Archive for the ‘Boy Scout’ Tag
I subscribe to the SHORPY historical photo archive RSS feed. They have a variety of 20th century photographs … Adam West on the Batman set, beach goers at Atlantic City in the 1920s … you never know what photo they’re going to share each day. The feed is free, and they sell high quality prints of the photographs in the archive.
Subscribe to the free feed here.
They delivered a photo of Red Fox James who was identified as a Blackfoot Indian … and it looked like he was wearing a Boy Scout pin. In a photo dated 1915! This was a story I had to learn. Here’s one picture … click on it to see it full size.
I can’t identify the medal on the ribbon; don’t know if that’s a BSA award or not. He is wearing what looks like a Tenderfoot pin, and has a “BSA” pin on his hat. I believe BSA was worn on the collar by leaders in this time period … uniform experts, please correct me if that’s wrong.
Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On Dec. 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed. (Library of Congress)
James rode “his famous Indian pony” throughout the country in 1914, and then again in 1915, to inspire support for a designated “American Indian Day.” He met with citizens all across the country, and frequently met with Scout troops during his journeys. He spoke to a gathering of 35,000 people in New York … he was trying to build a groundswell of opinion before mass media would have made his work much easier.
24 Governors signed James’ petition proposing a new holiday called “American Indian Day” be added to our calendar. James presented the petition to President Wilson in 1915. Unfortunately, there’s no record that Wilson ever acted upon the plea.
James had a colorful history, as one might expect from someone that became a celebrity in an era when Indians could not be US citizens. He did not live on a reservation; rather he was raised in white society. He went by many names, and at various times claimed to be graduated from the University of Oklahoma, went by the name Reverend St James, and raised over $15,000 for the American Red Cross in the early part of the 20th century – a very significant sum!
In January of 1915, James helped found the Indian Scouts of America, which was a part of the Boy Scouts. He was designated as “Acting Scout Master” according to the record of the event, which you can view here. He was a part of the founding of another organization, the Tipi Order of America, for non-Indians to learn about the Indian culture. That organization (you can find references that use both the Tipi and Teepee spelling) eventually transitioned into an adult fraternal organization.
1915, Red Fox James at the White House. Note the “Be Prepared” pennant. State, War & Navy Building at far left. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.
Native American Heritage Month
The Star & Sentinel, 12/08/1914
Biographical Background For Red Fox Skiuhushu
Examiner.com – Origins
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Quarterly Journal of the Society of American Indians
The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements
Gerald R Ford, Eagle Scout, 1929
Every President since its 1910 founding has served as the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America.
Teddy Roosevelt, newly ex-President in 1910 was given the unique title of “Chief Scout Citizen.”
5 Presidents, or half of the Presidents that could have been Scouts, were actually Scouts:
John F Kennedy, Star Scout, 1930
John F Kennedy, the first President born in the 20th Century, was the first who was a Boy Scout as a youth. He rose to the rank of Star.
Gerald Ford was the first and only Eagle Scout to become President.
Bill Clinton and George W Bush were both Cub Scouts.
Barack Obama was a member of the Indonesian Scout Association; he was the equivalent of a Cub Scout.
The link below chronicles the support of Scouting rendered by all Presidents, from Teddy Roosevelt forward.
Scouting.org: Presidents Fact Sheet
Being a Scout is expensive. I’ve seen the parent walk into the store with camping gear and plunk down the plastic to buy their young man whatever he needs.
But that’s not doing it the right way.
Here’s another approach, which I read courtesy of Ed Darrell over at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: a letter from a future President asking for more allowance.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was our first President who was a Scout as a youth. He rose to the rank of Star Scout, and later served on the Executive Board of the Boston Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Here’s a (very poor) picture of him as a Scout.
John F Kennedy as a Scout in 1930.
President Kennedy receiving Boy Scout greeting – December, 1962 (photo courtesy John Loengard, Life Magazine)
President Kennedy described Scouting:
“For more than 50 years, Scouting has played an important part in the lives of the Boy Scouts of this nation. It has helped to mold character, to form friendships, to provide a worthwhile outlet for the natural energies of growing boys, and to train these boys to become good citizens of the future.”
President John F. Kennedy Visits with the Boy Scouts’ “Scouting Family of the Year”, February 8, 1962.
President John F. Kennedy meets with the Fair family, a representative family selected as “Scouting Family of the Year” by the Boy Scouts of America, in conjunction with Boy Scout Week. L-R: Grant, Bill, and Bob Fair (order undetermined); Martha Fair; President Kennedy; Jane Swift Fair; Harry G. Fair. Fish Room, White House, Washington, D.C. Photographer: Robert L Knudsen.
One of John Wayne’s last public appearances was at a Scouting fundraiser. His cancer was advanced, but he appeared at this dinner to help fund a new Boy Scout camp which would be called the John Wayne Outpost Camp. This camp belongs to the Los Angeles Area Council.
In his presentation, Mr. Wayne recited the Scout Law, and then said the twelve points are “nice words”. “Trouble is” he continued, “we learn them so young we sometimes don’t get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him, with a few things I have picked up in more than half a century since I learned it.”
Here’s what John Wayne said:
The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look at any man in the eye. Lacking it, he won’t look back. Keep this one at the top of your list.
