Scouts International

by curtissmith003 / Feb 28, 2013 / 0 comments

Our boys have been in Scouting since they were young Tiger Scouts in 1st grade. Right now, Aaron is working on Life Scout and nominated for Order of the Arrow and Elijah just made Tenderfoot. Both want to make Eagle Scout someday. Now, if all the Scouting jargon sounds confusing and a little outdated Americana, you probably never were a Scout. You missed out on the most amazing, fun, and rewarding boyhood experience ever. So, have boys and volunteer to be a Scout dad so you can go back and do all the cool stuff or, like me, do it all over again. I love being able to re-live my childhood through our boys!


I was worried that when we moved to England our boys would miss out on Scouting. Fortunately, Scouting is so big that it is in almost every country around the world. The World Scout Bureau office is in Geneva, Switzerland, with regional offices in six areas around the world: Africa Region (Nairobi, Kenya), Arab Region (Cairo, Egypt), Asia-Pacific Region (Manila, Philippines), European Region (Geneva, Switzerland), Inter-American Region (Panama City, Panama), and Eurasia Region (Yalta-Gurzuj, Ukraine).


February 22nd was Lord Robert Baden-Powell’s birthday. Lord Baden-Powell was the founder of Scouting in England, from where Boy Scouts of America originated. According to legend, W. D. Boyce was an American newspaper man and entrepreneur. He was lost on a foggy street in London when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him back to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's tip, explaining that he was merely doing his duty as a Boy Scout. Immediately afterwards, Boyce met with General Robert Baden-Powell, who was the head of the Boy Scout Association at that time. Boyce returned to America, and, four months later, founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.


What do President Barak Obama, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, John F. Kennedy, Harrison Ford, Gerald Ford, Martin Luther King, Jimmy Stewart, Bill Clinton, Nolan Ryan, Richard Gere, Jim Lovell, George Bush, Mark Spitz, Jim Morrison, Bruce Jenner, and Hank Aaron all have in common? They were all scouts! In addition, 181 NASA astronauts were involved in Scouting (57.4% of astronauts). 39 are Eagle Scouts. 35.4 percent of the United States Military Academy (West Point) cadets were involved in Scouting as youth. 14.7 percent of cadets are Eagle Scouts. 23 percent of United States Air Force Academy cadets were involved in Scouting as youth. 12 percent of cadets are Eagle Scouts. 25 percent of United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) midshipmen were involved in Scouting as youth. 11 percent of midshipmen are Eagle Scouts. 206 members of the 112th Congress participated in Scouting as a youth and/or adult leader. 29 are Eagle Scouts. 15 current U.S. governors participated in Scouting as a youth and/or adult volunteer. Four are Eagle Scouts. 72% of Rhodes Scholars are Scouts too. Wow!


Obviously, we wanted our boys to continue in Scouting. I went online and found the BSA website where I was able to track down the nearest Scout troop in England. Sure enough, there was one 30 minutes away outside Cambridge on Royal Air Force Base Alconbury. Amazingly, there were almost as many Brits in the troop as Americans. We all had a great time trading Scout experiences.


When we moved to Germany, we found another unit at the American consulate in Frankfort. Even in Costa Rica we found another troop. The boys camped in the Alps, British country-side, and rainforest! They got to keep a small part of American life with them wherever we went. They have Scout troop patches with them from all over the word. Now that we are back in the United States, temporarily, they have stories to share with the troop here in the Seattle area. Plus, they have not missed advancing in the program.


This weekend, we are building and sleeping in igloos up in the Cascade Mountains! See what you may be missing.