Erik Nitsche: Boy Scout Symbols
Artist: Erik Nitsche
William D. Boyce is responsible for bringing the Boy Scouts from England to America in 1910, and incorporating the organization here as the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA encouraged self reliance and resourcefulness, and adopted the British Scouting motto "Be Prepared, "as well as the idea of Scouts doing a "good turn" every day. These good turns became nationwide campaigns during World War I and World War II. In 1934, President Roosevelt even asked the BSA to collect household furnishings and clothing for Depression victims. In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Guides in America, also borrowing the idea from the British. The movement spread rapidly and in 1915 the Girl Scouts were incorporated, with Low as its first president. Scouting grew rapidly in America throughout the 20th century and membership today numbers in the millions. For 60 years the BSA's basic appeal was to the white middle class, but in the '70s the decision was made to provide programs to meet the needs of minority inner-city boys. This led to the publication in 1972 of a new Scout Handbook, which not only provided advice on snake bites -- but on rat bites as well. The new Handbook also explained how to identify dangerous drugs. And for the first time ever, Blacks were shown in the illustrations.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 60pf World Scouting Conference stamp issued July 16, 1985.
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