a fortnight. With the aid of other instructors, he taught the boys about camping, observation, deduction, woodcraft, boating, lifesaving, patriotism, and chivalry. Many of these lessons were learned through inventive games that were very popular with the boys. The first Boy Scouts meeting was a great success. His book 'Scouting for Boys' was published in 1908. Ernest Thompson Seton helped Baden-Powell with his handbook.

On January 24, 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell's 'Scouting for Boys'. The name Baden-Powell was already well known to many English boys, and thousands of them eagerly bought up the handbook. By the end of April, the serialization of Scouting for Boys was completed, and scores of impromptu Boy Scout troops had sprung up across Britain.

Baden-Powell had originally intended the scheme outlined in Scouting for Boys to supplement the programs of youth organizations that were in existence at the time, like the Boys Brigade and the Boy's Clubs. But boys not in other youth movements bought the book, and set themselves up as Patrols of Scouts, and quickly found themselves leaders to train them. It was soon realized that some form of organization was required to support these Scouts.

At the out-set the one thing Scouting could not be called was an Organization , as it was far from organized. B-P. was still an active soldier, organizing the Territorials in Northumberland, which kept him far from the hub of Scouting in London. The initial rush for membership was handled by Messers C. Arthur Pearson & Co., the publisher of Scouting for Boys and many of the subsequent Scouting publications, and the newly published Scout magazine. This Boy Scouts office, which registered new Scouts and designed a uniform. By the end of 1908, there were 60,000 Boy Scouts, and troops began springing up in British Commonwealth countries across the globe.

It was soon seen that some break from the publisher would have to be achieved to get the Movement the status it deserved. The Movement slowly evolved, being very democratic at the grass-roots level, with the Scout Leaders having a fairly free rein with what they did, as long as it was within the ideals of Scouting. In September 1909, the first national Boy Scout meeting was held at the Crystal Palace in London. Ten thousand Scouts showed up, including a group of uniformed girls who called themselves the Girl Scouts. In 1910, Baden-Powell organized the Girl Guides as a separate organization.

The next year the Scout Association opened its first offices in Victoria Road, finally breaking the strong bonds it had with Pearsons. In 1910 B-P. retired from the Army to devote his time, effort and money (all his royalties from Scouting for Boys were ploughed back into the movement) into Scouting. This year also saw the first census of Scouts in the UK, indicated over a hundred thousand Scouts in the UK. So, in less than three years, Scouting had a firm footing.

In the United States the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) had been running camps for boys since 1884. In 1902 Ernest Thompson Seton founded the Tribe of Woodcraft Indians as a boy's organization. Three years later Daniel Carter Beard started a similar society called the Sons of Daniel Boone. These two groups, along with the YMCA camps, laid the foundation on which the Boy Scout movement developed in the United States in conjunction with Baden-Powell's work in England. Seton combined his Woodcraft manual with Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys to create the BSA's first handbook in 1910.

The American version of the Boy Scouts has it origins in an event that occurred in London in 1909. Chicago publisher William Boyce was lost in one of the city's classic fogs when a Boy Scout came to his aid. After guiding Boyce to his destination, the boy refused a tip, explaining that as a Boy Scout he would not accept payment for doing a good deed. This anonymous gesture inspired Boyce to organize the Boy Scouts of America.

Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on Feb. 8, 1910, which made the organization a legal entity. Boyce intended to organize the sales boys for his Chicago publications into the Boy Scouts of America. E. M. Robinson of the YMCA approached Boyce and suggested they form a national organization. In June of 1910 Robinson and Boyce formed a coalition of the prominent youth groups in the USA at the time. Colin H. Livingstone, a Washington, D.C. banker, was selected to lead this organization. The first Boy Scout camp was held in August at Silver Bay, NY.

In October of 1910 the Boy Scouts enlisted E. M. Robinson from the YMCA to be the first Executive Director of the Boy Scout of America, using his experience with the YMCA to organize Scouting in America. By November the National Council of the BSA had been formed. In early 1911 James West, a Washington, D.C. attorney that was active in the YMCA, was chosen the "permanent Executive Director." He lobbied the U. S. Congress to get a Charter granting it exclusive rights to the name Boy Scout, Scout, etc. On June 15, 1916, Congress did this by granting a charter to the organization.

The Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America has three phases.

  • Cub Scouting, which started in 1930, is for boys in first through fifth grade. Cub Scouts are organized into dens of seven or eight boys, and local dens make up one scout pack. Each pack is headed by a Cubmaster.
  • Boy Scouting, which started in 1910, is for boys from sixth grade through 17 years of age. Boy Scouts are organized into patrols, and patrols are parts of troops. Each troop is headed by a Scoutmaster.
  • Venturing, which started in 1935 as Senior Scouting and later became Exploring, is for boys and girls from 14 through 20. Venturing crews each pursue an interest such as an activity area. Each crew is headed by youth officers under direction of an Advisor.

Each Boy Scout, by meeting specific requirements, advances through ranks called Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. A First Class Scout may earn merit badges to qualify as a Star Scout, Life Scout, and eventually Eagle Scout. There are other awards given for outstanding achievements. Eagle palms are given for merit badges earned beyond the Eagle requirements. The Order of the Arrow is a national brotherhood of Scout campers. The Medal of Merit and the Honor Medal are awarded by Scouting's National Court of Honor. The Medal of Merit is presented for outstanding acts of service. The Medal of Honor, Scouting's highest award, is bestowed upon Scouts who save, or attempt to save, lives at the risk of their own.

Scouts from many nations meet, usually every four years, in a world jamboree. At these gatherings as many as 50,000 Scouts set up camp, demonstrate woodcraft skills, and work for better international understanding. The first world jamboree was held in England in 1920. National jamborees are held between the international events. These attract over 30,000 Scouts.

As of 9/31/05 there were more than 28 million Scouts, young people and adults, male and female, in 216 countries and territories.

  • There are 155 countries with internationally recognized national Scout Organizations.
  • There are 26 territories where Scouting exists as overseas branches of member Scout Organizations.
  • There are 35 countries where Scouting exists but where there is no National Scout Organization which is yet a member of WOSM.
  • There are 6 countries where Scouting does not exist. (Andorra, People's Republic of China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Myanmar)

The top 10 countries in number of Scouts are:

Indonesia
8,909,435
88% Muslim
United States
6,239,435
78% Christian
India
2,138,015
81% Hindu
Philippines
1,956,131
92% Christian
Thailand
1,305,027
95% Buddhist
Bangladesh
908,435
83% Muslim
Pakistan
526,403
97% Muslim
United Kingdom
498,888
72% Christian
Republic of Korea
252,157
26% Christian/26% Buddhist
Japan
220,223
84% Shinto/Buddhist
From this chart it can be easily seen that Scouting is a movement for all major religions. Worldwide the world is 33% Christian, 20% Muslim, 13% Hindu, and 6% Buddhist. In these 10 countries, Scouting is 40% Muslim, 29% Christian, 8% Hindu, and 6% Buddhist. So, it appears that Scouting reflects rather well the major religions of the world.

[return to top]


Cub Scouting

Originally Baden-Powell had envisaged Scouting as a movement for boys between the ages of 11 and 18. As early as 1909 Scoutmasters were facing the problem of younger brothers wanting to join in the fun. Some just turned a blind eye to the age of some of the boys, others formed Patrols and Troops of Junior or Cadet Scouts.

Ernest Thompson Seton devised the Cub Scout program down to the last detail in 1911. Called "The Cubs of America", it used the bear Cub as its symbol. Disagreements among Scouting's founders over the value of the new program caused it to be set aside.

To address the problem of what to do with the younger brothers, Scouting first turned a blind eye to the unofficial Troops that were forming. In 1914, though, Baden-Powell outlined a scheme in The Headquarters Gazette for the training of these Junior Scouts, but it was not what he really had in mind. He replaced this two years later with a new Scheme, under the title Wolf Cubs based around the Jungle Books of his close friend Rudyard Kipling, with the Cubs having their own distinct uniform, badges, motto, sign, salute, etc. In 1964, the Scout Association the B-P had found changed the term Wolf Cubs to Cub Scouts.

