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Cub Scout Pack 52
(Mansfield, Texas)
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Boy Scouts of America
Celebrates 100 years of Tradition!

History of the BSA


  • The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated - February 8, 1910

Founders of Scouting:

  • William D. Boyce, incorporator
  • Colin H. Livingstone, president
  • Daniel Carter Beard, national Scout commissioner
  • Ernest Thompson Seton, Chief Scout
  • James E. West, Chief Scout Executive
  • President William Howard Taft, honorary president
  • Former President Theodore Roosevelt, honorary vice president and Chief Scout Citizen


  • National Council office opened, January 2
  • First annual meeting
    • At the White House, Washington, D.C.
    • Addressed by President Taft
  • The Scout Oath, Scout Law, badges, and fundamental policies were adopted
  • National Court of Honor presented the first awards for heroism: 22 Bronze Medals


  • First Eagle Scout, August 12
    • Arthur Eldred
  • First national civic Good Turns were performed
    • Promotion of a safe and sane Fourth of July
  • Sea Scouting began
  • Boys’ Life  became the official BSA magazine


  • First local council charters were issued
  • Scouting  became the official magazine for volunteers
  • First Boy Scout Week was celebrated


  • First Scout Sunday was celebrated
  • First tree-planting project was held in New York
  • Training for Scout leaders was developed
  • First William T. Hornaday gold medal for the conservation of wildlife


  • National office to train all Scouters was established
  • Fifty-seven merit badge pamphlets were issued
  • The Handbook for Scoutmasters was issued
  • The Order of the Arrow  was founded


  • Constitution and bylaws were adopted
  • The first college course in Scouting began at Teachers College, New York


  • Scouting’s full resources were placed at the service of the government
    • Slogan: ‘‘Help Win the War’’
  • The first winter camp was held by Chicago Scouts

Scouts’ War Effort: 1917–1918

  • Sold 2,350,977 Liberty Loan bonds, totaling $147,876,902
  • Sold war savings stamps, to a value of $53,043,698
  • Distributed more than 300 million pieces of government literature
  • Aided in food and fuel conservation projects
  • Planted Boy Scout war gardens


  • BSA adopted the slogan ‘‘The War Is Over, but Our Work Is Not’’
  • Scouts rendered nationwide service during the influenza epidemic


  • First four Gold Medals were awarded by the National Court of Honor for saving a life at the risk of the rescuer’s own
  • U.S. Bureau of Naturalization invited Scouts to aid in its Americanization program


  • First World Jamboree, 1920
    • London, England
    • 8,000 Scouts from 34 countries were present
    • 301 BSA members attended
  • The international left handclasp was adopted, 1923
  • Every Scout a Swimmer program began, 1924
  • Second world jamboree, 1924
    • Copenhagen, Denmark
    • 56 BSA members attended
  • First Silver Buffalo Awards for distinguished service to boyhood were awarded, 1926
    • Twenty-two awards given
    • The first was awarded to Baden-Powell
    • The second was presented in the honor of the unknown Scout whose Good Turn brought Scouting to America
  • National office was moved to 2 Park Avenue, New York City, 1927


  • Cub Scout program was formally launched, 1930
  • 5,102 Cub Scouts by the end of the first year
  • First Silver Beaver awards for distinguished service to boyhood within a council, 1931
  • President Roosevelt called for help from the Scouts for the distressed and needy, 1934
  • Nationwide Good Turn
    • Collected 1,812,284 items of clothing, household furnishings, foodstuffs, and supplies
    • Silver Jubilee of Scouting, 1935
  • Membership passed 1 million, 1935
  • National jamboree was canceled because of an infantile paralysis epidemic, 1935
  • First national jamboree, 1937
    • Washington, D.C., at the invitation of President Roosevelt
    • 27,232 attended, representing 536 councils
  • Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp established
    • Gift from Waite Phillips, 1938
    • 35,857 acres of land near Cimarron, New Mexico


  • Philmont Scout Ranch established
    • Additional gift from Waite Phillips, 1941
    • Residence and ranch buildings
    • Livestock and operating ranch equipment
    • Contiguous to former Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp
    • Total combined acreage: 127,000
  • First Silver Antelope Awards for distinguished service to youth within a region, 1943
  • Councils and campsites by 1949
    • 543 councils
    • 831 campsites
    • 288,545 acres

Scouts’ War Effort: 1941–1945

  • Included 69 specific requests from the government
  • Collected 30 million pounds of rubber during a two-week drive
  • 20,000 Scouts earned the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Medal for Victory Gardens
  • Distributed pledge cards for war bonds and savings stamps
  • Distributed stamp posters
  • Collected aluminum, wastepaper, and salvage
  • Conducted defense housing surveys
  • Distributed air-raid posters
  • Served as messengers and dispatch bearers
  • Assisted emergency medical units
  • Served as fire watchers


