110 years ago: First “official” Boy Scout Troop, January 24, 1908?

January 25, 2018

From the archives.

There are those who argue that the the first Boy Scout Troop was organized on January 24, 1908.

History is not so clear on that point, however.  There may have been earlier troops organized, but records were unclear, or lost.

From Wikipedia: Front cover of the first part of Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell, published in January 1908. Illustrations by Baden-Powell himself.

From Wikipedia: Front cover of the first part of Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell, published in January 1908. Illustrations by Baden-Powell himself.

We do know that the the first installment of the serialized Scouting for Boys was published on January 24, 1908.  By April of that year all installments were published, and we can say that the first Boy Scout handbook had arrived.

Either way, January 24 holds some historical significance for the Scouting movement.

Do a good turn in honor of the day, even if it’s a day or two later. (Scouts in the U.S. work to do a good turn every day.)

Who was really first?  Unfortunately, the records don’t exist to settle that issue.

Scouting, in England, arose from the popular clamor by boys after the 1899 publication of Col. Robert Baden-Powell’s handbook for the scouts he trained for the British Army in southern Africa, Aids to Scouting.  Though not written for a youthful audience, the book became a best seller among boys who wished to emulate the adventures of soldiers and rangers in the British Army.

By 1907, Baden-Powell seriously worked to translate his experience and wisdom in a book aimed at boys.  In the summer of 1907 he gathered a collection of boys to camp, to try out his ideas for outdoor activities for boys.  With aid of the YMCA and other organizations, troops were planned and organized at the end of 1907 and in early 1908; then the program skyrocketed, with 60,000 boy members by the end of 1908.

Which was the “first” troop?

In England, where history and firsts might understandably be taken more seriously for Scouting, a number of groups can make the claims — and it’s almost impossible to choose from among them.  Wikipedia explains the claims of each, without much blood (I’ve left in most of the links and footnote links):

The first Scout Troops were formed in the United Kingdom in 1907, and registered in 1908. There are a number of claimants to be the first troop. However, due to poor record keeping when the Scouting Movement started, The Scout Association does not acknowledge any single troop as being the first. The Scout Association maintains a list of all the Scout Troops who claim to have started in 1908.[1]

The Scout Troops with the strongest claims are listed below:

The 1st Glasgow Scout Group in Scotland holds the earliest known registration certificate, dated 26 January 1908, issued by the Scouting Association. The Group was formed from the Glasgow Battalion of the Army Cadet Corps; its Adjutant was Captain Robert E Young. In June 1907, they formed the ‘Cadets’ Winter Recreation Training Club’. The club was a success from the beginning, as ‘Boss’ Young related: “At first we met at my house, signalled up and down the stairs, tied knots around the banisters and always finished with a good tuck-in.” ‘Boss’ Young met B-P during Autumn 1907 who suggested that the Club could experiment with the ideas contained in ‘Scouting for Boys’. On 16 January 1908, the Club was formally disbanded and the First Glasgow Troop of Boy Scouts was registered with Scout HQ in London.[1][2]

The first Scout Troop to receive a visit from Baden-Powell was the Vaux’s Own Scout Troop in Sunderland. This visit was made on 22 February 1908, so it is assumed by The Scout Association “that it had already been in existence for some days at any rate”.[1] This was also the first Scout Troop listed in the Imperial records. The 1st Crystal Palace Patrol (now known as the 2nd Croydon, 1st Crystal Palace) is documented as being in existence on 28 February 1908. The group is still in existence.[3]

In 2007, 1st Henfield Scout Troop was named as the oldest surviving Scout Troop in the world for the centenary of Scouting. They were the hosts of the only place that the centenary flame stopped in England for the night before reaching its goal of Brownsea Island. However, it is not the oldest Scout Troop, as others were set up before Henfield. It is said that the boys that went to Brownsea Island on the first ever scout trip were from Henfield.[4]

The 1st Birkenhead (YMCA) has a claim to be the oldest Scout Troop as it was founded on 24 January 1908 when B P attended a meeting at the YMCA. Documents at the District Headquarters confirm this fact. Baden-Powell at the 1929 Coming of Age Jamboree in Birkenhead said “Here in Birkenhead that I first mooted the idea of Scouting”.

