Lord Robert Baden Powell
While walking the misty streets of London in 1909, American businessman William Boyce lost his way. A boy offered to guide him to his destination. Boyce wanted to pay him, but the boy explained that he was a Scout, and that Scouts do not accept money for doing good turns. Eager to learn more, Mr. Boyce met with Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement in Great Britain. Boyce knew that boys back home would like the idea, so he brought Scouting to the United States. Papers incorporating the Boy Scouts of America were signed on February 8, 1910 - the date celebrated as the official birthday of the BSA.
One hundred years later, many events are marking the Centennial, beginning on New Year's Day with a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. It featured Scouting's 100th anniversary theme, "Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey."
Councils, districts, and local units are marking the centennial with special events of their own.
The experiences of Scouting's first century add up to some mighty big numbers, starting with one hundred candles on a cake. Here are some other eye-opening sums:
110 million - People registered by the BSA since 1910
3 million - Youth members currently registered
2.3 million - Merit badges earned each year
2 million - Scouts who have earned the Eagle Scout award
1.1 million - Registered adult leaders
1 - You, the most important Scout today. Learn skills, have fun, work on advancement, and be the best Scout you can. That's the best birthday gift you can give the BSA.