Cub Scouting in the United States was finally introduced as Cubbing, an experimental program in 1930 with 9 year-olds in the Wolf Den, 10 year-olds in the Bear Den and 11 year-olds in the Lion Den. Cubbing was described as a pre-Scout program. 12 year-olds joined Boy Scouts. The den leaders were Boy Scouts called Den Chiefs, not adults. The Cubmaster was the leader of the Pack which was composed of the dens. Only males were registered Cubmasters "since it was an American Indian tradition" and Cubbing was based on these traditions. In 1932 the Den Mother became an official part of the program as a co-leader. In 1933 the Cubbing program dropped the experimental status and was officially adopted. In 1936 den mothers could register, but registration was optional. Cubbing became Cub Scouts in 1948 and registration of den mothers was mandatory.

The 1930, "The Boy's Cubbook, Part III - Lion Rank" states the tribal name "We-be-los" signifies "We'll Be Loyal," indicating that a Cub is loyal to his country, his home and his God, W-B-L being the first letters of the three ranks. The Webelos rank was introduced in 1941 as a rank earned in the Lion Den after the Lion rank. It indicated a boy was ready to become a Boy Scout. The 1941 "The Lion Cubbook" with Webelos Rank says the same thing about Webelos. The symbol for the Webelos Rank was the Arrow of Light.  Originally, the Arrow of Light was the chief of the Webelos tribe, and Akela was one of the braves.

The Arrow of Light had seven rays depicting the seven days of the week and a reminder to "do one's best" every day. The arrow forever points upward and onward toward good citizenship, and also has the meaning of world friendship symbolized by the Golden Arrow.

In 1949, the age level was dropped one year; 8 year-olds in the Wolf Den, 9 year-olds in the Bear Den, and 10 year-olds in the Lion Den. 11 year-olds joined Boy Scouts. Then in 1954 the Webelos rank was expanded in scope and the Lion badge was renamed the Lion-Webelos badge. In 1956 the Webelos Day Camp was introduced.

The Lion program was dropped in 1967 when the Webelos program became the program for 10 year-olds. The Webelos rank replaced the Lion rank, and the Arrow of Light replaced the Webelos rank. Also, in 1967, the title den mother was changed to den leader to include male and female den leaders and the new cloth Bobcat patch was introduced. Cub Scouting was still a 3-year program until 1982.

In 1972 new cloth patches for Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos were introduced.

In 1973 women were allowed to serve in all Pack positions except Cubmaster and Webelos den leader and their assistants. In 1976 women Cubmasters were permitted.

In 1982 Tiger Cubs started as a 7 year-old or second grade program. Wolf was the 8 year-old or third grade program, Bear was the 9 year-old or fourth grade program, and Webelos was the 10 year-old or fifth grade program.

Starting in 1986 ages for the various programs was lowered and the two-year Webelos program was introduced:

  • In 1986 the Tiger Cub program started for first-grade boys. That same year Wolf was a second-grade and third-grade program.
  • In 1987 Bear was a third grade and fourth grade program. Wolf became a second grade only program.
  • In 1988 the new fourth grade Webelos program started and the old Webelos program was used for fifth graders.
  • In 1989 the first second-year Webelos dens were formed and were for fifth graders.

Today's Webelos book states that "Webelos" means "We'll Be Loyal Scouts", not "We'll Be Loyal", but that is historical revisionism since it is not quite what the 1930 "The Boy's Cubbook, Part III - Lion Rank" stated.

[return to top]


Venturing / Exploring

Older boys participated in a senior program in early Boy Scout troops. These older boys carried out high-adventure activities and service projects, and gave leadership to young Scouts.

In 1912, Sea Scouting was founded for older Scouts and flourished as a program based on the traditions of the sea. Sea Scouting in America was founded in 1912. That year, Arthur A. Carey of Waltham, Massachusetts, had Sea Scouts using the schooner Pioneer and was appointed Chairman of the National Council Committee on Sea Scouting. Carey's Cruising for Sea Scouts was the first literature related to Sea Scouting.

Since its beginning, the Boy Scouts of America had been aware of the need for an older-boy program. Mr. Carey made the first real effort to satisfy that need when he helped promote Sea Scouting with his pamphlet.

In 1917, just before the end of "The Great War", Baden-Powell set up a scheme for Senior Scouts, which changed its name to Rover Scouts the next year, for anyone over the age of 18, with Outdoor Adventure and Service as the mainstays of its program. The Boy Scouts of America never adopted this program, but until 1952 adults could work on and receive Boy Scout advancement.

In 1935, senior Scouts, boys 15 and older, were called Explorers for the first time, and many were organized in separate Explorer crews in troops, using a senior Scout program.

In 1942, an Air Scout program for boys 15 and older was created in cooperation with the United States Army Air Corps. Air Scouting was discontinued in 1965.

On September 1, 1949, all young men who were 14 years of age or older and registered with the Boy Scouts of America were called Explorers whether they were in a Boy Scout Troop of any Senior Scout unit. The Sea Scouts officially became Sea Explorers and Air Scouts became Air Explorers. In a troop a group of Explorers was called a Crew. This was primarily a change in terminology since these programs continued much the same is they had in the past.

In 1954, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America authorized the Research Institute for Social Service of the University of Michigan to make a national study of adolescent boys. This study of 14- to 16- year old boys indicated that 83 percent of youth surveyed wanted more information on careers than they were getting at home or in school, and 94 percent wanted adult associations. As a result, a completely new Explorer program was developed and put into effect on January 1, 1959. Special-interest Explorer posts began to be organized by businesses and professional and trade organizations. The career interest survey of high school students was developed to identify and recruit members. This program was pioneered by William H. Spurgeon III. Explorer crews in Boy Scout Troops were eliminated. These boys became Senior Scouts again. However, this did not bring about a change in Sea Exploring. It was decided that changes should be postponed until there had been sufficient time to observe Sea Exploring in operation alongside the new Explorer program. After extensive field-testing, the Exploring Division put the revised Sea Exploring program into effect. This was done in May 1966 with a new edition titled Sea Exploring Manual, written by Arthur N. Lindgren.

In the mid-1960s, after almost ten years of limited progress, a study was made of the special-interest posts being organized by William H. Spurgeon III, a businessman from California, and the newly completed research project of the BSA by Daniel Yankelovich. Coed participation, sports, and adult-life recognition were found necessary to attract young adults to Exploring. In 1968, a new Exploring Division, BSA was organized and established under the direction of John M. Claerhout to serve young men who had dropped out or never were Boy Scouts. Claerhout placed a new emphasis on Sea Exploring by naming William J. Lidderdale as the first time director of Sea Exploring since 1935. In 1969, young women were invited to participate in Explorer posts as guests. This opportunity to join posts that specialize in careers or recreational programs attracted large numbers of young adults to Exploring.

In April 1971, young women became eligible for full membership in Exploring, and the upper age limit in Exploring was increased to age 21. With these new methods came a series of national activities designed and conducted to strengthen the local post and ship- the safe-driving road rally, the Explorer Olympics, and the national Explorer Congress, which led to the organization of the Explorer Presidents' Association, involving Explorers in planning their program at every level.

By 1981, the rapid growth of Exploring led to the development of national specialty programs in 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.

An Explorer Presidents' Association Congress was designed to train local and national youth leaders. A national Explorer leadership conference was implemented in 1994 on a biennial basis. By 1996 young women made up about half of Exploring's membership.

In 1998, the Boy Scouts of America reorganized the Exploring program into the Learning for Life Exploring program for Career Exploring and the new Venturing Division for high adventure, religious, hobby, and outdoor units. Sea Exploring was placed in the Venturing Division and was renamed Sea Scouts.

