• Boy Scouts of America - W.D. Boyce Council

    Boy Scouts of America - W.D. Boyce Council

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    Scouting, as known to millions of youth and adults, evolved during the early 1900s through the efforts of several men dedicated to bettering youth. These pioneers of the program conceived outdoor activities that developed skills in young boys and gave them a sense of enjoyment, fellowship, and a code of conduct for everyday living.

    At the turn of the century, it was thought that children needed certain kinds of education that the schools couldn't or didn't provide. This led to the formation of a variety of youth groups, many with the word ''Scout'' in their names. For example, Ernest Thompson Seton, an American naturalist, artist, writer, and lecturer, originated a group called the Woodcraft Indians, and in 1902, wrote a guidebook for boys in his organization called the Birch Bark Roll. Meanwhile in Britain, Robert Baden-Powell, after returning to his country a hero following military service in Africa, found boys reading the manual he had written for his regiment on stalking and survival in the wild. Gathering ideas from Seton, America's Daniel Carter Beard, and other Scoutcraft experts. Then Baden-Powell rewrote his manual as a nonmilitary skill book, which he titled Scouting for Boys. The book rapidly gained a wide readership in England and soon became popular in the United States. In 1907, when Baden-Powell held the first campout for Scouts on Brownsea Island off the coast of England, troops began springing up in America.

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    Bryan Schoeder