Sir Robert Baden-Powell and the Boy Scouts of America

American Minute with Bill Federer

The Boys Scouts of America was incorporated FEBRUARY 8, 1910.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell began the movement in England two years prior.

A hero of the South African Boer Wars, Sir Baden-Powell’s troops were besieged 200 days by an overwhelming army, but thanks to his resourcefulness, his men were saved.

The Boy Scouts are now the largest voluntary youth movement in the world, with membership over 25 million.

In the pamphlet “Scouting & Christianity,” 1917, Baden-Powell wrote:

“Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity.”

President Calvin Coolidge wrote to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Washington, DC, May 1, 1926:

The boy on becoming a scout binds himself on his honor to do his 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, mentally awake, and morally straight’…

Members must promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent…

It would be a perfect world if everyone exemplified these virtues in daily life…

Those who attempt to live in opposition to these standards…become slaves of their own evil doing, realizing the Scriptural assertion that they who sin are the servants of sin and that the wages of sin is death.

President Dwight Eisenhower stated on the 50th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, June 1, 1960:

That is the great thing about Scouting…We read in our Bibles the Parable of the Good Samaritan…They individually and collectively begin to think of their nation in part as a ‘good Samaritan,’ doing the decent thing in this world…

Scouting is indeed doing something…vital to our vigor as a nation based upon a religious concept.

President George H.W. Bush stated at James Madison High School, Vienna, Virginia, March 28, 1989:

People wonder and talk about…the Thousand Points of Light?…Helping some kid that may be tempted to use narcotics…A church group doing something…It’s the Red Cross…It is the Boy Scouts…It is Christian Athletes…Voluntarism.

On July 25, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge addressed a gathering of Boy Scouts in New York headed to Copenhagen:

The three fundamentals of scouthood are reverence for nature…reverence for law…and reverence for God.

It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Doubters do not achieve.

President Coolidge concluded:

Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is part of an unending plan.


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.


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