On this day in 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. From the Boy Scout handbook,
"Do a Good Turn Daily" is the Scout Slogan.
One Day in 1909 in London, England, an American visitor, William D. Boyce, lost his way in a dense fog. He Stopped under a street lamp and tried to figure out where he was. A boy approached him and asked if he could be of help.
"You certainly can," said Boyce. He told the boy that he wanted to find a certain business office in the center of the city.
"I'll take you there," said the boy.
When they got to the destination, Mr. Boyce reached into his pocket for a tip. But the boy stopped him.
"No thank you, sir. I am a Scout. I won't take anything for helping."
"A Scout? And what might that be?" asked Boyce.
The boy told the American about himself and his brother Scouts. Boyce became very interested. After finishing his errand, he had the boy take him to the British Scouting office.
At the office, Boyce met Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the famous British general who had founded the Scouting movement in Great Britain. Boyce was so impressed with what he learned that he decided to bring Scouting home with him.
On February 8, 1910, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America. From that day forth, Scouts have celebrated February 8 as the birthday of Scouting in the United States.
What happened to the boy who helped Mr. Boyce find his way in the fog? No one knows. He had neither asked for money nor given his name, but he will never be forgotten. His Good Turn helped bring the Scouting movement to our country.
In the British Scout Training Center at Gilwell Park, England, Scouts from the United States erected a statue of an American buffalo in honor of this unknown Scout. One Good Turn to oneman became a Good Turn to millions of American boys. Such is the power of a Good Turn.
My oldest son is an Eagle Scout. My youngest son is a Life Scout preparing for his Eagle Project. Scout has been good to (and good for) both my children. I recognize that Scouts - Boy and Girl - have endured scandals and controversies over the years. But the very heart of the programs is to train children to be good citizens.
Do you know any Scouts - Boy or Girl - in your family, among your friends, or in your community? I was a Girl Scout and Explorer (which became Venture Crew). One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City