Tony Woodlief: Boy, the Scout Handbook Keeps Changing –

Tony Woodlief: Boy, the Scout Handbook Keeps Changing –

An article in the Wall Street Journal today on the changing BSA handbook.

Thumbing through various editions brings such differences into sharp relief. A 1951 fifth edition has an Indian spirit on its cover, presiding over camping Scouts. It’s the first edition with a Conservation Pledge (as well as an ad for hunting-rifle ammunition). The 1972 handbook, meanwhile, features Scouts looking through a telescope, despite Seton’s claim back in 1911 that a Scout doesn’t want to know stars “as an astronomer, but as a traveler.” The first editions are laden with text, history and diagrams. Modern editions are filled with color photos, less instruction and little history. The newest is, however, made without chlorine.

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“Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creature of man. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter”. – Benjamin Disraeli


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