Scouting came to America because a boy did a Good Turn – an act of kindness for which he expressed no reward. It happened more than a hundred years ago when William D. Boyce, an American businessman walking along a foggy street in London, England, lost his way. A boy came up and offered to help.
Mr. Boyce explained where he wanted to go, and the boy led him to his destination. When the businessman tried to give him some money, the boy said, "No thank you, sir. I am a Scout. I won’t take anything for helping."
William Boyce was so impressed by the boy’s kindness that he took time to learn about Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts in Great Britain. He liked what Baden-Powell was doing. He knew that boys in the United States would want to be Scouts, too.
On February 8, 1910, Mr. Boyce and a group of educators, political leaders, and businessmen founded the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts still celebrate this date as the birthday of the BSA.
No one knows what happened to the boy who guided Mr. Boyce through the London fog, but he will never be forgotten. Like many acts of kindness, what was done proved to be far more important than who did it. The unknown Scout’s Good Turn helped bring Scouting to America.
Scouting’s first century has taken the organization through an exciting hundred years. Over the course of the next several months, we will highlight many key moments in history for the BSA and for Scouting in the Northern Lights Council. We will also keep you informed of the 100th Anniversary celebration activities the Council has planned for Scouting’s Centennial Celebration.
Are you involved in Scouting? Are you an Eagle Scout or Scout Alumni? Let us know – we want to hear from you.
Scouting builds: character, leadership, achievement, service to others and appreciation for the outdoors. Be a Scout! Re-connect and re-engage with Scouting at www.BSAalumni.org