Boy Scouts to celebrate 108th anniversary

It has been 108 years since the Boy Scouts of America was established with an anniversary week set to begin Sunday to celebrate the organization’s service to America’s youth.

Scout Sunday begins the celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America with churches, organizations and local groups to recognize local Scouts.

Mike Kupec, Whispering Pines District public relations, said Boy and Cub Scouts will recognize this Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath ceremonies and hold special activities during February, such as the Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquets and Boy Scout Courts of Honor.

Scouting was started after William Dickson Boyce, an American newspaperman and entrepreneur, was lost on a foggy street in London when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him back to his destination.

The boy refused Boyce’s tip, explaining he was doing his duty as a Boy Scout.

Afterwards Boyce met with Robert Baden-Powell, who was the head of the Boy Scout Association at that time and Feb. 8, 1910, following his London experience, founded The Boy Scouts of America.

Boy Scouts’ mission was to promote through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scout craft and to teach them patriotism, courage and self-reliance.

Kupec said Scouting, which is in 185 countries, has expanded beyond its outdoor adventures to introduce young people to promising careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Boy Scouts also offer character-building programs that foster ethical decision-making skills while engaging in fun outdoor activities with friends and adult leaders.

Different programs include:

• Boy Scouts is for boys (and girls to begin in 2019) ages 11-17 designed to build character, citizenship and personal fitness through a vigorous outdoor program and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster.

• Cub Scouts’ mission is to develop character and ethical decision-making skills for boys in the first through fifth grades (7 to 10 years old).

• Sea Scouts is for young men and women who are 14 (or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade) through 21 years of age.

• Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 years of age (or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade) and up to 21 years of age.

• Exploring is a co-ed career exploration program for young men and women from ages 10-20.

For information about Scouting programs in Mahoning County, contact John Brkic, Whispering Pines district executive, at 330-773-0415, Ext. 230 or at john.brkic@scouting.org and in Trumbull County, contact David Michalec, Arrowhead district executive, at 330-773-0415, Ext. 231 or david.michalec@scouting.org.

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