It’s as American as apple pie. A rite of passage for thousands of boys and girls and a source of pride for every parent. It’s scouting.
You probably know the Boy Scout’s motto. You may even know that scouting began in the U.S. in 1910. But do you know why scouting was developed?
It’s a fascinating part of the scouting story. In the early 1900s, with the Industrial Revolution, thousands migrated from rural areas to our nation’s cities. This change brought concerns that young people, men in particular, were no longer learning patriotism, individualism and self-reliance—important values of American life.
In 1909, Chicago publisher W.D. Boyce while visiting London, England learned about scouting, which began in Britain around 1907. Impressed with the idea, upon his return, Boyce started the Boy Scouts of America.
The aims of scouting remain to this day: character development, citizenship training and personal fitness. Out of these values come the familiar Boy Scout’s motto—Be Prepared.
Scouting grew at a stunning pace. Today there are 2,938,698 youth who are scouts, 1,146,130 leaders and 122,582 scouting units, which are Scouting organizations sponsored by a community, across the country.
Scouts earn merit badges in virtually every endeavor imaginable, from archery to fishing, wilderness survival to motor boating. They want to learn as much as they can so that, regardless of the situation, they will always be prepared.
Being prepared is good for us too. If there were ever a fire, an explosion, a flood or even a terrorist attack, it would be invaluable—and possibly even lifesaving –for each and every one of us to be prepared.
And the best way to do that is to know our emergency plan inside and out. Know where fire extinguishers are, for example. Know the evacuation routes. Know the proper emergency response authorities to contact, if necessary. It’s important. Because you never know when an emergency might strike.
If you have kids in Scouting, or if you were a Scout yourself, you know that Scouts pledge to “do a good turn daily.” Why not take a page from the Scouting manual and pledge to learn more about safety and emergency preparedness each day. It’s a good policy. And should an emergency occur, you stay safe because you are prepared and know the right actions to take.
KNOW THE PLAN, KNOW YOUR PART
*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B-227