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Special EVENTS
Cubs undertake reaches astro- Scouts of America, the Peace
derby was held May 15, 1953,
nomical statistics of success.” Scouts of California, the
in Manhattan Beach’s Scout
For example, Scouts collected Polish National Alliance House, a building still in use
THE BSA RESPONDED TO 10.5 million tons of scrap alu- Scouts of Chicago, and the IN EARLY 1953, 10-YEAR-OLD by Scouts.
dozens of government minum in 1941—88 percent Rhode Island Scouts. The Cub Scout Donn Murphy Before long, officials at the
requests for assistance during of the total collected by all YMCA and Salvation Army of Manhattan Beach, Calif., national office in New Jersey
World War II, including one Americans. also ran their own Scouting decided he wanted to heard about the pinewood
from the War Production programs. compete in the Soap Box derby. Boys’ Life published
Board to stop collecting waste TEAM OF RIVALS By the time the BSA Derby. There was just one plans for pinewood derby cars
paper. The problem: The IN ITS EARLIEST DAYS, the received a federal charter problem: You had to be 12 in 1954, and packs across the
Scouts had done too well, and BSA wasn’t the only Scouting in 1916—and thus protec- years old to enter. That meant country were soon scheduling
there was no place to store the organization on American tion of its name, badges, Boy Scouts were welcome, but annual races.
300 million pounds of paper soil. Others included the and emblems—most of Cub Scouts were not. Murphy told his story in
they had collected. American Boy Scouts (later these groups had dissolved Donn’s disappointment a 2001 book called Simply
In June 1942, Time maga- called the United States Boy or merged into the BSA. inspired his father and Pinewood!. He had a cameo
zine reported that “everything Scouts), the Boy Scouts of the However, it took a 1918 New Cubmaster, Don, to create in the 2005 film Down and
the 1,500,000 Boy Scouts and United States, the National York Supreme Court decision a Cub Scout-size alternative Derby, a comedy about an
to put the United States Boy to the Soap Box Derby. Not ultracompetitive pinewood
Scouts out of business. The just for Donn, but for all derby in an Arizona Cub
Salvation Army, meanwhile, the members of Pack 280C. Scout pack. Don Murphy
received a special charter from Murphy and other pack died in 2008. His obituary,
the BSA to run the Salvation dads, many of whom worked in the Torrance, Calif., Daily
Army Life-Saving Scouts of with him at North American Breeze, was titled “Father of
the World, which lasted until Aviation, assembled racing the Pinewood Derby.”
the 1930s in the United States kits in brown paper bags, each
but persisted for decades in consisting of a block of wood,
other countries. two wooden axles, four nails,
The most famous member and four wheels. While the JAMBOREE
of a non-BSA Scouting orga- Cub Scouts turned these kits MANY PARTICIPANTS IN
nization was George S. Barton into cars, the adults built a National Scout Jamborees
of Massachusetts. In 1911, he 32-foot, two-lane track—com- since 1981 have enjoyed side
founded Boys’ Life magazine, plete with an electrical finish trips to Washington, D.C. For
The BSA purchased it the fol- line—on which the cars participants in the very first
Considered one of the biggest morale boosters during World War II, scrap-metal drives
lowing year. would race. jamboree, however, the city
enticed 1.5 million enthusiastic Boy Scouts to aid the war effort. And so the first pinewood was the destination.
1965 1966 1969 1971 1972 1973
The BSA reaches two major Scouting hits the Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong Young women The BSA drops In an effort to become more The National Eagle For the first and only time, the BSA holds the
milestones: The 40-millionth big screen with becomes the first man to are accepted as the phrase “to be culturally relevant, the BSA Scout Association National Scout Jamboree at two sites: Farragut
Scout is registered, and the Walt Disney’s walk on the moon. Armstrong participants in square” from the Cub deemphasizes outdoor skills. (NESA) is launched. State Park in Idaho and Moraine State Park in
500,000th Eagle Scout badge movie, Follow Me, and Buzz Aldrin Jr. (another special-interest Scout Promise after The effort will be abandoned six Pennsylvania. Scouts and leaders number 73,610.
is presented. Boys!, starring former Scout) had earlier Exploring posts. it takes on a negative years later.
Fred MacMurray. radioed greetings to the connotation.
Scouts attending the National
Scout Jamboree.
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