Local Scouts marking 100th anniversary Saturday with show in Mt. Pleasant

From Staff Reports

Aug 2, 2007 - Be prepared for a big celebration this weekend when Boy Scouts from Sulphur Springs and other areas in Northeast Texas mark the 100th anniversary of scouting.

The White Oak District of the NeTseO Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America will comemmorate the centennial with a show at Dellwood Park in Mount Pleasant this Saturday, Aug. 4. Dellwood Park is on Ferguson Road (State Highway 49) about three blocks east of U.S. Highway 271.

The show, open to the public, will feature hundreds of Scouts, from those just learning to adults who have been involved in Scouting for years. There will be demonstrations of various skills learned in the Boy Scouts, from cooking to scuba diving. The show will also feature displays of Scouting memorabilia, information on "high adventure activities," and a salute to Eagle Scouts from the area.

Local Scouts from Troop 69 will put on a cooking demonstration at the show, which opens at 10 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. Venturers from Sulphur Springs Venture Crew 69 will be demonstrating canoeing skills.

Scouting got its start more than a century ago when a British Army officer, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, discovered the men under his leadership in India didn’t have basic outdoor survival skills. 

According to the Boy Scouts of America website (www.scouting.org), “Baden-Powell realized he needed to teach his men many frontier skills, so he wrote a small handbook called Aids to Scouting, which emphasized resourcefulness, adaptability, and the qualities of leadership that frontier conditions demanded.”

Back in England, the handbook caught the interest of English boys, who were using it to play a game called “scouting.”

�Baden-Powell had the vision to see some new possibilities, and he decided to test his ideas on boys,� the website continues. �In August 1907, he gathered about 20 boys and took them to Brownsea Island in a sheltered bay off England's southern coast. They set up a makeshift camp that would be their home for the next 12 days.�

That became the first organized Scout troop. In 1908, Baden-Powell published “Scouting for Boys.” Within three years, the number of Boy Scouts had risen to 30,000, and the rest is history.

For more information on Scouting or the 100th Anniversary Scout Show, contact Mike Stoltenberg at 903-438-1195.

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