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The Boy Scouts Are Here to Stay

Published: February 8, 2017

On the 107th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, we are reprinting this Saturday Evening Post editorial from our February 10, 1945, issue. 

Boy Scout and Liberty by J. C. Leyendecker

THE Boy Scouts are so much a part of the American picture that it is hard to believe they have been around for only thirty-five years. They are so tangled in the vocabulary, humor, ideals and daily life of the nation that one would think they had been around as long as the Grange or the W.C.T.U. Actually, the Boy Scouts of America — from the daily good deed to the load of hardware considered necessary to hiking — were organized in February, 1910, two years after Sir Robert Baden-Powell set them up in England. There have been all sorts of movements and organizations devoted to training boys and giving them something to do in their spare time, but it would be hard to name any which does the job as well as the Boy Scout movement does it. Probably, the secret is that the Scouts, instead of playing soldier or cops-and-robbers, actually participate in the life of their communities. During the war, they have sold Bonds, collected scrap materials, assisted ration boards and other civilian boards. In time of peace, they have been equally useful. Who can tell how much the Boy Scout movement has done to relieve the blackout of the Seven Ages of Man—those years when a boy is too old to have nothing useful to do and too young to be allowed to do it? Nor is it unimportant that the Boy Scouts are an international organization, have contacts with Scouts in other countries and are encouraged to develop the kind of attitudes that will be necessary in the closerknit world of the future. That alone justifies a feeling of satisfaction that the Boy Scouts of America are thirty-five this week and showing no sign of senility.

~Editorial, February 10, 1945

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