Five score and four years ago today, the Boy Scouts of America was born.
Yes, the nation’s top youth-serving organization was incorporated on this date in 1910.
A lot’s changed since. In that 104-year span, we’ve watched 45 Olympics (including the Sochi Games), lived under 18 U.S. presidents (Taft to Obama) and welcomed four new U.S. states (New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii).
So much has changed in 104 years of the BSA, too, including new merit badges, new programs for younger boys and for young women, and new high-adventure destinations.
Here were some highlights from Scouting’s 103rd year:
Year 103 in the BSA
- 2013 National Jamboree: The BSA’s first jamboree at the gleaming Summit Bechtel Reserve gave tens of thousands of Scouts memories that’ll last a lifetime. Relive some of those magical moments on my blog.
- New Merit Badges: Merit badges have been debuting at an exciting pace, constantly widening the playing field for Scouts and their diverse interests. Year 103 for Scouting saw the debut of Game Design, Programming and Sustainability merit badges. Cooking and Cycling got major updates last year, while Cinematography was renamed to Moviemaking.
- Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?: The National Geographic Channel reality series was only around for five weeks, but it quickly became the favorite of several Scouting families. Read my weekly recaps here.
- Wood Badge at Philmont: One of my personal highlights was serving on Wood Badge staff at Philmont in August. I learned even more by staffing than I had as a participant a year earlier.
How are you celebrating?
Today’s a Saturday, so chances are many Scout packs, troops, teams and crews will celebrate outside this weekend. There’s no better place for a Scouting birthday party than outside, where the best parts of Scouting happen.
On Feb. 8 in past years, I’ve heard from Scouts who wear Scouting-related shirts or pins to show off their Scouting pride.
How will you celebrate? Share your plans in the comments below.