The very word is life itself; for without loyalty we have no love of person or country
Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other, we help ourselves; not to mention mankind. Be always full of help — the dying man’s last words.
Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions – and do – but make sure and start with brotherhood.
Allow each person his human dignity; which means a lot more than saying, “Yes, ma’am” and “Thank you, sir.” It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more… earlier in life. Save yourself that problem. Do it now.
This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But it’s like your bicycle, it’s just no good unless you get out and use it.
Starts at home. Practice it in your family. Enlarge it in your friends. Share it with humanity.
Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing.
Means a lot more than putting pennies away; and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything.
You don’t have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavyweight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day’s work, and living the best life they know how against the law of odds. Keep the word handy every day of your life.
Soap and water helps a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts, and don’t ever forget it.
Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time.
Mr. Wayne then thanked the Scouters in attendance, and expressed his appreciation for the new camp that would be named after him. He then said, “I would rather see it here than on all the theater marquees the world over.”
The 12 points of the Scout Law
August 1, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the first Eagle Scout Board of Review. I am proud to be an Eagle Scout.
There are great resources to explain the Eagle award and what it represents. One President of the United States earned the award … as did the first man on the moon, a current Supreme Court Justice and many, many more noteworthy individuals. I celebrate their accomplishment, and ask you to consider a few facts about Eagle Scouts:
- They are significantly more likely to have worked to solve problems in their community than non-Scouts.
- Eagle Scouts are 55 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have held a leadership position at their workplace.
- They are more likely to be active readers.
- Eagles are 72% more likely to attend live entertainment events than non-Scouts.
- Eagle Scouts are 100% more likely than non-Scouts to have a designated family meeting place in the event of an emergency.
- Eagle Scouts are 45% more likely than non-Scouts to agree they always treat people of other religions with respect.
- Eagle Scouts are 34% more likely than non-Scouts to have donated money to a non-religious institution or charity in the community within the last month.
Teaching my children to live a life in service to God, family, community and country was of paramount importance to this parent. Scouting focuses on those core values in an environment of personal achievement, comradery and FUN.
About 2% of all Scouts attain the rank of Eagle. That has trended up recently, with about 5% of all Scouts earning the award in 2008.
Of course, Scouting is about outdoor activities … and Scouts are known to be strong environmentalists. They know how to tie knots, go camping and build a fire. Don’t think for a moment that becoming an Eagle is about those things. Learning outdoor skills is just one of the methods used by Scouting to build knowledge and leadership in young men. However, those skills are not the key result of the program.
My sons are both Eagle Scouts, and it’s had an important impact on their lives. For one example, both Michael and Christopher got their first jobs as a result of their Scouting experience.
Christopher actually learned of a job opportunity with LA County while leading a Scout outing. He got the job, and he’s been promoted by the County several times since; he’s currently a Recreation Supervisor and in charge of 12 natural areas in northern LA County.
The cloth badge is sewn on the shirt; the medal can be worn in its place on more formal occasions. Once a boy turns 18, he no longer wears the badge or medal on his uniform.
Michael didn’t know Scouting was important to his job with Rocketdyne until one day at lunch. Some co-workers were talking about what they would do if they were washed overboard at sea (Note: rocket scientists often have odd conversations). One of his peers calmly related that he would inflate his clothing – a technique learned by all Eagles as they complete the Swimming merit badge. All of Michael’s peers were amazed to learn that everyone at the table knew the technique … and, further, all were Eagle Scouts. Apparently a degree in engineering from a prestigious university was only one thing recruiters were looking for!
To become an Eagle Scout, each young man must complete over 300 separate requirements. They must earn 21 different merit badges, and complete the requirements to the satisfaction of an adult expert in that field. They must demonstrate leadership by planning, inspiring others, and working with them to complete a service project of benefit to their community, church or school. On six different occasions, they must stand before a board of review made up of community leaders, and demonstrate the Scouting spirit and leadership skills required to wear the different rank badges they must earn on the trail to the Eagle badge.
Eagle Scouts will know how to camp – and they’ll know what to do in a nuclear emergency, too. They’ll have written a letter to their congressman. They’ll know how to take care of money. They’ll know first aid for a broken arm and a cut finger. They’ll know the best knot to tie down a friend’s suitcase on a roof rack, too.
Once a young man has earned the award, they are an Eagle Scout for life. I earned my Eagle in 1972 while in Troop 58, Maitland, MO. I earned merit badges in Salesmanship and Journalism, which proved to be directly relevant to my success in my chosen career. My Eagle Scout service project was developed in conjunction with the Graham Community Betterment Association in Graham, MO. I actually assigned the street numbers to all of the buildings in Graham, and communicated their new street addresses to each resident and business owner in Graham (population 213!).
I know two keys to my success were my Scoutmasters, Eddie Hillman and Franklin Hardy. Most important, however, were my Mother and Father. Dad drove me to Scout meetings every Tuesday night. Mom helped make sure I got the requirements done — I distinctly remember some gentle, uh, encouragement, to get my Eagle Scout service project done. They got me there, and I am an Eagle Scout.
Here I am at the Pony Express Council Eagle Dinner in 1972. I’m wearing the Explorer uniform of the Camp Geiger Staff, which I proudly served on in 1972 and 1973.