Scout’s Day in the United States Date in the current year: February 8, 2024

Scout’s Day in the United States The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) celebrate Scout’s Day on February 8 to commemorate the founding of the BSA in 1910. The Sunday preceding February 8 (or February 8 if it falls on a Sunday) is designated as Scout Sunday, the following Friday is Scout Jumu’ah, and the following Saturday is Scout Sabbath.

The worldwide Scout Movement was founded by Robert Baden-Powell, a British Army officer who used his experience as a military scout to write a book entitled Scouting for Boys. After the book was published in 1908, the Scout Movement began to grown spontaneously, first within the United Kingdom and then internationally.

In 1909, American entrepreneur and explorer William D. Boyce got lost on a foggy street in London. An unknown Scout came to his aid and guided Boyce to his destination. When Boyce offered him a tip as a sign of gratitude, the boy refused, explaining that it was his duty as a Boy Scout to help people. Impressed by the Scout’s selflessness, Boys became interested in the Scout Movement and decided to found a scouting organization upon his return to the United States.

The Boy Scouts of America was officially incorporated on February 8, 1910. Around roughly the same time, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst founded a rival scout group named the American Boy Scouts (ABS) that would go defunct in the 1920s.

Over the next few months, several scouting organizations, including the Woodcraft Indians founded and led by Ernest Thompson Seton, were absorbed into the newly formed BSA. In 1916, the organization received a congressional charter. One of the reasons its leaders had lobbied Congress for a charter was the competition with other scouting organizations, such as the Lone Scouts of America and the aforementioned American Boy Scouts.

During its peak in the 1970s, the BSA had 6.5 million members. Membership has significantly declined since then, but event today the Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with about 2.3 million members and roughly a million adult volunteers. Since the foundation of the BSA in 1910, about 100 million Americans participated in its programs at some point in their lives.

The BSA has five main divisions: Cub Scouting (from kindergarten to fifth grade), Scouts BSA (the flagship membership for ages 11 through 17), Venturing (ages 13-14 through 21), Sea Scouting (ages 13-14 through 20), and Scout Leaders (18+ for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA, 21+ for Venturing and Sea Scouting).

Traditionally, the President of the United States serves as the honorary president of the BSA during his term in the office. Some of them were Boy Scouts in their youth, including John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama (not in the BSA, but in the national scouting organization of Indonesia, where he lived as a boy), and Joe Biden. A few others didn’t used to be Scouts, but they were outspoken supporters of the Scouting Movement and the Boy Scouts of America.

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Scout’s Day in the United States, Boy Scouts of America, BSA, BSA foundation anniversary, Scout Movement