The Importance of Scouting

February 8th marks a very important milestone in American history.  It is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  Mr. W.D. Boyce incorporated BSA under the laws of the District of Columbia on February 8, 1910.


Boyce learned about Scouting while passing through London during his first expedition to Africa in 1909. According to somewhat fictionalized legend, Boyce had become lost in the dense London fog, but was guided back to his destination by a young boy, who told him that he was merely doing his duty as a Boy Scout.  The Scouting movement was founded in London by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.


Boyce then read printed material on Scouting, and on his return to the United States, he formed the BSA. From its start, Boyce focused the Scouting program on teaching self-reliance, citizenship, resourcefulness, patriotism, obedience, cheerfulness, courage, and courtesy in order “to make men”.


Boy Scouts of America is planning a year-long celebration that started with a float in the Tournament of Rose parade – it was gorgeous!!  They also have a traveling exhibit called “Adventure Base 100” and it will be in Chicago the weekend of May 1st.  Stay tuned for details.


If you’re looking for a great day trip, I recommend the Scouting Museum at 1100 Canal Street in Ottawa.  Their website is  And if you’re in Texas, please visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving.  For a virtual visit, they’re even on Facebook!


Locally, we have our own Rainbow Council in Morris, formed in 1929, and serving Grundy, Kankakee, and Will Counties.  How many Rainbow Council alumni do we have, I wonder??


If we currently have 8,000 Scouts in the Council and we’ve been around for 81 years, that could be upwards of 648,000 Scouting alumni!!  True, not every year has seen 8,000 Scouts enrolled at Rainbow Council, but regardless, that’s an impressive number!!


And I’d like to think that every boy who’s ever been in Scouting, whether Cub or Eagle, spends his life practicing the Scout oath:

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

In addition, the Scout Law says “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

The Scouting program, whether Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts, is a very important program for the youth of our community and I hope that everyone at some point in your life has (or will) take advantage of these great low cost, local programs that help youth become the responsible adults we want them to be.

In order to continue making Scouting a success, I ask you to contribute your time, talent, or treasure.  It doesn’t matter your age or income, we can always use your assistance.

You don’t have to have a son (or daughter) in Scouting to be a volunteer.  Many of our adult leaders across the nation have already graduated a child, but continuing serving because they believe in Scouting.  You can serve on committees, help at camp, or coordinate a special event.  All of our local Packs and Troops can use an extra pair of hands, whether it’s being Unit Treasurer or helping at Den and Pack meetings.  Some things take more time than others, so pick what’s right for you.

We also need your talent, whether it’s your career or hobby.  I know from personal experience that my Den loves to have guests come teach them something.  It’s so much better than listening to me lecture!!  The Scouting program is so varied that your skills will fit in somewhere, whether it’s engineering, cooking, chemistry, animal care, banking, fishing, or bicycle maintenance.  Can you give two hours of your time once a year to teach your skills to Scouts?

And, last but not least, the Scouting program relies on donations from all of us in the community.  You can financially support Scouting by buying our products such as popcorn or cookies – they make great gifts, so stock up!  You can also sponsor events such as Pinewood Derbies or sponsor a low income Scout to go to camp.  And, as always, cash donations are great!

We have a unique situation at the Community Foundation of Grundy County.  A few years ago a donor wanted to honor the Golimowski Family for their decades of service to Boy Scouts, so he set up an endowment.  This endowment will forever make annual distributions to the two Boy Scout Troops in Morris.

Why these two Troops?  Because that was the donor’s choice, and that’s a service of the Community Foundation of Grundy County – donors have the flexibility to establish funds to meet their charitable goals and desires.

To learn more about the Golimowski Fund or how you can set up your own fund, please call the Community Foundation of Grundy County at 941-0852.  And to volunteer in Scouting or make a donation to Rainbow Council, please call them at 942-4450.

And since our 100th Anniversary lasts all year long, you have plenty of time this year to get it done!