5 Things You Didn't Know About The Boy Scouts

February 8th is National Boy Scouts Day, which celebrates the official birth of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. Here are 5 things you probably did know about the Boy Scouts.

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A British Baron Founded the Boy Scouts In 1899, after being surrounded and outnumbered by Dutch troops during the Boer War, Colonel Baden-Powell used a cadet corps, comprised of boys ages twelve to fifteen, to act as guards and scouts and to relay messages. The cadets wore khaki uniforms and hats with wide brims—a recognizable look to those in Scouting. Baden-Powell went on to publish a book in 1908 called Scouting for Boys, which gave birth to the Boy Scouts in the United Kingdom. It's popularity soon spread to the United States.

Names and Terms Used in the Cub Scouts Come from a Popular Novel Baden-Powell wanted to create a Scout section for younger boys (aged eight to ten). He announced the creation of the Cub Scouts in 1914. Writer Rudyard Kipling happened to be a friend of Baden-Powell's and agreed that the new Cub Scouts could use names and terms from his novel The Jungle Book. This is why Cub Scouts meet in “packs" or “dens,” hold "council rock" meetings, and why some troops call their den leader “Akela”—it's the name of the head wolf in the story.

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Dr. Seuss Was a Top Seller of Liberty Bonds as a Child During WWI, the Boy Scouts helped to sell Liberty Bonds (also known as Liberty Loans). Boy Scout Theodor Seuss Geisel, who went on to become the famous children's author Dr. Seuss, became one of the top ten sellers in his area after his grandfather purchased $1,000 in bonds. In 1918, ten boys were invited to an award ceremony where they would be presented with medals by President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was only given nine medals, so when Geisel, the last to appear on the stage, walked up Roosevelt reportedly demanded to know why he was there. The experience upset Seuss so much that public appearances always made him feel fearful and anxious.

A Number of U.S. Presidents Were Scouts Many U.S. Presidents were Cub or Boy Scouts when they were young. The list includes Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and John F. Kennedy. President Jimmy Carter had served as a scoutmaster and troop committee chairman. Gerald Ford was the only one who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

11 Former Boy Scouts Have Walked on the Moon Of the twelve astronauts who have walked on the moon, only James Irwin had not been in the Boy Scouts at one time. Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, radioed the National Boy Scouts Jamboree during his flight to the moon in 1969. In his message, he greeted his fellow Scouts and told them that Apollo 11 wanted to send them their best wishes.