The Venturing program of the Boy Scouts of America includes girls and boys ages 14 through 20 who have completed the eighth grade and are members of high adventure, religious, hobby, and outdoor programs. The Exploring program of Learning For Life includes girls and boys ages 14 through 20 who have completed the eighth grade and are members of Career Exploring programs.[return to top]

For more information check: www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/8826

[return to top]


Lone Scouting

Since its inception in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has been concerned with extending the Scouting program to boys in isolated areas or those who find it impossible to join a nearby Scouting unit. The Lone Scout plan serves such boys who cannot take part in a nearby Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop on a regular basis because of such factors as distance, weather, time, or disability. These boys apply for membership as individual Lone Cub Scouts or Lone Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts Association of Great Britain authorized this program in 1913. By then, Lone Scouts were found in Canada, New Zealand, Malta, Gibraltar, South Africa, and Burma.

William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher who helped organize the Boy Scouts of America in 1910, was responsible for organizing the Lone Scouts of America in 1915. Five years, still concerned about the isolated country boy, and not hesitating to teach thrift and self-reliance through the opportunity to sell newspapers, he organized the Lone Scout of America. In the search for a symbol Boyce looked to Ernest Thompson Seton and his Woodcraft Indians manual, the Birch-Bark Roll, and called the symbol Chief Totem. In 1915, Mr. Boyce returned from Washington, and stated to one of the W. D. Boyce Company vice presidents that "I've just had the Lone Scouts of America incorporated under an act of Congress. I am heading it up. Now let's go, plenty of work for you and all of us. There must be an official Lone Scout magazine. The kind the boys want. It ought to be easy. I'll supply the paper and ink, the composition, photoengraving, and press work. You'll have to find a way to fill the magazine. My guess is the boys will do it themselves if you give them the chance." Somehow it was done.

They found an editor, and an experienced Scoutmaster, F. Allan Morgan, not only to edit the magazine, which was named Lone Scout. He provided much of the insides at the start, but also in the development of the Lone Scouts of America with his knowledge of woodcraft, Scouting, and boys' interests.

Luckily, in the art department was Perry Emerson Thompson (known as PET), who created nearly all of the front pages of the magazine. PET was doping the artwork for the other Boyce publications when Lone Scout made its appearance in 1915. He drew the cover for that issue and for nearly 300 more, until the middle of 1923, when he left the Boyce Company to employ his artistic talents in his own advertising business.

Boyce made all of the agents (newspaper boys) members, so the Lone Scouts of America started off with 50,000 members. During the short history of the Lone Scouts of America it's membership included such personalities as Burl Ives, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator Rush D. Holt (California), Governor Orval Faubus (Arkansas), Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans, U. S. Senate Chaplain Reverend Dr. Edward L. R. Elson, writer and novelist Lucien W. Emerson, Chief Scout Executives Joseph A. Brunton and Harvey L. Price, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of the Republic of the Philippines Godofredo P. Neric, actor Erol Flynn, and many others. Alumni of the Lone Scouts of America have formed a fellowship called the Lone Scout Foundation.

The original Lone Scouts of America worked on an advancement program called Degrees, a term probably borrowed from the Masons.  The first three degrees had their own badge.  The fourth through sixth degrees were called the Totem Pole Lodge.  The highest degree was seventh or Sagamore Lodge.

The Lone Scouts of America merged with the Boy Scouts of America in 1924, becoming the Division of Rural Scouting.. Since then the Boy Scouts of America has administered a Lone Scout plan as part of its mission of bringing Scouting to all American youth who wish to take part, regardless of circumstances.

Every boy registering as a Lone Scout must have an adult, 21 years or older, who meets adult membership requirements and agrees to serve as the boy's Lone Scout friend and counselor. This counselor is usually the boy's own parent but might also be his guardian, minister, teacher, 4-H Club leader, or an experienced Scouter who lives nearby.

The counselor encourages, instructs, examines, and reviews the boy on all steps toward Scouting advancement. This person also helps the Lone Scout take part in local council activities. Although a Lone Scout carries on many activities at home and in his community, he also may participate in local district and council activities along with boys from local Scouting units. These may include camporees, Scouting shows, and service projects as well as Cub Scout day camp and Cub Scout or Boy Scout resident camp. A Lone Scout may be invited to special meetings of a pack or troop.

The Lone Scout follows the same basic program as other Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, but he carries out the program through independent action and self-reliance, special skills suitable to his situation, and communication (by letter, radio, e-mail, fax, etc.) with other Scouts.

Lone Cub Scouts and Lone Boy Scouts may advance in rank in the same manner as do Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in packs and troops. The only difference is that references to packs, dens, troops, and patrols do not apply. For more information on the role of the Lone Scout friend and counselor, consult the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, No. 14-420A.

Although the Lone Scout member might miss the opportunity to participate in activities in the pack or troop, the program makes it possible for such boys to become members of the Boy Scouts of America and to know the fun, values, and achievement of Scouting.

[return to top]


Me? A Scout

By Robert E. Besecker

Me? A Scout?
That's what I want to be.
A shirt of orange, a Tiger Cub,
Just Mom and Dad and me.

Me? A Scout?
I'm a 2nd grader now.
I'll work real hard to be a Wolf,
If you'll just show me how.

Cub Scouting's fun! I'm now a Bear.
A pocketknife to show!
Time to make my pinewood car,
Dad'll help, I know.

Me? A Scout? A Webelos Scout,
And all my best friends too!
Learning 'bout so many things,
And so many things to do.

Now it's time to cross the bridge,
It should be quite a night.
It's really hard for me to think,
Me? The Arrow of Light!

Me? A Scout? A Boy Scout.
So many skills to learn.
Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class,
So many ranks to earn.

I'll work real hard through Star and Life,
and work in Cheerful Service too.
Seems so long since I was Cubbing,
When everything was new.

Me? A Scout? An Eagle Scout!
I'm surely flyin' high.
A Scout is what I'll always be,
The Spirit shall not die.

[return to top]


A Troop in My Church?

A UMC Scouter from Virginia asked about operating a Scout troop in his church. Here is my reply:

First one needs to be aware of the responsibilities of the Chartering Organization. If a UMC church, or any church for that mater, decides to have a troop, it must sign a charter with the Boy Scouts agreeing to do certain things. These things include:

1) The church must select two people. The first is the Chartered Organization Head, the executive officer of the church. In some UMC churches this has been the pastor. In others it is the head of the church committee. The Chartered Organization Head selects the second person. The second person is the Chartered Organization Representative (COR). This person selects the leaders of the troop and should attend all troop committee meetings. The COR is the link between the church and the troop. The COR should be a member of the church and be interested in the troop. The COR can serve as Troop Committee Chair or Member of Troop Committee. The COR is the only person that can register in more than one role in the troop. The church must certify that all registered adults: agree to abide by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, the Declaration of Religious Principle, the policy of nondiscrimination, and the Charter and Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.

2) Provide a meeting place. It need not be the church, but the church must find the meeting place and make all necessary arrangements to use it. The meeting place must be suitable for 10 to 17 year old boys that are active. It should provide space for physical games, individual patrol meetings, and large group meetings such as parents nights and courts of honor. It needs to provide storage for troop equipment used at meetings and troop equipment used on campouts.

3) Select leaders. The leaders need not be members of the church, but they must be approved by the COR. Once the COR selects a committee, then the COR and the committee select the Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters.

4) All troop equipment and funds belong to the church. So the church can help get involved in helping a new troop fund the purchase of leader books, a troop library with merit badge books and junior leader guides, and troop camping equipment. The troop should eventually develop its own fundraisers and become independent financially. Many troops provide enough fund raisers so that Scouts can earn money in personal "accounts" that can be used for their summer camp fees, annual dues, Boy's Life subscriptions, uniform parts and personal Scout equipment. Since these funds are earned in the name of Scouting, unused funds revert to the Troop when a Scout moves on. Enough and only enough fundraising should be planned to permit the Troop and every Scout to raise the funds they need to participate in Scouting. Scouting should not get bogged down with fundraising but must provide the opportunity for every Scout to earn his own way.

5) The church should make sure that the committee and all leaders take advantage of training offered by the Boy Scouts. When the troop is young, the church might help subsidize the cost of training courses. It is usually nominal. However, the troop should eventually develop its own fundraisers and become independent financially.

