Posts Tagged ‘history’

In addition to reciting the Scout Oath, Scout Law, or the Outdoor code as an opening for their troop meetings, the patrol leader council of Troop 68 has looked toward other ways to start their meetings. One code that seemed to make its way into a meeting every month or two is a little thing found in the ninth edition of the Boy Scout Handbook. If you have a copy of the book turn to page 42 and you will find something called the Knight’s Code.

To quote the handbook – “Baden-Powell got the Scout Motto and developed the Scout Law from the code of the knights of old.” This code is:

Be always ready with your armor on, except when you are taking your rest at night.
Defend the poor, and help them that cannot defend themselves.
Do nothing to hurt or offend anyone else.

Be prepared to fight in the defense of your country.

At whatever you are working, try to win honor and a name for honesty.

Never break your promise.

Maintain the honor of your country with your life.

Rather die honest than live shamelessly.

Chivalry require that youth should be trained to perform the most laborious and humble offices with cheerfulness and grace; and to do good onto others.

I think this is a pretty good code to even live by in today’s world. Other then wearing that heavy armor, that is.

August 1, 1907 – Lord Robert Baden-Powell, author of the book Scouting For Boys, took a group of boys to Brownsea Island for a camping event. Thus, the Scouting program was born.

February 8, 1910 – William Boyce incorporated the BSA, and was later granted a charter by the United States Congress. Thus, the Boy Scouts of America was born.

March 9, 1911 – Mr. Dale of St. Paul, the northwest organizer of the Boy Scouts, arrived in town to talk to community leaders. Thus, Scouting began in Melrose, Minnesota.

The Boy Scout program has come and gone many times over the decades in Melrose. I was a Boy Scout during the early to mid 1970’s, but after three and one half years the troop folded due to lack of adult leadership. People have told me there were also Melrose Boy Scout troops in the 1960’s, the 1950’s, and the 1940’s. Each troop lasted for a few, or several, years and then died out.

Recently, Herman Lensing, a reporter for our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, was looking through some early editions of the newspaper as he did research for a sports article. He came across two articles from March 1911 editions which describe the formation of two Boy Scouts troops in Melrose. He took a couple pictures of one of the articles and emailed them to me.

I was shocked and surprised when I read the article. I had thought the 1940’s was the earliest that Scouting had begun in Melrose. Here was proof that the program came to town in 1911, only thirteen months after the formation of the Boy Scouts of America.

The articles also included the names of the adult leadership and the boys who would form the two new troops. One troop was sponsored by the high school. The other was sponsored by St. Boniface Church. The two troops had a combined total of ten patrols. Each patrol had five to eight members. The patrols of the St. Boniface troop were named Blazing Arrow, Lion, Pathfinder, Stag, Red Raiders, and Wolf. The patrols of the high school troop were named Stag, Pathfinder, Young Mohawk, and Blazing Arrow. One difference between today’s Scouting program and Scouting of 1911 is that instead of the current Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader offices, the boy leaders were called Leaders and Corporals, according to the article.

I called my district executive to ask him how far back the council kept records. He asked me why I wanted to know and I told him about the two articles. He surprised me when he told me the council was created in 1918 or 1919. The Melrose troops were formed before there was a Central Minnesota Council!

The timing of this historical find could not have been timed much better. The year of celebrating the BSA’s 100th anniversary comes to an end this month. December is also the 31st anniversary of the formation of the current troop in Melrose. (It hardly seems like 31 years have already gone by.) To tell the truth, I think it would be fun to do a little more digging and put together a better history of the Boy Scout program in Melrose, Minnesota.

You may have read about the Boy Scouts Tom Slade and Pee Wee Harris, but have you read any about their friend Roy Blakeley’s adventures? Roy was another character created by Percy Keese Fitzhugh as he wrote fictional novels about Boy Scouts in the early 1900’s. These books are now in the public domain and can be found on some epub book sites. Here are a couple of books about Roy to introduce you to his Scouting stories:

Download – Roy Blakeley
Download – Roy Blakeley, his story
Download – Roy Blakely, Pathfinder

Do you enjoy reading these books? Would you like me to continue posting links to this blog?

It is a new month so it is time for a new electronic (epub) book. In fact, this month, let’s make it two books. After all, these old Scouting novels from nearly 100 years ago do not take long to read. It is kinda fun to go back in time and see what things were like (at least in fiction) in the early part of the last century.

Everyone in Scouting knows Pee Wee Harris. He has been featured in a comic in Boy’s Life magazine for several decades. But did you know that Pee Wee got his start as a character in a series of fictional novels written by Percy Keese Fitzhugh in early 1900’s? Yep, Tom, Roy, Westy, and Pee Wee all got their start back then. Fitzhugh wrote quite a few novels about Scouting, introducing us to a wide range of characters.

I have collected a few hard bound books about these stories for my Scouting collection so I was pleased when I was able to find more of them available as electronic books (in the epub format). Most of these books are now found in the public domain. So…

How about two books to introduce you to the original Pee Wee? These were the first two books with Pee Wee as the lead character. Both were written in 1922. The first is simply titled Pee Wee Harris. The second is Pee Wee Harris on the Trail. I hope you enjoy them.

Download Pee Wee Harris.
Download Pee Wee Harris on the Trail.