History of Scouting

Scouting: Resourcefulness, Adaptability, Leadership

Robert Baden-Powell is often credited as being the father of the international Scouting movement.  Baden-Powell was a high-ranking British Army officer who discovered the men under his command had little or no working knowledge of first aid or the basics of survival in the outdoors. In response, he wrote a small handbook called Aids to Scouting that “emphasized resourcefulness, adaptability, and the qualities of leadership that frontier conditions demanded.” It was not a typical training manual as it was filled with personal anecdotes, stories of danger and intrigue, and even games.  Baden-Powell returned to England to discover that his handbook had become quite popular with groups of young English boys who enjoyed playing the game of scouting.  Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys in 1908 and began organizing scouting adventures. An American publisher, William Boyce, became intrigued with the idea of scouting after encountering a helpful scout during a trip to England and sought out a personal meeting with Baden-Powell. He brought Scouting resources and materials back home and working with other like-minded individuals, later incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. The first Official Boy Scouts Handbook was published in 1911. 


Cub Scouting was added to the BSA program in the 1930s. While some of the mechanics of the program have changed through the years, Cub Scouts has always been about offering younger boys opportunity for adventure and to learn a core set of skills in leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness. The stories and activities the boys participate in today retain the heart and character of Lord Baden-Powell's original work - from practical advice on enjoying nature and learning outdoor skills to learning about citizenship, chivalry, manners, and leadership.  These skills go far beyond the elementary school years. Cub Scouts prepare to be Boy Scouts who learn skills that ultimately prepare them for success later in life.