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A Year of Celebration

There were parades, special camp-outs and super-size celebrations.

From the centennial parade in Washington, D.C., to an ambitious tree-planting project that will take another century to complete, Scouts all over the country came up with creative ways to celebrate the BSA’s 100th birthday this year while also looking forward to the future.

Read the comments section (below) for a small sampling of the 100th birthday parties, and then tell us how you celebrated.

6 Comments on A Year of Celebration

  1. Scouts from the Evangeline Area Council in South Louisiana might have spent just one day last February celebrating the centennial, but the service project they began that day will last several lifetimes.

    South Louisiana is home to the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States. Its bayous and marshes provide a natural habitat for plants such as cypress trees and animals such as alligators.

    But the basin is under siege from invasive weeds that choke out the native cypress and threaten to overrun the entire region. If left unchecked, the ecology of the whole system could change dramatically, driving out the alligators and other wildlife that call the area home.

    Boy Scouts to the rescue.

    On that one day last February, 1,300 Scouts and family members planted 4,457 cypress trees, one for each registered Scout in the council. It was the first in a series of tree-planting projects that will eventually add one million trees to the basin in the next 100 years.

    “I love the basin,” says 17-year-old Eagle Scout René Guilbeaux from Troop 174 in Breaux Bridge, La. “I spend a lot of time out there camping and fishing. I’d love to help bring it back to being a cypress forest.”

    René and seven other Scouts from Troop 174 camped out in the basin the night before, then got up bright and early on a Saturday morning to start planting. They split into teams of two, with one Scout carrying a tree-planting tool called a dibble and the other carrying the cypress saplings.

    After a little practice, it took just seconds to plant a single tree that could live for centuries.

    “I planted 300 trees,” René says.

    But the project is far from over.

    The council has adopted the basin for the long term. It will offer special patches to Scouts who canoe a certain number of miles through the wetlands and different patches to Scouts who pick up trash along the way.

    And there will be more tree-planting days in the years and decades to come.

    “It felt wonderful to be a part of that, but there’s a lot more work to be done,” René says. “I’d love to be able to go out there with my kids someday and say, ‘I planted some of this. I was here.’ ”

  2. On July 25, one day before the start of the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, more than 10,000 people marched in the BSA’s Grand Centennial Parade in Washington, D.C. The parade route took the participants down Constitution Avenue, just blocks from the White House.

    The parade featured Scouts from every state. Floats depicted the BSA values of leadership, achievement, service, character and the outdoors.

    And there were sections dedicated to each of the 10 decades of Scouting.

  3. Scouts from the Utah National Parks Council celebrated by participating in the BSA Centennial Conservation Day in May. The project called for the Scouts to work with the U.S. Forest Service on improving and restoring a critical watershed area in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

    About 850 Boy Scouts worked on trail maintenance on four trails; removed noxious weeds, litter and dead tree limbs; took inventory of paths on which visitors were illegally operating motor vehicles; and put up 400 feet of fencing to close off 10 miles of illegal routes.

    At the same time, Cub Scouts delivered fliers to homes in the area informing residents how they can help preserve the land.

  4. The Southwest Michigan Council held its birthday camp-out and parade last April.

    There were a series of action events, including a climbing wall, human foosball and an endurance course. The next morning, the Scouts participated in a parade through the town of Marshall, where a house still stands that was once owned by William D. Boyce, the founder of Scouting in the United States.

    • The Centennial Celebration and Parade was the centerpiece of a year of events that included 2 other 1200+ Scout Camporalls at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo & Gilmore Car Museum. We also celebrated with the DAC’s art print presentation, events at minor league baseball & hockey games, a huge cake birthday party, Anniversary Week, Dare-to-Wear day and Adventure Base 100. This does not include all of the local unit events. Southwest Michigan was a busy place to be a Scout in 2010!

  5. Anybody can hold a Klondike derby. Boy Scouts and Webelos Scouts from the Daniel Webster Council held a 100th anniversary Klondike last winter that featured representations from every decade of Scouting. At each station, Scouts were asked to complete tasks appropriate to that time in history, including cow milking, semaphore signaling, ice rescuing and first-aid drills.

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