BSA deserves birthday honor

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On my honor I will 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;

To keep myself physically strong,

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mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Boy Scouts of America have lived by those words to instill needed values in our youth. This year, the organization will celebrate its 100th anniversary, a milestone for the organization that has laid a foundation for many adults to have a successful life.

The principles of scouting outlined in the oath and the qualities instilled by the Scout Law — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — all still have a place in our society.

Sadly, Scouting has waned in popularity in recent years, replaced by the myriad of other things that our youth find to entertain themselves.

But parents should look long and hard at those activities and compare them with what the Boy Scouts does to develop responsible community citizens. That is something that few other activities can match.

Scouting offers youth fun activities that promote teamwork and build character, all with the goal of developing the leaders of tomorrow.

Some of history’s legends called themselves Scouts. Baseball player Hank Aaron. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Actor Jimmy Stewart. U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The list goes on and on.

Does becoming a Boy Scout guarantee someone is headed for greatness? Of course not, but it does provide some vital character building blocks.

This is a birthday where the gifts are truly what the Scouts have given us more than what we could give the Scouts.