Happy 104th birthday, Boy Scouts of America!

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.

Each Feb. 8 gives us a chance to look back on the year in Scouting. (Just like I did on Feb. 8, 201320122011 and 2010.)

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.

11 thoughts on “Happy 104th birthday, Boy Scouts of America!

  1. Our Pack, Troop, and Crew, presented a program on Scouting to our Chartering Organization, the United Methodist Men! They cooked breakfast for us! We even tossed in a Friends of Scouting presentation!

  2. Actually Bryan, when we celebrate a birthday or anniversary, we have completed that year as a journey around the Sun. For example, after February 8, 2013 it was the 104th year of the BSA, and after today we are moving into the 105th year!

  3. Last fall our sponsoring church asked that Scout Sunday be held on February 16; the first Sunday was their Communion Sunday, this weekend is our district’s Winter Camporee, so they agreed on next weekend and all plans have been made.

  4. My home church did Scout Sunday last week. The church where my son is a Scout & I am a Committee Member had it this morning. Normally, our home church wants it on the 2nd Sunday to avoid Communion as others, but they gave their Troop a choice. The Troop chose last week.

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