IRVING, TX - February 4, 2010 - When the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was officially incorporated on February 8, 1910, Americans were driving Stanley steam automobiles, earning an average of $750 a year, and paying little more than 30 cents for a gallon of milk. The national debt was a mere billion dollars. While all of these things seem out of place today, the BSA remains a vital organization with a mission and purpose that is more relevant today than ever before.
Throughout 2010, the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate its centennial anniversary milestone with a rallying call that will be heard across the nation as Scouts gather in their communities to pay tribute to the rich history and tradition of Scouting.
Having served more than 100 million members since its founding, the BSA has made a lasting and positive imprint on the fabric of the nation. Its mission -“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” - enables Scouting to address many issues that are important to young people and families, including health, civility, education, leadership, diversity, and service to others.
“This country needs strong leaders and healthy young people more than ever before, and that is what Scouting is all about,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA. “This is our time in history to remind the nation that Scouting is more vibrant, more vital, and more relevant than ever before. Every day, millions of Scouts and adult leaders make a huge difference in our society. We look forward to continuing that commitment in the next century.”
Though firmly rooted in an unchanged set of core values, the BSA is committed to remaining current and relevant by adapting how it delivers programs and reaches its audiences, including
· Going green! In addition to publishing the first “green” Boy Scout Handbook in 2009, BSA magazines Boys’ Life and Scouting have been certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
BSA Celebrates Centennial
· Multicultural outreach: In 2008, the BSA launched a national Hispanic Initiatives program that aims to increase the number of Hispanic Scouts, adult volunteers, and professional staff members. In its first year, the program brought an increase of more than 30,000 Hispanic Scouts. Additionally, the BSA has publications in 21 languages.
· Adopting social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as core communications tools to reach volunteers and connect with Scouts.
· Updating the Scouting uniforms to include a cell-phone pocket, offer SPF 50+ sun protection, and Superior moisture control that keeps you cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold weather.
The BSA’s centennial celebration goes far beyond a day on the calendar. Mazzuca pointed to a number of national events that have already helped kick off Scouting’s 100th Anniversary year. On January 1, the BSA placed an award-winning float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, and launched Adventure Base 100, a mobile, immersive Scouting campus. Adventure Base 100 is currently embarking on a more than 40-city nationwide tour, and features a traveling Scout museum, an IMAX-like video in its Go Scouting! Dome, a high-adventure ropes course, and a variety of interactive displays and activities. At any time, from anywhere in the country, the public can experience Adventure Base 100 virtually, and find out where it’s going next, at www.adventurebase100.org.
In all, eight major national 100th Anniversary engagement programs have been designed to reintroduce Scouting to the next generation of young leaders and reconnect millions of alumni with the organization. BSA councils across the country, including those serving the Puget Sound region, are actively engaged in local 100th Anniversary Celebration programs. See the Mount Baker Council website at www.mountbakerbsa.org.
“During this year, we recognize the achievements of our past, but our focus is on the future of millions of young Scouts, their communities, and the nation as a whole,” Mazzuca said. “Scouting is ready for the next 100 years!”
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 20, 1.1 million volunteers, and nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at www.scouting.org/100years.