Readers’ Views

Help support Scouts

To the Editor:

In honor of “Scout Sunday,” Boy Scout Troop 56 will host the 48th annual pancake breakfast Sunday, Feb. 2. What is “Scout Sunday” and how is it significant to Boy Scouts of America?

In 1909, Chicago publisher W.D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered a boy who came to be known as the Unknown Scout. Boyce was lost on a foggy street when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce’s tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout and was merely doing his daily good turn.

Interested in the Boy Scouts, Boyce met with staff at the Boy Scouts Headquarters and, by some accounts, Baden-Powell. Upon his return to the United States, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on Feb. 8, 1910. Scouts around the nation celebrate the founding of BSA annually on Feb. 8.

Today, the Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest Scouting organizations and youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly 1 million adult volunteers. The mission 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. Youth are trained in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to instill typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoor skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics and hiking.

The traditional Scouting divisions are Cub Scouting for boys and girls ages 5 to 11 years, Boy Scouts for boys ages 11 to 17, and Venturing for young men and women ages 14 (or 13 and having completed the eighth grade) through 21.

In February, the Boy Scout program will be renamed Scouts BSA and will offer older girls a path to earn the rank of Eagle Scout through gender-separate, but equal, troops.

Boy Scouts of America operates traditional Scouting by chartering local organizations such as churches, clubs, civic associations or educational organization to implement the Scouting program for youth within their communities. Units are led entirely by volunteers appointed by the chartering organization, who are supported by local councils using both paid professional Scouters and volunteers.

The “Scout Sunday” tradition, which is always the Sunday preceding Feb. 8, was started to make people in houses of worship aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out their “Duty to God” pledged each week and re-affirm the Scout Oath and Law. The Scout Law says that a Scout is reverent, and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their duty to God. These words are spoken at weekly meetings while making the three-fingered Scout sign and are meant to strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.

Boy Scout Troop 56 will host a pancake breakfast celebrating “Scout Sunday” from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont. The “all-you-can-eat” pancake breakfast will be served with scrambled eggs and your choice of sausage or ham, with milk, coffee or juice. Children age 5 and under eat free with an adult ticket cost. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling (507) 236-3805.

All proceeds will be used to support Boy Scouts Troop 56 in achieving their Scouting goals and participating in activities to gain personal growth and confidence. Please help support our Scouts on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Patty Blaufuss