There are few images of helping strangers as familiar as a young man helping an elderly woman cross a street. And when we envision such an act of kindness, the young man is usually wearing a Boy Scout uniform.
One of the tenets of the Boy Scouts is to do a good deed every day, so that scene isn’t far-fetched at all.
The world’s first Boy Scout camp was assembled Aug. 1, 1907, in England. So they’ve been doing good deeds for 100 years.
The Boy Scouts have taken a lot of heat in recent years because of the organization’s rule against gay members and leaders. In many cities, activists are trying to force Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs out of public schools because of the rule, saying public facilities should not be available to groups that aren’t inclusive.
We salute the organization for its adherence to its founding principles, regardless of changing societal mores. The Boy Scouts is a voluntary organization; if it doesn’t offer what some people want, they are free to find one that does.
For 100 years, Boy Scouts have been serving their communities, even after they become adults. Many military academy cadets are former Scouts, as are community leaders across the country.
In addition to those folks, millions of men, and these days women as well, continue to live the ideals they learned at troop meetings in school gymnasiums and church basements.
On hikes, camping trips and through other activities, Scouts learn skills they can use to help themselves and others, should emergencies arise. They learn to work with others, which carries over to their adult lives and helps them be active, productive members of society.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared.” Scouts promise, in part, to “do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout law; to help other people at all times.”
The Scout law says a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Those aren’t bad rules to live by. If more people tried to emulate the scouting’s ideals, the world would be a better place.
Happy 100th birthday, Scouts. We wish you many more.