With two fingers above their eyebrow, Cub Scout Pack 93 with the United Methodist Church, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath and Scout Law.
For more than a century, Boy Scouts have been a tradition to mold boys, and more recently girls, into productive citizens of society by instilling values through a structural program that enhances youth in leadership skills.
“That's why scouting is – giving back to the community,” said Scout Executive Martin Sepulveda with South Texas Council. “It's relevant today as it was 100 years ago.”
Sepulveda, an Eagle Scout himself, said Scouting makes a difference.
W. Wesley Hoskins, chairman for First Community Banks and guest speaker at the 2018 Friends of Scouting Breakfast, supports the organization and encouraged those in attendance to do the same.
“What you are learning is honesty and integrity,” he said of the Boys Scouts of America.
The South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves more than 4,500 youth in 17 counties including Jim Wells and Nueces. The mission of the South Texas Council is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.
Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop American citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation`s role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society.
The Beginning of Scouting
Scouting, as known to millions of youth and adults, evolved during the early 1900s through the efforts of several men dedicated to bettering youth. These pioneers of the program conceived outdoor activities that developed skills in young boys and gave them a sense of enjoyment, fellowship, and a code of conduct for everyday living.
In this country and abroad at the turn of the century, it was thought that children needed certain kinds of education that the schools couldn’t or didn’t provide. This led to the formation of a variety of youth groups, many with the word “Scout” in their names. For example, Ernest Thompson Seton, an American naturalist, artist, writer, and lecturer, originated a group called the Woodcraft Indians and in 1902 wrote a guidebook for boys in his organization called the Birch Bark Roll. Meanwhile in Britain, Robert Baden-Powell, after returning to his country a hero following military service in Africa, found boys reading the manual he had written for his regiment on stalking and survival in the wild. Gathering ideas from Seton, America`s Daniel Carter Beard, and other Scoutcraft experts, Baden-Powell rewrote his manual as a non-military skill book, which he titled Scouting for Boys. The book rapidly gained a wide readership in England and soon became popular in the United States. In 1907, when Baden-Powell held the first campout for Scouts on Brownsea Island off the coast of England, troops were spontaneously springing up in America.
The South Texas Council continues to work diligently to raise funds, retain and recruit new members and volunteers to keep the tradition of Boy Scouts alive.
“You sitting here today is part of the membership growth,” Sepulveda told supporters. “Scouting is a fabric of this community.”
Words to Live By
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.
A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Source: South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America