6) In return, the troop can be expected to provide service to the church such as helping with the grounds maintenance and cleaning up after itself. The troop should feel a part of the church and the church should realize that the troop is part of its Youth Outreach.

7) The church needs to decide if boys of other faiths will be allowed to join. If they are, then activities specific to that church and its denomination are not appropriate to be required of all boys. If a UMC church or other church wants, they can restrict the troop to boys of their faith. Most UMC troops are open to all boys. On the other hand, the troop is responsible that each boy has an opportunity to worship on weekend campouts. If there are Roman Catholic boys in the troop, they may have to be taken to a RCC mass. If there are Jewish boys, they may need some privacy on Saturday to worship privately. Some troops end weekend activities in time for boys to go to their own places of worship. A church should invite its Scouts to is Sunday Service on Scout Sunday or Sabbath, but the Scouts should feel free to go to their own church, preferably in uniform.

8) The church must recharter the troop annually with a minimum of 3 committee members including the committee chair, a Scoutmaster, at least one assistant Scoutmaster and at least 5 Scouts. The annual fee for chartering a troop is $20 and each registered adult and youth must also pay an annual membership fee and for Boy's Life subscriptions..

9) Realize that the adults don't run the program. In Boy Scouting, the adults train the boys to run the troop themselves. The Troop's boy leaders, with the guidance of the Scoutmaster, should be planning and running the program. Of course, the adults provide oversight to the process, but the main thing taught in Boy Scouts is leadership. If that is done properly, then the Scouts can provide the leadership to run the meetings and the outdoor activities with adult assistance.

10) In support of the Scoutmaster and the Scouts, the committee needs to assist in planning fundraisers, providing essential troop equipment, organizing transportation for troop outings, insuring that advancement opportunities are available, providing a plan to get every Scout to summer camp, and in general provide behind-the-scenes support for successful operation.

The Boy Scout Council has certain things it agrees to:

1) Assist in organizing a new troop.
2) Provide help in recruiting new youth.
3) Must approve all adult leaders.
4) Provide training for leaders and committee members.
5) Provide roundtables during the year to provide leaders with ideas for meetings.
6) Provide commissioners to monitor and help troops.
7) Provide a district committee to oversee advancement, training, camping, etc.
8) Organize district and council activities for troops to participate in.
9) Provide program materials for weekly meetings and monthly activities.
10) Offer monthly magazines for leaders and members.
11) Provide professional assistance.
12) Provide liability insurance for the church and the leaders.

Probably the most important ingredient in a successful troop is a successful pack. Most troops can't operate without a healthy Cub Scout Pack feeding boys and leaders into their program every year. It is important for the troop to work to keep the pack healthy to insure its own health.

I have seen many churches struggle to keep a troop going. It takes a commitment, once it is started, to keep it going. This means a level of concern and involvement. The BSA will work with a church to make it happen, but they won't do it for them. The troop belongs to the church and the Boy Scout program is chartered to the church by the Boy Scouts.

Some keys to a healthy Boy Scout Troop are:

An involved church
Trained Leaders
Boy-run troop
An active outdoor program
Annual summer-camp participation
An active advancement program
100% Boy's Life subscriptions
Uniformed Leaders and Scouts and a
Healthy feeder Cub Scout Pack

[Other civic organizations, including schools, charter troops, but most are chartered to churches.]

[return to top]


From IR to SC to CR

The evolution from Institutional Representative (IR) to Scouting Coordinator (SC) to Charter Organization Representative (CR) began in 1911 when the concept of chartering troops annually was inaugurated. This concept was unique. It placed the local Scouting committee (Council) and the sponsoring institutions both in the position of having to justify the renewal of their charters each year. This provided a simple but effective control over their operations and over the maintenance of standards.

Until 1913, Scouting was administered by local committees - now called councils. These committees were composed of "representative business men of all sects and creeds." In 1913, the committees were replaced by councils. Any institution or organization forming a troop to carry out the Boy Scout program "should be invited to designate an adult representative other than the Scoutmaster to serve as a (voting) member of the local council." This was the beginning of the position than known as the Institutional Representative.

By 1981, the position of Institutional Representative was changed to Scouting Coordinator. The rights and duties did not change. However, the change in name emphasized this person should sit on the council or committee of the Chartered Organization and coordinate its Scouting programs.

By 1990, the word sponsor had been replaced by the word partner. Buttons were distributed, one with the word sponsor crossed out and other with the word partner. This was to emphasize that the Chartered Organization owns the unit and uses the Scouting program. The Chartered Organization and the BSA are partners in the Scouting movement. The position of Scouting Coordinator was changed to Charter Organization Representative to emphasize the fact that the Charter Organization Representative was the voting representative at the Council from the Charter Organization.

If we remember that in 1913, the IR was the representative from the Institution or Organization forming a troop, it seems like perhaps the CR gives equal time to Organizations since the term Institution was used for 67 years. Also, CR is more politically correct since a CR could be a Chartered Institution Representative as well as Chartered Organization Representative couldn't it.

[return to top]


Junior Leader Training

Here is a little history of Junior Leader Training from 83 years of Scoutmaster's Handbooks:

From 1913 to 1932, the First Edition of the Handbook for Scout Masters describes the Patrol Leaders Council as the place where the Scout Master develops leadership in the Patrol Leaders.

From 1932 to 1938, the Second Edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters describes the Troop Officers' Hike as an example of how a Scoutmaster conducts Patrol Leader training.

From 1938 to 1947, the Third Edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters describe the Troop Leaders' Council or "Green Bar Council" as the Scoutmaster's Training Ground for the Patrol Leaders. It also describes a training program for the "Green Bar Patrol" and the Green Bar Training Camp.

From 1947 to 1959, the Fourth Edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters describes Patrol Leaders' Training (Tool 3) and Green Bar Training Camp which were held in the troop and the Junior Leader's Conference which was held by the District or Council.

From 1959 to 1972, the Fifth Edition of the Scoutmaster's Handbook also describes Patrol Leaders' Training (Tool 3) and Junior Leader Training Camp which were held in the troop.

From 1972 to 1981, the Sixth Edition of the Scoutmaster's Handbook describes using the book Patrol and Troop Leadership as manual for new Junior Leaders.

From 1981 to 1990, the Seventh Edition of the Scoutmaster Handbook describes how the Scoutmaster trains new Patrol Leaders. It mentions JLOW, Junior Leader Orientation Workshop, No. 6420, as a 1-day District Training Event. Then the Scoutmaster follows JLOW with his own Troop Operations Workshop which is described in detail.

From 1990 to the present, the Eighth Edition of the Scoutmaster Handbook describes how the Scoutmaster trains Junior Leaders using the Junior Leader Training Kit (No. 3422) which is a binder with a video. It goes on to mention the Councils Junior Leader Training Conference, JLTC, and the National Junior Leader Instructor Camp, NJLIC, at Philmont.

[return to top]


BSA Hand Clasp

The Left-Handed Handshake originated in England but took 18 years to come to the BSA:

Baden-Powell's 1908 edition of Scouting For Boys (issued as 6 pamphlets) stated:

"If a stranger make the scout's sign to you, you should acknowledge it at once by making the sign back to him and then shake hands with the LEFT HAND."

The History of the Left-Hand Handshake comes from Africa.

" During the summer of 1946, a young West African, named Djabonar, came to Gilwell Park to take his Wood Badge Training. He is hoping eventually to become Assistant Organizing Commissioner for the Gold Coast. When the Camp Chief was talking about the left handshake, Djabonar told him how in January, 1896, at the fall of Kumasi, the capital city of Prempeh, the Chief of the Ashanti people, his grandfather, one of the chiefs, came forward to B-P. And held out his left hand. B-P. Offered his right in return, but the Chief said: " No, in my country the bravest of the brave shake with the left hand." There is no reasonable doubt that among the many explanations of the left handshake of the Scouts and Guides this is the true original"

By Lord Rowallan, Chief Scout, British Commonwealth and Empire, 1948.