The 1st Croydon Scout Group (Addiscombe) were founded in the latter months of 1907. The Group was officially registered by Imperial Scout Headquarters on 16 June 1908 and can claim to be one of the earliest Groups.

1st Church Kirk, Church near Accrington Lancashire. Formed 1907. Baden Powell formed a link with Accrington during his opening of the Ambulance Drill Hall in 1904.

There is an entry in Baden-Powell’s diary on 4 February 1908 which mentions a Scout Troop in Nottingham.

1st Alsager, Cheshire were formed before 24 February 1908.

A troop from Hampstead was involved in various events in the first half of 1908.

The 1st City Of Aberdeen Scouts existed in 1908. 1st Arbroath Scout Troop (2nd Angus) dates back to June 1908.[5]

The 1st Norwich “Capt. Bower’s Own” Sea Scouts started in January 1908.[6] The group is one of few which has continuously run for 100 years and, remarkably, had just 4 Group Scout Leaders during that time. To celebrate their centenary year, the group published a book entitled, “It Can Be Done: The Hundred Year History of the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group.” drawing from their extensive archives.[7]

In Poole, Dorset, there are strong claims from 3 current Scout Groups, that all have separate newspaper articles back to 1908 listing Patrols or Troops practicing Scouting. 1st Parkstone has got a registration number back to February 1908 for a Scout Troop. Hamworthy are listed as having a Boat patrol at the Local Church in November 1908 and Broadstone having an Ambulance Scout at the Gathering on Brownsea Island in December 1908.

Wycliffe Scout Group (Gloucestershire) claims to be the oldest continuously active school-based Scout group in the world (active September 2013). It is listed in the Scout Association database with a registration date of 1 February 1909, although the Group celebrated their centenary in 2008, implying that there had been Scouting activity at the school before the Group was registered.

Who was first?  The question remains, not yet satisfactorily answered for history.

How would you decide the controversy?

Scouts from several nations around a campfire -- photo from the website of the World Scout Organization.

Scouts from several nations around a campfire — photo from EraScouting page [replacing photo from the website of the World Scout Organization]. “Leave this world a little better than you found it” — Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. There are over 40 million Scouts in the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

More:

This is an encore post.

Yes, this is an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.


Boy Scouts greet Col. Theodore Roosevelt, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1932

April 13, 2014

Interesting photograph.

1932 photograph of U.S. Army Col. Theodore Roosevelt III, being greeted in St. Paul, Minnesota by a group of Boy Scouts.  Minnesota Historical Society collection.

1932 photograph of U.S. Army Col. Theodore Roosevelt III, being greeted in St. Paul, Minnesota by a group of Boy Scouts. Minnesota Historical Society collection.

Found it at the site of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Col. Roosevelt, the son of President Theodore Roosevelt, is nearly center, in civilian clothes.  He would go on to command troops at the Battle of Normandy on D-Day, winning the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously.  His father would later be awarded the Medal of Honor.  Is this the only father-son MoH duo?

MHS records identify Col. Roosevelt and 13 other people in the photo, mostly the Scouts; alphabetically, they are:  Baker, Curtis; Baker, Robert (brothers?); Haas, Frank; Hagman, R. J.; Jungwirth, Robert A.; Kehne, Clyde; Menz, C. J.; Nyman, David; Polanick, Alexander; Robertson, Donald; Roosevelt, Theodore [III]; Sommers, Charles; Torgerson, Gordon; White, Charles.

It would be interesting to know what the event was in 1932 that brought Roosevelt to St. Paul.  It would be interesting to know what happened to those Scouts.

Update: Mr. Higginbotham found an account of Roosevelt’s trip in the April 1932 issue of Boys’ Life (see comments).  Roosevelt was on his way to the Philippines, where he served as Governor-General, a post held earlier by William Howard Taft, Leonard Wood, and Henry L. Stimson, among others.  Roosevelt was a member of the National Board of Boy Scouts of America; Scouts saw him off from New York, and greeted him at stops all the way to Seattle, where he boarded ship for the Philippines.

Account of Col. Theodore Roosevelt III's trip from New York to Seattle, in 1932 -- with Scouts meeting him at almost every stop.  Boys' Life, April 1932, page 58.

