101 years and still growing

Published 7:58 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One hundred and one years after American visitor William D. Boyce became lost in London and relied on the aid of a Scout doing a “Good Turn” to find his way, Boy Scouts in America are still an important force for building young men of character.

Having brought the Scouting program to America from his overseas trip, Boyce worked with two friends to develop a handbook and spread the program across the continent. Many things have changed in the world since the original edition of the “Handbook for Boys” was published in 1911. The influence of Scouting has ebbed and flowed through the years, largely following a similar pattern experienced by organizations ranging from churches to community service clubs.

But many parents still see the benefit of a club that works to teach boys the values of character, honesty, self improvement, service, hard work and preparation. And Scouting officials continue to find areas of the country that are underserved by the organization. The convergence of those two situations creates opportunities for new Boy Scout troops, such as Suffolk’s Troop 1929, which is hosted by West End Baptist Church and currently has just five members.


Email newsletter signup

The new troop received its charter in September, and since then its leaders have been lobbying folks around the area for new members and for donations to help defray the startup costs.

More than a century after Scouting got its start on American soil, the organization continues to grow. That’s a true testament to the enduring rewards it offers, both to those who participate and to the communities where the organization operates. Suffolk is blessed to have some well-established Scout troops. It’s even more blessed that Scouting continues to grow here.