1910 Seton's BSA Handbook: Had the same hand shake as B-P in 1908.

1911 to 1914 BSA Handbooks: No Handclasp

1915 to 1926 BSA Handbooks: Right Handed-Three Fingered. "Scout Handclasp: The boy scout handclasp is made with the right hand, the fingers in the same relative position as in making the scout sign. The three fingers extended represent the three parts of the scout oath; and the bent position of the thumb and the little finger represents the knot or tie that binds these parts together into a strong unity. One scout shakes hand with another by a good warm handclasp with the three middle fingers extended in a straight line along the other's wrist, and with the thumb and little finger clasped around the other's fingers."

1927 to 1971 BSA Handbooks: Left Handed-Three Fingered. "Scout Left Hand Clasp: By agreement of the Scout Leaders throughout the world, Boys Scouts greet Brother Scouts with a warm left hand clasp ... to remind Scouts they belong to a world wide brotherhood ... In America, Scouts extend the left hand with the little finger separated from the others ... and interlocked with the little finger of the person with whom you are shaking."

1972 to present BSA Handbooks: Left Handed - normal. "The Scout Handclasp: It is made like a right handshake of greeting except Scout use the left hand. The little finger is not separated from the other fingers. The handclasp in the United States is the same as for Scouting in all the other countries of the world."

In 1975 the OA decided to retain the interlinking of two fingers as its handshake.

[return to top]


Star, Life and Eagle Requirements from 1911 to 2000

These are the key requirements the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle. From the very beginning, these rank requirements also included "satisfactory service" and "Scout Spirit" requirements:

1911: Star, Life and Eagle rank first appear. Note the life rank comes before star and there are no service projects. There was no upper limit on the age when completing these requirements. (J. Hugh Sullivan) reported a man in his 60's earned Eagle Rank in 1952 when he finally passed Life Saving Merit Badge.
  • Life = First Class & 5 required merit badges.
  • Star = First Class & 5 required merit badges & 5 more.
  • Eagle = First Class & 21 merit badges [don't need the 5 required].
  • Eagle could possibly be earned 2 months (only built-in time limit is a 1-month minimum time from Tenderfoot to Second Class)

1914: Note that Eagle has required merit badges for the first time.

  • Eagle = First Class & 11 required merit badges* & 10 more.
  • Eagle could theoretically be earned in 4 months (built-in time limits add up to 3 months: 1 month minimum time from Tenderfoot to Second Class, plus 2 months from Second Class to First Class).

1927: Note Star comes before Life and time requirements are in place for first time.

  • Star = First Class for 3 months & any 5 merit badges.
  • Life = First Class for 6 months & 5 required merit badges & 5 more.
  • Eagle = First Class for 12 months & 11 required merit badges* & 10 more.
  • Eagle could be earned in 16 months: there was a 12-month requirement added after First Class before Eagle.

1936: Note for the first time Eagle has Life rank as a requirement and Life has Star rank as a requirement.

  • Life = Star for 3 months & 5 required merit badges & 5 more.
  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 11 required merit badges* & 10 more.
  • Eagle could possibly be earned in 16 months. (built-in time limits add up to 15 months: 1 month minimum time from Tenderfoot to Second Class, 2 months from Second Class to First Class, 3 months to Star, 3 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle).

1952: Note for the first time all ranks including Star, Life and Eagle must be earned before age 18.

1958: When Exploring was taken out of the Troops, according to the Exploring (the Explorer handbook from 1958 to 1972), an Explorer could earn Eagle one of two ways:

1. The Boy Scouting method as explained in the pamphlet Boy Scout Requirements (No. 3216).
2. The Exploring method as explained below:

Since becoming an Explorer, complete these 8 requirements (1. passing marks and citizenship in school, 2. serve as an officer in a youth group, 3. serve religious obligations, 4. regular attendance at Exploring events for 6 months, 5. an oral presentation on fitness, 6. compete in sports, 7. a conservation project, and 8. earn 21 merit badges)"

1959: Note for the first time we have the "conservation project" for Star and Life.

  • Star = First Class for 3 months & 2 required merit badges & 3 more & take part in a conservation project.
  • Life = Star for 3 months & 8 required merit badges & 2 more & complete a conservation project.
  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 16 required merit badges & 5 more.
  • Eagle could possibly be earned in 16 months (built-in time limits add up to 15 months: 1 month minimum time from Tenderfoot to Second Class, 2 months from Second Class to First Class, 3 months to Star, 3 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle).

1965: Note for the first time the Eagle service project, leadership, and Scoutmaster Conference are mentioned.

  • Star = First Class for 3 months & 1 required merit badge & 4 more & take part in a conservation project and in a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Life = Star for 3 months & 5 required merit badges & 5 more & plan, develop and carry out a conservation project and a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 11 required merit badges & 10 more & serve as a leader & plan, develop and carry out a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle could possibly be earned in 15 months (built-in time limits add up to 14 months: 1 month minimum time from Tenderfoot to Second Class, 1 month from Second Class to First Class, 3 months to Star, 3 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle).
  • Then in 1970 the Eagle could be earned in 16 months (the requirement was changed to 2 months from Second Class to First Class).

1972: Note time in rank is longer and no conservation project but added more merit badges starting with tenderfoot and more leadership is required.

  • First Class included 2 required merit badges & 3 more.
  • Star = First Class for 4 months & 4 required merit badges & 5 more & take part for 6 hours in service projects & serve 4 months in a leadership position & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Life = Star for 6 months & 7 required merit badges & 8 more & take part for 6 hours in service projects & serve 6 months in a leadership position & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 10 required merit badges & 14 more & serve 6 months in a leadership position & plan, develop and give leadership to a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle could be earned in 24 months (built-in time limits add up to 24 months: 2 months minimum time from joining until Tenderfoot, 3 months from Tenderfoot to Second Class, 3 months from Second Class to First Class, 4 months to Star, 6 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle).

1979: Stopped requiring merit badges for tenderfoot and second class and reduced the number of merit badges required for other ranks.

  • First Class included First Aid merit badge.
  • Star = First Class for 4 months & 4 required merit badges & 2 more & take part 6 hours in service projects & serve 4 months in a leadership position & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Life = Star for 6 months & 7 required merit badges & 4 more & take part for 6 hours in service projects & serve 6 months in a leadership position & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 11 required merit badges & 10 more & serve 6 months in a leadership position & plan, develop and give leadership to a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle could be earned in 22 months (built-in time limits add up to 22 months: 2 months minimum time from joining until Tenderfoot, 2 months from Tenderfoot to Second Class, 2 months from Second Class to First Class, 4 months to Star, 6 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle).

1989: Eliminated First Aid merit badge as a First Class requirement. Star, Life and Eagle are the same.

  • Eagle could be earned in 20 months (the time limits to First Class were removed, but earning First Class required attending 3 overnight campouts plus 7 other activities).

1995: Added Family Life as an Eagle required merit badge.

  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 12 required merit badges & 9 more & serve 6 months in a leadership position & plan, develop and give leadership to a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.

1998: Changed Eagle required merit badges.

  • Eagle = Life for 6 months & 12 required merit badges & 9 more & serve 6 months in a leadership position & plan, develop and give leadership to a service project & Scoutmaster Conference.
  • Eagle could be earned in 18 months (built-in time limits add up to about 16 months: Tenderfoot takes 30 days, no minimum to Second and First Class plus 4 months to Star, 6 months to Life, and 6 months to Eagle)

1999: Changed Eagle required merit badges and changed Eagle positions of responsibility requirement:

  • Dropped Safety as a required merit badge
  • Added Personal Fitness as a required merit badge
  • Made Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling a required merit badge.
  • Added Venture patrol leader; Venture crew/ship president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper.

2000: Change Eagle position of responsibility requirement:

  • Added Order of the Arrow troop representative and Order of the Arrow team representative.
  • Removed Venture patrol leader; Venture crew/ship president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper. [Note: this is an omission, not a change.]

* From 1914 until 1958 one of the required was Life Saving but swimming was not required. Go figure.