  • Second national jamboree, 1950
    • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
    • 47,163 Scouts and leaders attended
  • First Boy Scout stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office Department, 1950
  • 2 million pounds of clothing collected for domestic and foreign relief, 1952
  • Distributed more than a million posters and 30 million Liberty Bell doorknob hangers in the Get-Out-the-Vote campaign, 1952
  • 20-millionth member joined, 1952
  • Third national jamboree, 1953
    • Irvine Ranch, California
    • 45,401 Scouts and leaders attended
  • Boys’ Life circulation passed 1 million, 1954
  • National office moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1954
  • More than 100,000 units, 1954
  • More than 1 million adult volunteers, 1954
  • Fourth national jamboree, 1957
    • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
    • 50,100 Scouts and leaders attended
  • 15 millionth copy of the Handbook for Boys, 1957


  • Scouting’s Golden Jubilee, 1960
  • Fifth national jamboree, 1960
    • Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • 53,378 Scouts and leaders attended
  • Johnston Historical Museum
    • Dedicated June 4, 1960
    • New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Sixth national jamboree, 1964
    • Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
    • 52,000 Scouts and leaders attended
  • 500,000th Eagle Scout honored, 1965
  • 40 millionth member registered, 1965
  • BSA hosted the 12th world jamboree, 1967
    • Farragut State Park, Idaho
    • 12,000 Scouts and leaders from 107 countries attended
  • First female Explorers, 1969
  • Seventh national jamboree, 1969
    • Farragut State Park, Idaho
    • 35,000 youth and leaders attended


  • Scouting Keep America Beautiful Day
    • June 5, 1971
    • Scouts collected more than a million tons of litter
  • National Eagle Scout Association formed, 1972
  • Eighth national jamboree at two sites, 1973
    • Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania
    • Farragut State Park, Idaho
    • 64,000 youth and leaders attended
  • Ninth national jamboree, 1977
    • Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania
    • 28,600 Scouts and leaders attended
  • National office moved to Irving, Texas, 1979


  • 30 millionth Cub Scout, 1980
  • 10th national jamboree, 1981
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 30,000 Scouts and leaders attended
  • The 1 millionth Eagle Scout, 1982
    • Alexander M. Holsinger
  • 75th anniversary, 1985
    • Theme: “Pride in the Past ... Footsteps to the Future"
  • 11th national jamboree, 1985
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 32,615 Scouts and leaders attended
  • First Scouting for Food National Good Turn, 1988
    • More than 60 million food items were collected
  • 12th national jamboree, 1989
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 33,000 Scouts and leaders attended


  • Learning for Life established, 1991
    • Character-building program for the classroom
    • 700,000 youth participated during the first year
  • 13th national jamboree, 1993
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 26,000 Scouts and leaders attended
  • 14th national jamboree, 1997
    • Fort A.P. Hill Virginia
    • 35,000 Scouts and leaders attended


  • The 100-millionth youth member, 2000
    • Mario Castro
  • 15th national jamboree, 2001
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 40,000 youth and leaders attended
  • National Scouting Museum was built, 2002
    • 50,000-square-foot facility
    • Next to the national office in Irving, Texas
  • 16th national jamboree, 2005
    • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia
    • 43,000 Scouts and leaders attended
  • ArrowCorps5, 2008
    • In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service
    • 3,600 Scouts and adult volunteers participated
    • $5.6 million worth of improvements made to national parks
  • The 2 millionth Eagle Scout, 2009
    • Anthony Thomas

How Scouting Came to America

The Story of a Good Turn, Boy Scout Handbook, Tenth Edition, Chapter 26, Boy Scouts of America

How good must a Good Turn be to be good? The answer is best given by telling you the story of how Scouting came to America. It shows that it isn't the size of a Good Turn that counts. What is important is the spirit with which a Scout does a Good Turn.

"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 and a group of outstanding leaders 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 one man became a Good Turn to millions of American boys. Such is the power of a Good Turn.


The "Cubbing Program" was introduced by the Boy Scouts of America in 1930, but its roots go all the way back to the first days of Scouting. With the early success of the Boy Scouts for boys 12 and over, there was popular demand for a "younger boy program" for the siblings of Scouts. Because of concerns that a younger boy program might have a negative effect on the fledgling Boy Scouts program, the BSA was very careful in their dealings with this "younger boy problem." (See Scouting Magazine article on "Cubbing" June 1930)

   In 1916, Sir Robert Baden-Powell introduced the "Wolf Cub" program for younger boys. This program soon found its way to numerous communities in the Americas. There were also other 'younger boy' organizations such as the "Little Lodge" of the "Woodcraft Indians," the "Boy Pioneers," and the "Boy Rangers." Some BSA Boy Scout Troops were also sponsoring unofficial "Junior Troops" and "Cadet Corps."

   Finally, after 20 years of Boy Scouting in America, "Cubbing" was introduced! What has followed has been nothing short of phenomonal! Boasting over 50,000,000 members since its inception, no program in history has had the far ranging impact on American youth than Cubbing and Cub Scouting have!