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GOOD READ Holiday History

As Scouting’s centennial year draws to a close, here are a couple of holiday gifts that will please any Scouter: The Best of Boys’ Life (Lyons Press, $21.95) and The Scouting Party: Pioneering and Preservation, Progressivism and Preparedness in the Making of the Boy Scouts of America (Red Honor Press, $24.95). The first, a treasure trove drawn

from Boys’ Life’s 99-year history, is full of great writing about camping, sports, patriotism, adventure, and more. It’s studded with articles by famous names such as Theodore Roosevelt, Jack London, Orville Wright, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, and Ray Bradbury. Sports fans

can read first-person advice from the likes of Willie Mays, Johnny Unitas,

and Olympic star Bruce Jenner (long before he met the Kardashians). More serious fare includes first-rate reporting from Germany, Russia, and other then- distant countries. Among the many pleasures of this

fine collection, don’t miss the Think & Grin jokes and the vintage ads. Those were the good ol’ days, back when a boy could get an excellent BB gun for $12.95! Then, go all the way back to the beginning. Almost everyone associates Sir

Robert Baden-Powell with the creation of the Scouts, but few may know about the British-Canadian naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, whose Woodcraft Indians organization helped shape

Baden-Powell’s thinking. And how many know that President Theodore Roosevelt disagreed with Scouting’s pacifism in the run-up to World War I? All this and much more is the subject

of David Scott and Brendan Murphy’s The Scouting Party. Readers will learn about the questions and conflicts that James West, Chief Scout Executive from 1911 to 1943, dealt with as he, Seton, and Daniel Carter Beard, founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone, debated the growth and direction of the BSA. Historian Douglas Brinkley calls it

“a gift to America,” which makes it the perfect gift for any Scouting enthusiast as the organization launches into its second century.

Partners in Green

Scouting has always believed in responsible stewardship of the environment. So it makes sense that the BSA has now formed an official partnership with Tread Lightly!, a national non- profit organization whose mission is to promote responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship. Launched in 1985 by the U.S. Forest Service,

Tread Lightly! became a nonprofit in 1990. It focuses on people who use or are affected by motorized and mechanized vehicles, and it will begin working with the BSA on several specific pilot programs. These include personal-water- craft use, ATV riding, and shooting sports. “The Boy Scouts of America has long been

associated with strong conservation values,” said Chief Scout Executive Robert J. Mazzuca. “By incorporating the Tread Lightly! principles in our local and national programs and materials, we can even better prepare young people to make ethical decisions in the great outdoors.” While the formal partnership is new,

Scouting and Tread Lightly! have worked together many times over the years. In fact, in 2008 the BSA presented Tread Lightly! with the prestigious William T. Hornaday Gold Certificate for distinguished service in conser- vation. The honor is the oldest conservation award given in America, and only nine organi- zations outside the BSA have received it.




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