Account of Col. Theodore Roosevelt III’s trip from New York to Seattle, in 1932 — with Scouts meeting him at almost every stop. Boys’ Life, April 1932, page 58.


First “official” Boy Scout Troop, January 24, 1908?

January 24, 2014

There are those who argue that the the first Boy Scout Troop was organized on January 24, 1908.

History is not so clear on that point, however.  There may have been earlier troops organized, but records were unclear, or lost.

From Wikipedia:  Front cover of the first part of Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell, published in January 1908. Illustrations by Baden-Powell himself.

From Wikipedia: Front cover of the first part of Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell, published in January 1908. Illustrations by Baden-Powell himself.

We do know that the the first installment of the serialized Scouting for Boys was published on January 24, 1908.  By April of that year all installments were published, and we can say that the first Boy Scout handbook had arrived.

Either way, January 24 holds some historical significance for the Scouting movement.

Do a good turn in honor of the day.

Who was really first?  Unfortunately, the records don’t exist to settle that issue.

Scouting, in England, arose from the popular clamor by boys after the 1899 publication of Col. Robert Baden-Powell’s handbook for the scouts he trained for the British Army in southern Africa, Aids to Scouting.  Though not written for a youthful audience, the book became a best seller among boys who wished to emulate the adventures of soldiers and rangers in the British Army.

By 1907, Baden-Powell seriously worked to translate his experience and wisdom in a book aimed at boys.  In the summer of 1907 he gathered a collection of boys to camp, to try out his ideas for outdoor activities for boys.  With aid of the YMCA and other organizations, troops were planned and organized at the end of 1907 and in early 1908; then the program skyrocketed, with 60,000 boy members by the end of 1908.

Which was the “first” troop?

In England, where history and firsts might understandably be taken more seriously for Scouting, a number of groups can make the claims — and it’s almost impossible to choose from among them.  Wikipedia explains the claims of each, without much blood (I’ve left in most of the links and footnote links):

The first Scout Troops were formed in the United Kingdom in 1907, and registered in 1908. There are a number of claimants to be the first troop. However, due to poor record keeping when the Scouting Movement started, The Scout Association does not acknowledge any single troop as being the first. The Scout Association maintains a list of all the Scout Troops who claim to have started in 1908.[1]

The Scout Troops with the strongest claims are listed below:

The 1st Glasgow Scout Group in Scotland holds the earliest known registration certificate, dated 26 January 1908, issued by the Scouting Association. The Group was formed from the Glasgow Battalion of the Army Cadet Corps; its Adjutant was Captain Robert E Young. In June 1907, they formed the ‘Cadets’ Winter Recreation Training Club’. The club was a success from the beginning, as ‘Boss’ Young related: “At first we met at my house, signalled up and down the stairs, tied knots around the banisters and always finished with a good tuck-in.” ‘Boss’ Young met B-P during Autumn 1907 who suggested that the Club could experiment with the ideas contained in ‘Scouting for Boys’. On 16 January 1908, the Club was formally disbanded and the First Glasgow Troop of Boy Scouts was registered with Scout HQ in London.[1][2]

The first Scout Troop to receive a visit from Baden-Powell was the Vaux’s Own Scout Troop in Sunderland. This visit was made on 22 February 1908, so it is assumed by The Scout Association “that it had already been in existence for some days at any rate”.[1] This was also the first Scout Troop listed in the Imperial records. The 1st Crystal Palace Patrol (now known as the 2nd Croydon, 1st Crystal Palace) is documented as being in existence on 28 February 1908. The group is still in existence.[3]

In 2007, 1st Henfield Scout Troop was named as the oldest surviving Scout Troop in the world for the centenary of Scouting. They were the hosts of the only place that the centenary flame stopped in England for the night before reaching its goal of Brownsea Island. However, it is not the oldest Scout Troop, as others were set up before Henfield. It is said that the boys that went to Brownsea Island on the first ever scout trip were from Henfield.[4]

The 1st Birkenhead (YMCA) has a claim to be the oldest Scout Troop as it was founded on 24 January 1908 when B P attended a meeting at the YMCA. Documents at the District Headquarters confirm this fact. Baden-Powell at the 1929 Coming of Age Jamboree in Birkenhead said “Here in Birkenhead that I first mooted the idea of Scouting”.

