Norman Rockwell painted many, many scenes of the Boy Scouts and painted the artwork for Scout calendars for nearly 50 years. All but the War Bonds image here are Rockwell's.
Cub Scout Pack
How the Boy Scouts of America Were Started
Knowing the story of how the Boy Scouts of America was founded tells you a lot about Scouting:
The Boy Scouts of America was founded because of a 'good turn' - a simple act of service. William Boyce, the founder of the BSA was a Chicago businessman, visiting London in 1909. He got lost in the fog. A young English Scout appeared and helped Boyce find his way. When offered a tip for his help, the Scout refused, saying he was just doing his "good turn".
Impressed by the young man's character, Boyce sought out the founder of Scouting in the UK, General (later Baron) Robert Baden-Powell. When Boyce learned about the Scouting program, he returned to the United States and, with some other businessmen, founded the Boy Scouts of America in February, 1910.
Building character in American boys and the creation of good citizens was, and remains, the first goal of the Scouting Movement. Tens of millions of American boys,along with millions of adult leaders, have worked together for over 100 years with that goal in mind.
Scout Law and Oath
All Scouts learn the Law and Oath and pledge - at every meeting - to live by them:
Scout Law: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent
Scout Oath: On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically fit, mentally awake and morally straight.
For almost 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled in youth the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Today, these values are just as relevant in helping youth grow to their full potential as they were in 1910. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.
The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to
While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community.
Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether a game is won or lost.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Scouting promotes activities that lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made.
People need to learn all through their lives. We live in a society that rewards continual acquisition of skills and knowledge. Scouting provides structured settings where young people can learn new skills and develop habits of continual learning that will help them succeed. From its foundation, Scouting has offered a concrete program of discovering, sharing, and applying knowledge and skills.
Young people need faith. There is abundant evidence that children benefit from the moral compass provided by religious tradition. We acknowledge that faith can become an important part of a child's identity. Each of the major faiths breeds hope, optimism, compassion, and a belief in a better tomorrow. Scouting encourages each young person to begin a spiritual journey through the practice of his or her faith tradition. One of the key tenets of Scouting is "duty to God." While Scouting does not define religious belief for its members, it has been adopted by and works with youth programs of all major faiths.
Young people need to serve. The level of community service is a good indication of the health of any society. Scouting has, from its inception, been deeply rooted in the concept of doing for others. "Do a Good Turn Daily" is a core Scouting precept. Scouting encourages young people to recognize the needs of others and take action accordingly. Scouting works through neighborhoods, volunteer organizations, and faith-based organizations to help young people appreciate and respond to the needs of others.
Young people need to be well. To get the most from life, one must be both mentally and physically fit. A commitment to physical wellness has been reflected in Scouting's outdoor programs such as hiking, camping, swimming, climbing, and conservation. First aid, lifesaving, and safety programs are synonymous with Scouting. Our programs today include strong drug abuse awareness and prevention programs emphasizing the value of healthy living habits.
Young people need to know to be good and to do good. Few will argue with the importance of teaching values and responsibility to our children - not only right from wrong, but specific, affirmative values such as fairness, courage, honor, and respect for others. Beginning with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, the Boy Scouts of America program is infused with character-building activities that allow youth to apply abstract principles to daily living situations.
Young people need mentors. Positive relationships with adults—community and religious leaders and, of course, parents—provide youth with good role models and have a powerful impact on their lives. Young people of every age can benefit from constructive, one-on-one interaction with adults beyond their own families. Scouting provides such adult interaction. We have a process that screens, selects, and trains the leaders who can provide that extra attention all young people need to succeed in life.