Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Year of the Centennial

Tonight I listened to the BSA Centennial Kickoff program and I was pretty excited about the things to come within the BSA program and yet I was saddened to think that there would be no time to reflect back on scouting's past 100's .
I understand that we need to keep moving forward but today's scout, at least here in the U.S.A., really has a vague knowledge of Lord Baden Powell and I won't dare mention Daniel Carter Beard, Thomas Seton, or James E . West.
With the centennial coming in February; I had hoped that at least scouting supply would have brought back some of the old scouting gear for the nostalgic value for those of us that collect scouting things.
I do miss the red berets and the heavy weight patrol cook kits. I do miss the old Bobcat pins and the neckerchiefs that you could actually do something with...and yes, I do actually miss the knee socks with the garter tabs.
Anyone remember the boy scout Morse code transmitters and receivers? How about the semaphore flags? How about the Boy Scout Kodak camera that oddly enough was called a 'Brownie?" Talk about an oxymoron.
Thinking back, and it wasn't so long ago, my cub pack once had 3 dens for each rank in cub scouting and the boy scout troop once had 5 patrols.
I remember a time when your class A uniform consisted or shirt, pants, socks, shoes, belt, hat, and neckerchief and sash (for those in boy scouts).
We also had the official mess kits, first aid kits that hung on your belt, boy scout belt loop awards, flashlights, pocket advancement books, boy scout utensils, reflector ovens, and the boy scout pup tents.
We read from the Scout craft books and learned more about the outdoors from our scoutmasters.
We skinned our knees and had accidents not incidents.
So what do we have to look forward to in the next 100 years?
I will look to the next latest and greatest merit badges that will rival composit materials merit badge, watching scouts learn their knots, learning about global positioning systems and how they work, jamborees, camping, storytelling and campfire cooking.
As time marches on, I do wonder what the scouts 100 years ago would think of us?
Did they picture us in silver space aged uniforms that could have been something from the Jetson's cartoon show or something out of a Jules Verne novel? Or would they have fit in with what we do now?
Could we have fit in with them if allowed to go back in time?
One common factor with scouting is that we grow with the movement and the movement grows with us. Scouting is a living and breathing thing and this program will never die as long as we treasure the past and look to the future.

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