Boy Scouts of America Founded

The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated February 8, 1910 under the laws of the District of Columbia

Thirty-four national representatives of boys’ work agencies met, June 21 in a temporary national headquarters in a YMCA office in New York and developed organization plans.

Founders of Scouting:

William D. Boyce, incorporator
Colin H. Livingstone, president
Daniel Carter Beard, national Scout commissioner
Ernest Thompson Seton, Chief Scout
James E. West, Chief Scout Executive
President William Howard Taft, honorary president
Former President Theodore Roosevelt, honorary vice president and Chief Scout Citizen

In 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered the Unknown Scout and learned of the Scouting movement. Soon after his return to the U.S., Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. Edgar M. Robinson and Lee F. Hanmer became interested in the nascent BSA movement and convinced Boyce to turn the program over to the YMCA for development in April 1910. Robinson enlisted Seton, Beard, Charles Eastman and other prominent leaders in the early youth movements. In January 1911, Robinson turned the movement over to James E. West who became the first Chief Scout Executive and Scouting began to expand in the U.S.

The BSA's stated purpose at its incorporation in 1910 was "to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values." Later, in 1937, Deputy Chief Scout Executive George J. Fisher expressed the BSA's mission; "Each generation as it comes to maturity has no more important duty than that of teaching high ideals and proper behavior to the generation which follows." The current mission statement of the BSA is "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

The BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA is a corporation formed by a group of men who are anxious that the boys of America should come under the influence of this movement and be built up in all that goes to make character and good citizenship. The affairs of the organization are managed by a National Council, composed of some of the most prominent men of our country, who gladly and freely give their time and money that this purpose may be accomplished.

In the various cities, towns, and villages, the welfare of the boy scouts is cared for by local councils, and these councils, like the National Council are composed of men who are seeking for the boys of the community the very best things.

In order that the work of the boy scouts throughout America may be uniform and intelligent, the National Council has prepared its "Official Handbook," the purpose of which is to furnish to the patrols of the boy scouts advice in practical methods, as well as inspiring information.

The work of preparing this handbook has enlisted the services of men eminently fitted for such work, for each is an expert in his own department, and the Editorial Board feels that the organization is to be congratulated in that such men have been found willing to give their time and ripe experience to this movement. It would be impossible adequately to thank all who by advice and friendly criticism have helped in the preparation of the book, or even to mention their names, but to the authors whose names are attached to the various chapters, we acknowledge an especial obligation. Without their friendly help this book could not be. We wish especially to express our appreciation of the helpful suggestions made by Daniel Carter Beard.

We have carefully examined and approved all the material which goes to make up {vi} the manual, and have tried to make it as complete as possible; nevertheless, no one can be more conscious than we are of the difficulty of providing a book which will meet all the demands of such widely scattered patrols with such varied interests. We have constantly kept in mind the evils that confront the boys of our country and have struck at them by fostering better things. Our hope is that the information needed for successful work with boy scouts will be found within the pages of this book.

In these pages and throughout our organization we have made it obligatory upon our scouts that they cultivate courage, loyalty, patriotism, brotherliness, self-control, courtesy, kindness to animals, usefulness, cheerfulness, cleanliness, thrift, purity and honor. No one can doubt that with such training added to his native gifts, the American boy will in the near future, as a man, be an efficient leader in the paths of civilization and peace.

It has been deemed wise to publish all material especially for the aid of scout masters in a separate volume to be known as "The Scout Masters' Manual."

We send out our "Official Handbook," therefore, with the earnest wish that many boys may find in it new methods for the proper use of their leisure time and fresh inspiration in their efforts to make their hours of recreation contribute to strong, noble manhood in the days to come.

THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Editorial Board.
WILLIAM D. MURRAY
GEORGE D. PRATT,
A. A. JAMESON,