[return to top]


From Robert Powell to Lord Baden-Powell

B-P was born in 1857 Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell. When he was 3 years old, his mother changed the family name to Baden-Powell after the father, Baden Powell died. Hence B-P became Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell. In 1907 as Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell he conducted the experiment on Brown Sea Island which is thought of as the birth of the Scouting movement. In 1908 when he published Scouting for Boys, he used the name B-P, Lieut. General Baden-Powell C.B. He was a well-known war hero and loved as B-P.

In 1909, B-P was knighted by King Edward VII, only a year before the King's death, hence B-P became Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell. In 1919, Mr. W. de Bois Maclaren purchased an estate in Epping Forest called Gilwell Park and presented it to the Scouting movement. In 1921 King George V made B-P a baronet. Then in 1929, King George V conferred a peerage on Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, making him Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell.

He was born Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell a name he kept only 3 years.

From 1907 to 1908 Lieut. General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell founded Scouting.

When he died in 1941 he was Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, a title he held for 12 years.

[return to top]


B-P's Scout Law (1912)

1. A Scout's honour is to be trusted.
2. A Scout is loyal to the Queen, his country, his Scouters, his parents, his employers, and those under him.
3. A Scout's duty is to be useful and to help others.
4. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout.
5. A Scout is courteous.
6. A Scout is a friend to animals.
7. A Scout obeys orders of his parents, Patrol Leader, or Scoutmaster without question.
8. A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties.
9. A Scout is thrifty.
10. A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.*

*B-P's 1908 Scouting For Boys (handbook) had Laws 1 through 9. The 1910 Boy Scouts of America Official Handbook had the same 9 Scout Laws. In 1911 the BSA added Brave, Clean and Reverent. B-P and his Scout Association added Clean in 1912, giving them their 10 Laws.

B-P's Scout Promise (1908)

On my honour I promise that I will do my best--
To do my duty to God, and the King.
To help other people at all times.
To obey the Scout Law.

[return to top]


Religious Awards Program

(From a program for the Los Angeles Area Council 2001 Annual Interfaith Banquet courtesy of John Dieken)

A Scout earns his religious award after meeting criteria set by his respective faith, whether it is by completing a set of studies, performing so many service hours at his House of Worship, or a combination of both. The Boy Scouts of America recognizes the Scout's accomplishment with the presentation of the religious award knot. What follows is a short history of the development of the religious award program. The history of the religious award program goes back to 1926 and had its start in Los Angeles.

A Scout is Reverent. The twelfth point of the Scout Law states "A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others."

The Cub Scout Promise states "I (Name), promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country …." Meanwhile, the Boy Scout Oath states "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country …." And the Venturing Oath states "I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America …." As we read and recite the Cub Scout Promise, Boy Scout Oath, and Venturing Oath we can easily see that Duty to God is one of the fundamental principles of Scouting and that Scouts are encouraged to be faithful to the practice of their religious tenants and beliefs.

Since Scouting is nonsectarian it supports no creed and favors no religious faith over another. Instead it provides programs and ideals that compliment the aims of religious institutions. The result is that almost 65 percent of all Scouting units across the US are chartered to a religion institution. Out of this relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and religious institutions, the religious award program came into being.

Monsignor Dolan of Los Angeles developed the first religious award, the "AD ALTARE DEI", a phrase from the Forty-Third Psalm, "With Joy I come to the alter of God." The first such award was presented to Boy Scout Edward Thurin on February 7, 1926. A key requirement of this program developed by Monsignor Dolan, required that a Catholic First Class Scout had to have served 100 hours as an alter boy during his tenure in Scouting. Monsignor Dolan shared his program and its accompanying award with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and in 1939 they approved and adopted it as the Catholic Scout's religious award. This was a historic event and shortly thereafter the National Religious Relationships Committee of the Boy Scouts of America approved of the wearing of the award on a Catholic Boy Scout's uniform.

In 1943 the National Lutheran Committee on Scouting developed and submitted its religious award program titled "Pro Deo Et Patria" (For God and Country). The Jewish Committee on Scouting followed with a religious award program titled "Ner Tamid" (Eternal Light) in 1944 and in 1945 the National Protestant Committee on Scouting developed a religious award program for Protestant Scouts titled "God and Country". From these four religious award programs approved in 1939, 1943, 1944 and 1945 the religious awards recognized by the Boy Scouts of America has grown to 63 awards from 33 different religious institutions. The newest religious award program approved by BSA's National Religious Relationships Committee is the Karma Religious Award Program of the North American Hindu Association. It was approved in 2001. The Karma Religious Award Program is for Hindu Boy Scouts and Venturers. It addresses the four fundamental tenants of the Hindu faith - Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.

Each religious award program shares four characteristics:

1) Each religious institution sets its own requirements, develops its own workbooks for students, counselors, and mentors and designs its own award or awards.
2) The Scout enrolls in the religious award program of his own faith, and receives instruction from his own faith leader (priest, pastor, minister, rabbi, etc.)
3) The Scout's religious institution as part of a religious service makes the presentation of the religious award itself.
4) The Boy Scouts of America in recognition of the Scout's achievement permits him to wear the religious award on his uniform, centered above the left pocket flap. The Scout is also entitled to wear the religious award knot (silver square knot on a purple background) on his uniform.

The promotion of the religious award program is largely up to Adult Scout Leaders who should encourage each Scout to make arrangements with his faith leader to earn the award. Often times a faith leader is not aware of the religious award program and what all it entails and the Adult Scout Leader may be asked to explain or provide information about it. One source of information is the BSA Religious Emblems Programs website.

Many faiths also have an adult religious award program, but it cannot be earned. For adults, the award seeks the individual; the individual does not seek the award. Adult religious awards are for distinguished service by adults in both their religious institution and in the Boy Scouts of America. Adults who find an individual worthy of such recognition, without the nominee's knowledge, can initiate a nomination for them. Individuals who wish to nominate an individual for such an award can be someone who knows the nominee either through the Boy Scouts of America or through the nominee's religious institution.

[Also see: http://www.praypub.org/ Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is a not-for-profit organization whose national board of directors includes representatives from Protestant and Independent Christian Churches, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire USA. Because the P.R.A.Y. office handles religious recognitions orders on a full-time basis, other religious organizations have contracted with the P.R.A.Y. office to handle their programs (i.e. Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, Friends Committee on Scouting, National Jewish Committee on Scouting, etc.). ]

[return to top]


World Crest & International Activity Patch

The World Crest is a Scout emblem that has been worn by an estimated 250 million Scouts since the Scouting movement was founded in 1919. It is still worn by 28 million Scouts in 216 countries and territories and is one of the world's best-known symbols.

Scouts and members of the public often ask how the emblem originated. Lord Baden-Powell himself gave the answer: "Our badge we took from the 'North Point' used on maps for orienteering." Lady Baden-Powell said later, "It shows the true way to go." The emblem's symbolism helps to remind Scouts to be as true and reliable as a compass in keeping to their Scouting ideals and showing others the way.

The crest is designed with a center motif encircled by a rope tied with a reef or square knot, which symbolizes the unity and brotherhood of the movement throughout the world. Even as one cannot undo a reef knot no matter how hard one pulls on it, so, as it expands, the movement remains united.

The three tips of the center fleur-de-lis represent the three points of the Scout Promise. In some countries, the two decorative five-pointed stars stand for truth and knowledge.

The crest is white on a royal purple background. These colors are symbolic as well. In heraldry, white represents purity and royal purple denotes leadership and help given to other people.

The BSA had a problem since it was using the World Crest as a BSA award. They were requiring a Scout to spend 5 days doing something international involving Scouting or exchange students. However the World Crest is not a BSA badge.

In 1988 the "World Organization of the Scout Movement" requested that every national Scout association authorize this emblem to be worn by all members to signify membership in a worldwide movement.

The BSA responded by authorizing the World Crest to be worn by all adult and youth members as a permanent patch centered horizontally over the left pocket and vertically between the left shoulder seam and the top of the pocket.

When the BSA conformed to the wishes of the WOSM they created the International Activity Patch to replace it. However when they did this they left the definition of the specific requirements up to the local council or its districts with council approval.