The 1st Croydon Scout Group (Addiscombe) were founded in the latter months of 1907. The Group was officially registered by Imperial Scout Headquarters on 16 June 1908 and can claim to be one of the earliest Groups.

1st Church Kirk, Church near Accrington Lancashire. Formed 1907. Baden Powell formed a link with Accrington during his opening of the Ambulance Drill Hall in 1904.

There is an entry in Baden-Powell’s diary on 4 February 1908 which mentions a Scout Troop in Nottingham.

1st Alsager, Cheshire were formed before 24 February 1908.

A troop from Hampstead was involved in various events in the first half of 1908.

The 1st City Of Aberdeen Scouts existed in 1908. 1st Arbroath Scout Troop (2nd Angus) dates back to June 1908.[5]

The 1st Norwich “Capt. Bower’s Own” Sea Scouts started in January 1908.[6] The group is one of few which has continuously run for 100 years and, remarkably, had just 4 Group Scout Leaders during that time. To celebrate their centenary year, the group published a book entitled, “It Can Be Done: The Hundred Year History of the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group.” drawing from their extensive archives.[7]

In Poole, Dorset, there are strong claims from 3 current Scout Groups, that all have separate newspaper articles back to 1908 listing Patrols or Troops practicing Scouting. 1st Parkstone has got a registration number back to February 1908 for a Scout Troop. Hamworthy are listed as having a Boat patrol at the Local Church in November 1908 and Broadstone having an Ambulance Scout at the Gathering on Brownsea Island in December 1908.

Wycliffe Scout Group (Gloucestershire) claims to be the oldest continuously active school-based Scout group in the world (active September 2013). It is listed in the Scout Association database with a registration date of 1 February 1909, although the Group celebrated their centenary in 2008, implying that there had been Scouting activity at the school before the Group was registered.

Who was first?  The question remains, not yet satisfactorily answered for history.

How would you decide the controversy?

Scouts from several nations around a campfire -- photo from the website of the World Scout Organization.

Scouts from several nations around a campfire — photo from EraScouting page [replacing photo from the website of the World Scout Organization]. “Leave this world a little better than you found it” — Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. There are over 40 million Scouts in the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

More:


One Boy Scout’s story: Kazimierz Piechowski, “I escaped from Auschwitz”

April 14, 2011

Good reading:  An article by Homa Kahleeli in The Guardian from Tuesday, April 12, 2011:

I escaped from Auschwitz

Kazimierz Piechowski is one of just 144 prisoners to have broken out of the notorious Nazi camp and survive. Today aged 91, he tells his extraordinary story

Kazimierz Piechowski, Boy Scout who escaped Auschwitz - Guardian photo

Guardian caption: "Kazimierz Piechowski in 2011. 'We just planned that I would play the role of an SS officer so well that the guards would believe me.' Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian"


Portrait of Lord Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting

December 11, 2010

HERKOMER Hubert von | Sir Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941). | 1903

Hubert von Herkomer's 1903 portrait of the founder of Scouting, Sir Robert Baden-Powell - California State University's World Images Kiosk

Before Boy Scouting, Sir Robert Baden-Powell was the hero of the Siege of Mafeking, during the Boer War.  This image of the founder of Scouting does not appear often, but deserves some audience, here in the Centennial of Scouting in the U.S.


Boy Scouts talk with President Obama in the White House

July 13, 2010

President Obama and Boys Scouts in Oval Office, July 12, 2010

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a young Cub Scout, during a meeting with representatives from the Boy Scouts, in the Oval Office, July 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I suspect this was a press release from BSA, which I found at the Cracker Barrel, a blog for Scouting Magazine:

BSA representatives meet with Obama to discuss top concerns for nation’s youth

A group of Boy Scouts of America youth members and executive leaders met with President Barack Obama today to discuss top priorities for the organization’s next century of service.

During the White House meeting, the president and the BSA delegation shared their mutual goals for addressing key concerns for our nation’s youth: healthy living, service to the community, and environmental stewardship.

Obama has shown his support for each of these issues by introducing three relevant programs: Let’s Move!, United We Serve, and America’s Great Outdoors.

As has been the case with every U.S. president since William Howard Taft, Obama serves as the Honorary President of the BSA and helps recognize the achievements of more than 50,000 Eagle Scouts each year by signing their Eagle Scout cards.

