The origins of the Boy Scouts of America are actually as idyllic and rustic as you might have imagined. The story begins in the early 20th century when Chicago publisher W.D. Boyce was visiting London and became lost in the thick fog of the city. A boy, known eternally as the Unknown Scout, helped Boyce find his way and refused any payment in exchange, stating that he was a Boy Scout and was simply doing his daily good deed.
In England, the Scouting movement, which this boy had been part of, had already been established in 1907 by General Robert Baden-Powell. Boyce was so inspired by this experience that when he returned to the United States, he founded the BSA of America. This set up an American institution of civility, responsibility and preparedness that continues to instruct and inspire young men today.
One of the most important aspects to a Boy Scout is his uniform, which is highly symbolic and proudly displays the badges he has earned for his merit. Indeed, there are more than 125 different merit badges a Boy Scout can earn and wear as part of his uniform. Boy Scouts can equip themselves in the right outfit for scouting success at a Boy Scouts store where all the proper attire for scouting is sold.
In the year 2012 alone, more than 2.7 million youth members and more than a million volunteers participated in service projects throughout the U.S. This generated approximately $297,761,236 worth of service, especially in the categories of litter cleanup, food collection, conservation projects and military support. You can read more about these activities on the Boy Scouts blog online.
BSA nationally has given out 117,649,303 merit badges since the inception of the organization. Some of the most popular services that get awarded merit badges are first aid, swimming, camping, cooking and citizenship in the community. Indeed, these are not simply patches you can purchase at the Boy Scouts store; they are badges to be worn proudly once they are earned.
The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, was an Eagle Scout. When he was in space in 1969, Armstrong radioed in a greeting to Boy Scouts from all across the country as they were attending a National Jamboree. Other notable Scouts can be found throughout your community, across the nation and, indeed, all over the world. Read all about it by visiting a local Boy Scouts store near you.