[return to top]


A Professional Scouter

Roger D. Maki wrote an excellent description of the Scouting profession. This is adapted from his description:

I have a rich and rewarding Scouting background. I joined Cubbing at age 10, then went on to a Scout troop, where I stayed until I went to college. I'm an Eagle Scout with a silver palm, Vigil member of the OA and former lodge chief. I attended three National Camping Schools (for Scoutcraft Activities, Summer Camp Management, and Program Director), and I served on four summer camp staffs. I went to Philmont, and I was a day visitor to four National Jamborees. I was an Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, and a District Committee Member.

I became a District Executive. One would think that a successful experience as a youth member in Scouting would be a tremendous preparation for a professional Scouting career, but, sad to say, that is far from the truth. In my experience, to be a success in the profession, one has to be a super salesman, because it's primarily a sales-oriented job. You have to sell kids on the idea of joining, you have to sell parents on the idea of volunteering time, you have to sell community organizations on the idea of chartering packs, troops, and posts, and you have to sell community business leaders on the idea of donating time, money, and services. As a professional, one spends 80% of his 50-60 hour work week (including many evenings and weekends) working on the above items. The work bears no resemblance to camping or hiking in the woods with a bunch of eager Scouts.

When it comes to the fun activities of camporees, etc., the successful professional recruits other adult volunteers to plan, coordinate, and run the events, while he remains in the background for support. He is a manager who has to recruit, train, direct, and inspire the District Committee members and Commissioners. Those that leave the Scouting profession as well as those that stay value the excellent leadership and management training offered to the professional staff.

[Roger D. Maki left the profession in 1980. Unfortunately, this too is frequently a part of the Scouting profession.]


Herbie Hawk, the Council Symbol

Throughout the Hawk Mountain Council, Scouts of all ages know and love Herbie Hawk. He's the Council's symbol personified.

He may be a caricature; but, one almost feels he comes alive as he emotes loyalty, fidelity, trustworthiness, determination, grit, or any one of many expressions that will reflect the mood fitting the situation.

He's got character!

That's a lot to say for a youngster of 12 . or 13 . . . or 14. We're not really sure just how old he is. Even his "Dad," the late Richard F. (Dick) Kurr, wasn't sure!

Checking the records - or early tracings, if you will - there is evidence that the first Herbie was displayed publicly in 1971, 1972 or 1973. Then he had a serious, straightforward expression. It didn't take him long however, to develop his own character. In short order, the second Herbie was on the scene with a prouder expression.

Through the years, then, Herbie began to get more and more boldness in his lines; more emphasis in his expressions, and uniquely characteristic flamboyance in his artistic emotions.

Not only does Herbie have character, he has heritage. He's not just any old fictitious bird. He was selected from among seven kinds of hawk to represent Hawk Mountain Council.

Herbie is a Goshawk. A Goshawk is literally a goosehawk, appropriately defined as ". . . large, short-winged hawks, noted for their powerful flight, activity and courage."

This mascot started out with the name of "Herby." "Somehow," Dick Kurr says, "Someone changed the spelling to 'Herbie,' and that's the way it has been ever since." Every area Scouter recognizes Herbie Hawk as the name of the Council's newspaper.

Throughout his career, Herbie has gone to camporees, jamborees and Scout shows; he's been a football player, a camper, and an archer, to name but a few; he's exemplified patriotism, showed the way at camps, represented volunteers and now is puffing his chest with pride as part of the Diamond Anniversary recognition.

His creator researched not only for definition, but also drew detailed feathered head representations of various kinds of hawks before determining that the Goshawk had the best characteristics for his artistic personification.

Truly, his gallery of expressions for Scouting is extensive. Dick Kurr hasn't even counted them all, but there must be as many expressions as there are activities, moods, challenges and accomplishments in Scouting.

He's come a long way for his age. But, then, his "Dad" has been living and loving Scouting for more than half a century. Goshawk, what would you expect?

For a very thorough description of the Patches of Hawk Mountain Council check out David Fry's site: Patches of Hawk Mountain Council by David Fry


The Joining of Two Councils

Hawk Mountain Council was born of the marriage of the Daniel Boone Council in Berks County and the Appalachian Trail Council in Schuylkill County and part of Carbon County. The 1970 consolidation developed into a happy and prosperous union because of the sincere concern for mutual welfare.

"In the mid- to late-Sixties," according to David I. Sharp, the Hawk Mountain Council's past Scout Executive," the National Council was urging smaller councils to merge or consolidate for improved economies and for increased effectiveness of service. Furthermore, local councils were being advised to purchase potential camp properties while sites were still available and affordable, because economic studies were indicating that may not be the case in the Seventies."

It was the Northeast Region, based upon the National Council's studies, that suggested Daniel Boone and Appalachian Trail Councils seriously consider a merger or consolidation. In recollection, Woodrow R. Eshenaur, who had been the Daniel Boone Council president at the time, and Joseph H. Jones, a past president of Appalachian Trail Council, agreed, "They didn't push us; they suggested we get together and explore the idea."

Pushing wasn't necessary. "Woody" and "Joe," who was named to represent the Appalachian Trail Council President, Dr. Clayton C. Barclay, met within a short time at the Moselem Springs Inn, made some important decisions and set a course of action.

They agreed to have the respective councils appoint a joint committee of representatives from both councils and to direct that committee to divide into task forces to address key areas of concern. They agreed enthusiastically that in their coordinating roles, Eshenaur and Jones would not direct or steer the task forces in their investigations and reports.

Five study areas were designated with parallel leadership for each task force from the two councils. For Growth, it was Stanton Clay from Daniel Boone and Jack Richards from Appalachian Trail; Personnel and Administration, Roy Farrell and George Gebhardt; Physical Facilities, Russell Thomas and Mark Edelman; Program, Rod Horning and Joe Grow, and Finance and Legal, David Batdorf and Joseph Jones. Each task force was directed to pursue its study in its own manner and to submit a report. Eshenaur recalled that all of the task forces submitted comprehensive written reports within the six-month target date.

As recalled by George M. (Bud) Gebhardt, vice president of Appalachian Trail Council at the time and a hard worker for the merger, "We were merger-minded." Appalachian Trail Council earlier had rejected an offer to merge with another (Hazleton) council. Economically, things were difficult; staff and services were reflecting the tight budgets. James Dukovic, the Appalachian Trail Scout Executive, was the only Scouting professional remaining on the staff; there were no district executives.

When merger or consolidation talks were underway in 1969, the two councils were serving about one-third of the eligible boys living in their areas. The nearly 5,000 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers who made up the Appalachian Trail Council represented some 30 per cent of that council's eligible youth population. In the Daniel Boone Council, more than 8,100 boys in the Scout programs represented slightly over 33 per cent of the eligible youth population. Together, the councils had 12,200 boys in Scout programs, serving almost one-third of the eligible youth population.

That was the setting. The study was completed and some decisions had to be made.

Eshenaur was in his second year as president of the Daniel Boone Council and looking toward the end of his administration since it was customary for a president to serve no more than two successive years. Robert Meinholtz was the Daniel Boone Council's hard-working and determined Scout Executive. Here's how Eshenaur recollected what happened:

"Bob was a 'doer.' I remember vividly a day shortly after the recommendation was made to put the two councils together, when Bob came to me in my office at eight o'clock one morning. He told me that the Executive Committee had met the evening before without my being present and requested that I continue on as president to see this merger through.

"I said, 'Bob Meinholtz, I'm going to tell you one thing right now-between you and me and this room. I will take a third term under one condition; that you shake my hand right now and tell me that you will not leave this council during my time in office. 'He got up, shook my hand and I said, 'We've got a deal.'"

The bringing together of the two councils was underway.

Among the first of the investigations to be considered was whether to recommend a merger or a consolidation. The Joint Feasibility Study Committee pointed out in its report that:

"A merger occurs when one council surrenders its charter and the other council absorbs its territory and assets. A consolidation occurs when each party surrenders its charter and a new corporation is formed of the original parts.