Obama’s three initiatives match several concerns not just for the BSA but also for the entire country, said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca.

“Health, community service, and preserving our environment are priorities for all Americans,” Mazzuca said. “Our first 100 years in Scouting taught us the importance of these issues to America’s youth; our next century of Scouting will focus on creating programs to expand our efforts in these areas.”

To show its commitment to these issues and in honor of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary, the organization presented Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, with two camperships for Scouts in their home councils. These scholarships will help two Scouts attend summer camp: one each from the Aloha Area and Chicago Area councils.

While at summer camp, these two deserving Scouts will see first-hand how much fun it is to stay active in the outdoors and learn how preserving our environment is critical in today’s world.

The camperships were presented by the youth members of the BSA’s delegation. This group was made up of young people who represent several of the BSA’s programs. Eagle Scout Brad Lichota, national Order of the Arrow chief, led the youth members.

Others were Cub Scout Raphael Cash from Bowie, Md.; Venturer Shannon Hoff from Falls Church, Va.; Sea Scout M. Robert Marks Jr. from Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Boy Scout Arnold Mears from Parkville, Md.

The photo came from the White House‘s website, separate from the press release.

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Scouts in stained glass: St. Barnabas Church, Heigham

June 16, 2010

Let the light shine through:

South aisle window by Alfred L Wilkinson, 1956, in St. Barnabas Church, Heigham, Norwich.  Photo from Flickr, by Simon K:

Scouts and Girl Guides, at South aisle window by Alfred L Wilkinson, 1956, in St. Barnabas Church, Heigham, Norwich. Photo from Flickr, by Simon K

The photographer has additional photos of window details at his Flickr site.

Just a reminder that 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in the United States.


Boy Scouts with wreath, 1924

June 14, 2010

From the digital collections at the Library of Congress:

Boy Scout wreath, 1924 - Library of Congress Digital Collection, National Photo Company Collection

Boy Scout wreath, 1924 - Library of Congress Digital Collection, National Photo Company Collection (Call Number: LC-F8- 28581 (P&P))

Three Boy Scouts and a wreath with the BSA’s fleur de lis, in 1924.  Who are the Scouts?  What was the occasion?  Questions we have in the centennial year of Boy Scouting.

This photo is in the middle of a collection of photos taken at the funeral of President Woodrow Wilson, which was on February 6, 1924.  Was this the Boy Scouts’ tribute to Wilson?  By the way, Wilson is the only president interred in the District of Columbia (Arlington National Cemetery is across the Potomac River, in Virginia).  Wilson’s sarcophagus in in the main chapel of the National Cathedral.

Woodrow Wilson's tomb in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.  - Wikimedia image

Woodrow Wilson's tomb in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. - Wikimedia image


Just in case you thought any climate contrarian remains sane . . .

February 2, 2010

Which of these would be accurate in showing the insanity, but not so sharp as to raise the hackles of the climate contrarians?

  • “Contrarians think Antarctic unworthy of protection”
  • “Denialists criticize efforts to keep Antarctic clean”
  • “Climate change critics’ brains have left the building”

Read these stories, and tell me.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted the delicate condition of the Antarctic with regard to its two main industries, fishing and tourism.  IPCC AR4 noted that the tourism industry takes steps to protect Antarctic environments made more vulnerable by melting.  (Footnote here; actual flyer here, assessment document here in Microsoft Word .doc format)

Contrarians come unglued, here at ClimateQuotes.com, and here at Air Vent.

It’s clear that the contrarians don’t have much experience in heavy documentation.  If you follow the links they provide, you quickly get to the paper provided by the tourist industry noting their precautions to prevent contamination, provided to meet a request by scientists from the Australian team, and based on information well vetted to the point that it includes substantial excerpts from what appears to be a peer-reviewed journal on the types of solutions suitable for decontaminating foreign boots in the Antarctic (Polar Record, vol. 41, no. 216, Jan. 2005, p. 39-45; it is actually the official journal of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge, UK).  There is astounding and commendable attention to detail, much more than the contrarians can grok, it appears.

More troubling to the Boy Scout in me is the contrarians’ contempt for what is, really, Leave No Trace Camping carried to an Antarctic tourist stop.  This is part of the environment protection credo of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and it is sound policy that everyone should be teaching their children.

What is wrong with that?  Why do the contrarians mock wise policies?  Why do they make false claims against what amounts to good Scouting?

Leave No Trace logo

Contratians disapprove of the ethics of environmental stewardship?

One implicit complaint is that the footnote does not provide evidence of damage from climate change, in the Antarctic.  It’s clear that the critics have not followed the footnote path to see why the boot cleaning poster and directive were issued, nor to see what is the research or official government action that prompted the tourist companies to implement the procedure.

It appears in a section of the IPCC reports on effects of warming on industries in affected areas.  Only two industries are noted in the Antarctic, fishing and tourism.  After establishing the increased chance of problem organisms, including micro-organisms, showing up in Arctic and Antarctic areas as the areas warm, and after noting two plagues that killed penguins recently, from micro-organisms, the IPCC paper notes that concern to prevent such tragedies have so far required only boot decontamination, and it offers a link to the flyer provided by an Antarctic tour operators group.

Got that?  To show that the tour operators are affected, IPCC cited the flyer put out by the tour operators showing how and why they were changing their operations.  It’s a minor, almost trivial point.

At no point did IPCC’s report claim this procedure as evidence of warming, or the effects of warming.  So the claims of the contrarians and denialists are completely off base, as they’d recognize except for their own shouting for the lynching of science to proceed.

Criticism of IPCC for noting the good stewardship techniques used in the Antarctic comprises more political smear than scientific enlightenment, by a huge factor.  Voodoo science from the contrarians begets voodoo criticism.

Contrarians lack wisdom in posing this complaint of theirs.  This is one more point IPCC got right, factually and ethically.  IPCC should be commended for that.

Wall of Shame (update added on February 7)

Outlets that cite the boot reference, falsely or stupidly, as some sort of flaw in the IPCC report, and thereby demonstrate malevolent intentions, and not scientific (“malice” for you Times v. Sullivan fans):


Scout earns all 121 merit badges, in Ardmore, Oklahoma

March 22, 2009

Another Scout joined the exclusive club of those who earned all the possible merit badges.

Wes Weaver, already an Eagle Scout, added the last of his merit badges late last month, according to KXII Channel 12 in Sherman, Texas (covering the border area around Lake Texoma).

“In 2008, there were 20 scouts across the county who had gotten all 121 merit badges. I’m adding my name to that list,” Wes says.

Eagle Scout Wes Weaver, of Ardmore, Oklahoma Troop 121 - earned all 121 merit badges - Ada Evening News photo

But Weaver’s accomplishments don’t end with badges. The teen also earned his Eagle Scout award by building a 112-foot bridge over a creek bed in Lake Murray State Park. It was no easy task with the rugged terrain

“Just digging the holes I was thinking I’m never going to be done. All my weekends are going to be spent out here digging holes,” Wes says.

“It was scheduled to take between two to three months. It ended up taking a year and 6 months,” says Wes’s father, Rusty Weaver.

Rusty helped his son plan out the bridge and construct it, along with the rest of Troop 112. Now all kinds of area bicyclists, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the state park a little more.  [video available here]

Keeping with an interesting if perplexing tradition, bugling was the last merit badge he earned.  Weaver had aimed for 121 since he first became a Boy Scout, and his Scoutmaster, David Mannas challenged the troop to earn their Eagle rank and then go beyond the 44 merit badges Manass had earned.

Many of Weaver’s merit badges were earned in the traditional fashion, at the many summer and winter camps he attended over the years. Weaver’s father, Rusty Weaver, became the Scoutmaster of Troop 112 and is a Climbing Director for Arbuckle Area Council. “My dad would be at camp two to four weeks a summer so I stayed at camp and took all the merit badge classes I could. Before I knew it, I had 80 merit badges.”

He attends Plainview High School concurrently with Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Regional Center and looks forward to finalizing his college plans.

Weaver was recognized for his rare achievement at the Arbuckle Area Council Annual Recognition Banquet, Feb. 28 at Camp Simpson in Bromide. His parents are Trish and Rusty Weaver, Ardmore.

Resources:

Previous notes at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

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Scouts predict weather

September 8, 2008

Bill Britt is Scoutmaster of Troop 509 in Hurlburt Field, Florida.  In a missive recently he comments on the ability of his Scouts to predict stormy weather:

Subject: This is gettin’ old!!

Argggh!

We had an annual multi-troop campout scheduled for the weekend of August 22.  Hurricane/TS Fay decides to go right over the camp, so we cancel early.

We schedule a flag retirement ceremony with the VFW for Labor Day and wake up to Tornado Warnings from Hurricane Gustav’s feeder bands.

Now Hurricane Ike is trying to visit us for next weekend’s Spectre Island campout.

We now figure we can offer our services to NOAA as a long term Hurricane predictor for the Gulf Coast.  All we gotta do is check out the calendar for future Troop events through November when the season ends.

Bill Britt, SM
Troop 509
Hurlburt Field, FL
Providing accurate cyclonic prediction since 2008


Scouts, Scouters: No campaigning in uniform!

August 31, 2008

Scouts and Scouters know the rules:  No political campaigning in uniform.  It’s such a hard-and-fast rule that even Boy Scouts helping with voter registration or simultaneous food drives sometimes get calls from the local Council to be sure there is no partisan political campaigning going on.

Scouts may be asked to present the colors, the flags of the U.S. and the state, and to lead a political convention in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Diligent Scouters, or Scouts, involved in such ceremonies, will retire to remove their uniforms before continuing to participate in the political part of the activities.

Photos of Scouts used by presidential campaigns is among those things prohibited.

So this photo is disturbing.  You can see two people in Scout uniforms — one obviously an adult — at a political rally where their placement suggests the campaign officials tried to get them into news and publicity photos.  Oddly for real Scouters, there are few insignia of any kind on the uniforms — on the sleeves or pockets — other than what comes with the shirt right out of the box (World Scouting emblem perhaps excepted) — though you can see the edge of an adult leader’s patch on the adult’s left arm.  Were these real Scouters flouting the rules, or faux Scouters, actors hired by the campaign to flaunt the uniform, contrary to the rules?

The Scouts in the background -- are they complying with Scout policies that require no politicking in Scout uniform?  (photo from Andrew Sullivans blog)

The Scouts in the background -- are they complying with Scout policies that require no politicking in Scout uniform? (photo from Andrew Sullivan's blog)

Below the fold:  The rule, as listed on Grand Teton Council’s website.

Read the rest of this entry »


Scout Centennial video

June 22, 2008

Here’s a video on the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, coming in 2010.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Scout Centennial video“, posted with vodpod

Scouts, Scouters, friends and media should probably bookmark this site, and use it to coordinate events planned for the centennial year.

Among other fun things, there was a contest to pick a logo for the year-long festivities. The logo is below, left.

The winning design came from an Eagle in California


Name: Philip Goolkasian
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
Scout Rank: Eagle Scout
Council: Troop 223, Sequoia Counci


Iowa Scout tragedy – a message from the Chief Scout Executive

June 14, 2008

Chief Scout Executive Robert J. Mazzuca issued this message yesterday, regarding the tornado strike at Mid-America Council’s Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. For the record, for your information and action:

Robert J. Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive

June 13, 2008

To our Scouting family:

We were all shocked and saddened by the news coming out of Western Iowa. The tornado that ripped through our Little Sioux Scout Ranch left a terrible wake of destruction in its path. We mourn the lives lost and injuries suffered as a result of the storm. And we extend our deepest sympathies and concern to the families of those who were affected.

BSA President John Gottschalk and I have pledged the full support of the National Council to assist in any way. Particularly during this period of front-line response, most of the effort is being managed by the outstanding Mid-America Council. We are grateful for Lloyd Roitstein and his staff, who have shown remarkable leadership during this very challenging time. The local council has placed a very high priority on tending to the needs of the impacted families. We continue to remain in close contact and are helping to coordinate communication across the local council network. The National Council is prepared to engage further at any time.

Understandably, we are receiving many calls from all across the country from staff, volunteers, Scouts, and families who want to be supportive. Thank you, everyone, for this outpouring of support. We have put into place a process for properly channeling offers of financial assistance for the impacted families, as well as interest in volunteering time to the effort. Right now, we need to give emergency responders and the local council time to attend to the task at hand. Very soon, the effort will turn to rebuilding and reconstructing. Upon the determination of exact needs, we will follow up with you.

Please forward contact information and offers of support to our emergency response e-mail at oomcd@netbsa.org. Anyone interested in making a donation to help rebuild Scouting in the communities affected by the tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest go to www.scoutingfriends.org. Select “BSA Disaster Relief.”

Again, we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. At the same time, however, we are moved by and proud of the way in which our Scouts, leaders, and the local council have responded. There is no question that this terrible situation would have been worse if it were not for the heroic efforts of the young men who were on the ground when the tornado hit. They epitomize what is so very special about being a Scout.

Please join me in keeping all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers. God bless our Scouts.

Yours in Scouting,

Robert Mazzuca signature

Robert J. Mazzuca signature

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Robert J. Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive

Memo in .pdf form

Tip of the old scrub brush to Debie Franz, Wisdom Trail District, Circle 10 Council


J. Russell Coffey, third to last WW I vet, 1898-2007

December 21, 2007

Who are the last two?
________________________

From the Toledo, Ohio, Blade:

J. RUSSELL COFFEY, 1898-2007

BGSU professor, 109, was among last remaining veterans of WW I

NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio – J. Russell Coffey, 109, a former physical education professor at Bowling Green State University and one of only three remaining U.S. veterans of World War I, died of heart failure yesterday in the Briar Hill Health Campus nursing home.Born in Crawford County, Ohio, Mr. Coffey was a student at Ohio State University when the United States joined the war in 1917.

He was 20 years old when he enlisted in the Army the following year and served about a month before the end of the war. While he tried to enlist earlier, the military was hesitant to admit him because his two older brothers, Harley and Hobart Coffey, were fighting in Europe.”I remember going down and registering,” J. Russell Coffey told The Blade last year. “The recruitment man said, ‘I don’t think we need you.’ Two weeks later, it was just the opposite.”

Mr. Coffey was honorably discharged on Dec. 12, 1918, a month after the signing of the armistice.”He had a lot of friends and relatives who did serve [in Europe] and had a pretty rough time,” his great nephew, Jeff Coffey, said.

Years later, the elder Mr. Coffey told friends that he was somewhat embarrassed to be honored as a surviving veteran because he never saw combat.”He really felt that it wasn’t appropriate,” longtime friend James Miller said. “He had been willing to [fight]. But by the time he got there, it was over with.”

Mr. Coffey played baseball and was a track sprinter while in college, and went on to receive both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from OSU, and later a doctorate in education from New York University.Both athletics and teaching continued to play leading roles in Mr. Coffey’s life.

He officiated high school sports for many years, while he taught junior high and high school students in Phelps, Ky., at the former Glenwood Junior High School in Findlay, and at the former Findlay College. He also was an aquatics director for the Boy Scouts in Toledo.Mr. Coffey was at BGSU from 1948 until 1969. He primarily taught physical education, although he also taught archery, psychology, swimming, and driver’s education.

He was director of the university’s graduate studies in health and physical education from 1952 to 1968.In later years, Mr. Coffey credited physical activity and a healthy diet for his longevity.

He continued to drive a car until he was 103, about the same time he moved from his home in Bowling Green to the nursing home in nearby North Baltimore.”Most of his reminiscing was about teaching, and a lot about sports,” recalled Sarah Foster, the nursing home’s director.

Mr. Coffey was an active member of the Bowling Green Rotary Club for more than 50 years, and was named “oldest living Rotarian in the world” by the club in 2004.He was a member of the North Baltimore American Legion Post 549.

In 1921, he married the former Bernice Roseborough. She died in 1983.In his later years, Mr. Coffey sat for many newspaper, television, and radio interviews about the war, including one with a former student, Leon Bibb, a 1966 BGSU graduate and former university trustee who is now a newscaster for WEWS-TV in Cleveland.

“He was a very gentle man who told me that he did his duty as he saw fit,” Mr. Bibb said. There are no immediate survivors.Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Smith-Crates Funeral Home, North Baltimore, with visitation an hour before the services.

The family suggests tributes to the Rotary Clubs of either North Baltimore or Bowling Green.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Jim “Sojourner” from the old AOL boards.

Also see:  Historians at Work:  The last known Brit who fought in the trenches of World War I


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