Jan 24 2007

This Day In History: Robert Baden-Powell begins Boy Scouts

Baden-powellOn January 24, 1908, the Boy Scouts movement begins in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys. The name Baden-Powell was already well known to many English boys, and thousands of them eagerly bought up the handbook. By the end of April, the serialization of Scouting for Boys was completed, and scores of impromptu Boy Scout troops had sprung up across Britain.

The American version of the Boy Scouts has it origins in an event that occurred in London in 1909. Chicago publisher William Boyce was lost in the fog when a Boy Scout came to his aid. After guiding Boyce to his destination, the boy refused a tip, explaining that as a Boy Scout he would not accept payment for doing a good deed. This anonymous gesture inspired Boyce to organize several regional U.S. youth organizations, specifically the Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boone, into the Boy Scouts of America. Incorporated on February 8, 1910, the movement soon spread throughout the country.

Scouting is an organization that challenges boys to get in touch with nature and to bring them back to a time when there was nothing but nature. To think back to how humans survived without TVs, internet and video games. I for one love each of those and wouldn’t want it any other way, however, what is wrong with forgetting about “technology” for a while and spend time away from everything. Camping, cooking over a wood fire, survival skills, enjoying the outdoors.

On the TV show Survivor, people try and be the only person who could “survive” in an environment where you have no modern luxuries. However, it would be much different if you had to actually survive by yourself in a forest or on a deserted island. Yes, you need to know how to start a fire with kindling and twigs but could you survive by yourself. If you or someone you were with was seriously injured, would you know how to deal with the situation and keep that person or yourself healthy enough to survive. If someone on Survivor had a heat stroke, would there be a trained medical professional there to help them. Yes. When you are in the wilderness with someone who had heat stroke, could you help them and keep them alive?

Boy Scouts has given me that knowledge. Some of the things you need to know how to do is: Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses likely to occur in back country outings, including hypothermia, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters. Some of them may be simple, but others can be life or death. These are just some of the concepts one can learn through Boy Scouts and though it may not seem important right now, some day it could save my life or the life of someone else.

Boy Scouts and becoming an Eagle Scout has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and will always remain a big part of who I am. I will try to “Do a Good Turn Daily” and “Be Prepared” for anything that comes my way. On this day, I thank Robert Baden-Powell for giving me and over 28 million registered Boy Scouts all over the world an opportunity of lifetime. (United States: 10,100,000 registered Boy Scouts).

1908, Baden-Powell, Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout, history, Robert baden-Powell, scouting

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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