The committee posed the particulars, but left the final decision to the two councils' legal advisors, stating, ". . . whether this jointure is to be a merger or a consolidation is left to the discretion of Mr. Batdorf and Mr. Jones and the recommendation to the respective boards is to be for 'a consolidation and/or a merger' of the two councils."

The combined council became a consolidation, incorporating anew.

Though Appalachian Trail Scout Executive Dukovic knew that the formation of a new council would mean the end of his job there, he was a strong supporter of the proposal. After the consolidation in 1970, he did move on to a staff position in the Valley Forge Council.

The task force studying personnel reported that, "The plans of organization were agreed upon-a starting plan and a final one . . . . all districts would be covered as they are now . . . by district executives resident in or near their districts.''

Further, it designated that the Daniel Boone Scout Executive would become the Scout Executive of the merged council. The Appalachian Trail Scout Executive would become an ". . Assistant Executive with the particular assignment of handling major details (related to the merger or consolidation)

The headquarters of the Daniel Boone Council on the George Krick property along the Pottsville Pike near Reading was designated to serve the merged councils. The task force report noted:

"The office is unusually well equipped with serviceable equipment in adequate amount(s). .

It is better equipped than most council offices and has adequate production and storage facilities."

As to the Appalachian Trail's location, the report explained ". . . (it) occupies space on the third floor of the City Hall in Pottsville. If is neat and functional . . . . (but has) no elevator service."

The easiest thing in the merger was agreeing upon a name. Bud Gebhardt remembers, "Once the merger was agreed upon, it was named so quickly. There was no objection. It just had to be 'Hawk Mountain Council' since that landmark had been the former borderline between the two councils and now became the center of the merged territory."

But, there were difficult problems with which to cope.

By working together and addressing each problem step-by-step, all were solved-some quickly, others required more time, study, understanding and compromise.

"We all had to remember," Eshenaur offered, "Everyone had his personal involvement in one of the councils - time, work, dollars and memories." To which Gebhardt added, "In some rather pesky ways, those to the North in Appalachian Trails seemed to have had the more unusual problems to tackle."

Jones mused, "Maybe we can chuckle now, but some things that seem like little problems today were tough to solve then. We had a lot of trouble about the telephones. Every time someone in the former Appalachian Trail Council wanted to call the new headquarters, it was a toll call. For a while a toll-free number was installed, but for economy the council later decided to accept toll calls.

Then Gebhardt recalled that supplies became an awful problem because everyone would have to travel to Reading for them. That was solved by packaging standard bundles of supplies for the field staff to carry in their cars at all times.

Several years after the merger, units in the Lehighton-Jim Thorpe area and the Nesquehoning area in Carbon County considered leaving Hawk Mountain Council and joining the Minsi Trails Council. Gebhardt recalled, "We had quite a meeting one night and I was chairman of it. Everything came out fine. I suggested that the Lehigh River be considered the dividing line between the two councils and it was adopted. That put Nesquehoning in Hawk Mountain Council and left the Lehighton-Jim Thorpe area to make its own decision." (The latter joined the Minsi Trails Council.)

But, camp location was the big problem. Eshenaur reminded, "Deciding to give up either of the camps was an emotional thing because in both councils so many people had worked so hard to raise money to buy the camps in the first place and then put so much more into building them."

Daniel Boone Council had Camp Shikellamy on the south side of Blue Mountain and the Appalachian Trail Council had Blue Mountain Camp on the north. They were only about 1,500 feet apart, close for hiking from one to the other and separated by the famous Appalachian Trail. But, there was no direct road. Driving between the two was a six-mile roundabout trip.

The task force that studied both camps reported:

"Both sites present opportunities for rugged outdoor living and experiences. The camp structures are all in good condition. Each offers facilities for troop use in the winter months.

"Shikellamy is the Daniel Boone reservation. It contains two camps, one of which feeds at the central dining hall. The other feeds on troop sites from food service by heater stacks. The central dining hail is a pavilion-type building with (an) enclosed kitchen and open dining room. The kitchen is well enough equipped that it prepares meals for both dining room and heater stack feed units. Storage building and workshop provide for good maintenance, which is well in evidence.

"Blue Mountain is the Appalachian Trail's reservation. It contains a one-camp reservation and employs central feeding at the camp dining hall. The building is enclosed and can be equipped for heat at reasonable cost with space heaters and used year-round for larger groups. The camp also contains an administration building. . . . The climate of the Pottsville camp makes it a place where a winter sports program for older Scouts and Explorers offers an exciting possibility.

"From the camping standpoint, combining the two camps would offer ... advantages."

The new council operated two camps for two summers and found itself with a staff of 93 between the two locations. "It was obvious rather quickly that we couldn't afford this," Gebhardt noted, "so the decision was made to use only one of the camps." When the council's two camping programs came together at Camp Shikellamy, the staff was reduced to 58. Blue Mountain was closed for two years.

Meanwhile, attention was being turned to solving the camp problem permanently. A study was undertaken and alternatives considered, including an investigation with the state about building a road between the two. Eshenaur recalled, "Gilbert Associates had done a study for the council and told us that to put the water and sewer lines in properly would cost 'an arm and a leg.' It was a good study and I was convinced-and so were some others- that we should stay at Blue Mountain and sell Shikellamy.

One of the new council's most important meetings was when the decision was made to sell Camp Shikellamy and to keep Blue Mountain as the Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation. Gebhardt and Jones recalled, "The decision already had been made ... the Berks County group had it all decided before we arrived. Of course, we were thrilled. That made us a stronger group (in Appalachian Trail) when Blue Mountain was retained."

The last camping season at Camp Shikellamy was 1977 and the property was sold at auction in 1978.

Now, over 30 years after the consolidation of the two councils, Scout Executive Richard Bennett points out that the decisions made about the camp were wise ones. Since the consolidation of the camp activities at Blue Mountain-now the Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation-attendance has been increasing steadily. It operates in the black, its programs are among the strongest in the Region and it attracts Scouts from many other councils.

The success of the camping program is but one evidence of the solidarity and dedication of the true Scouters who faced up to reality in the late 1960s and consolidated their resources to assure the youth of today and tomorrow the availability of the wholesome, character-building experiences of growing up in the Hawk Mountain Council.

Marvelously, the character building and achievements weren't just for the boys. The adult Scouters and friends in the communities were all part of the action and the fulfillment. And, it continues today.

Out of the Appalachian Trail's search for support in the financially difficult times of 1967 came the "Order of Angels" in the Pottsville area. Some 20 leading citizens responded with generous financial support and were the start of a special group that made survival possible then and has continued as a key support in the Hawk Mountain Council. Now much larger than the original 20, and equally prestigious, they still come together each year for the supportive Angel dinner.

In like manner, Scouters and friends of Scouting in the Boyertown area take pride in the success of the annual Good Scout dinner. In Reading, Northern Berks County and Western Berks County, the annual Leadership dinner is the rallying event. These are key sustaining events for Hawk Mountain Council; but just as important, they epitomize the pride, dedication and sincerity of Scouts, Scouters and friends of Scouting. Good Scouts, Leaders and Angels are the communities' leaders and they seek to be counted among the invitees.

"Hawk Mountain Council is proud of its role in the communities and the support it receives from the communities," Council president Andrew Maier II emphasizes. "We are a United Way Agency and receive United Way support in Berks, and Schuylkill Counties."

For a very thorough description of the Patches of Hawk Mountain Council check out David Fry's site: Patches of Hawk Mountain Council by David Fry


Directory to Contents of Henning's Scouter's Pages

Visit Henning's Scouters' Home Page

Visit Henning's Home Pages

Visit Henning's Rhododendron and Azalea Pages

 
ARS Medal
 

Compatibility & Webmaster information: These pages were created in Adobe GoLive, Adobe DreamWeaver, and BBEdit by . They have been successfully tested on computers, ipads, ipods, & iphones and with various browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, OmniWeb, Opera, & Safari. They have also passed the internet standards of the W3C validator tests. They are now translated into over 60 other languages by Google. Please report any problems to . [Article in Kutztown Patriot about International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians Award.]Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional