â??On my honor I will do my 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.â??
The Boy Scouts of America has been around since the turn of the century, but scouting can trace its roots back even further to 1883, when Scotsman Sir William Alexander Smith founded the Boysâ?? Brigade, a youth organization based on Christian values.
Later, in 1907, Smith and British war hero Lt. General Robert Baden-Powell organized a two-week camp with 21 boys and young men, teaching outdoor skills and promoting the values and patriotism that have become the foundation of Boy Scouts. The camp was highy successful, and the following year, Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys, a field guide based on a military training manual he had written previously. Scouting movements began springing up spontaneously soon thereafter. By the end of 1908, there were 60,000 Boy Scouts across the U.K. and beyond.
In 1909, Chicago publisher William Boyce was lost in London and a Boy Scout came to his aid. Boyce was impressed with the young manâ??s altruism and maturity and took the idea of scouting back with him to the United States, and founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
Today, there are almost 3 million Boy Scouts in the United States. And historically, very few (about five percent) attain the revered rank of Eagle Scout, which takes the better part of oneâ??s youth to earn.
â??You know, you have to do a lot of work to become an Eagle Scout,â?? said Rich Faust, who became an Eagle Scout in 1977. â??Itâ??s a journey; itâ??s not necessarily something that happens overnight or in just a few short years. Itâ??s several years of working on different requirements, different advancements, building your character and building your leadership skills.â??
The Faust family can boast four generations of Eagle Scouts. They live in Tulsa, but over the Thanksgiving break, they made a stop in Amarillo to visit the eldest scout in their clan and bring all four Eagle Scouts under one roof.
John Faust is the youngest at 16 years old, and is considering military service.
â??You know, being a fourth-generation Scout â?? itâ??s like a family tradition almost,â?? said John. â??I did have a lot of pushing and shoving from both of my parents and my siblings, but there came a point where I had to make that decision.â??
Phillip Woodburn, Johnâ??s grandfather, says scouting prepared him for his own military career.
â??It aided me in becoming who I am and all the success that Iâ??ve had in life," said Phillip. "I was in the military and progressed up through the ranks â?? I was a Master Sergeant when I retired. I donâ??t think I would have been there without the help of being an Eagle Scout.â??
â??I think itâ??s really made me who I am, when it comes to being trustworthy and being honest,â?? said Rich. â??A certain level of integrity and honor is what Scouts has instilled in me.â??
â??It means a lot to say that Iâ??m among the elite,â?? said John. â??Iâ??m among the people who help move this country forward and help move the world forward.â??
If youâ??d like to learn more about the Boy Scouts of America, our own local branch, or what it means to be an Eagle Scout, follow the links attached to this story.