Was the First Boy Scout a Trentonian?
The Trentonian (date uncertain)

The term Boy Scout evidently was conceived by Lord Baden-Powell in England. The Englishman most probably got the idea of Boy Scouts from Beard's group, the Sons of Daniel Boone. That idea crystallized into the present world-wide organization. Beard, at the time, was editor of "Recreation," a Scouting magazine. It was 1905 when he started his group. Lord Baden-Powell organized the English Boy Scouts in 1908.

Then, in 1910, Beard's Scouts, another group called the "Indians" and a society known as the "Boys' Brigade," were combined at Beard's suggestion and called the "Boy Scouts of America." At first, it was urged the new group should become a branch to the English organization, but Beard successfully opposed the idea. In later years the Boy Scouts became a world-wide organization.

Durling, whose notes traced back the Brandt ties to Beard, was the second Scout executive of the Trenton Council (from 1917 to 1921). He died in 1946. Durling was instrumental in founding the Scout's "Order of the Arrow." Local Scouts are elected to the order by their peers "to recognize those ... Who best exemplify the Scout oath and law in their daily lives."

In his rambling notes, Durling wrote "This volume is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Clarence S. Morton who loved boys and was loved by all boys and men who knew him." Morton was Scoutmaster of Troop 2 in Trenton in 1917.

Today, the George Washington Council, Boy Scouts of America, covers a three-county area in New Jersey. Robert Filipski, the present Council Scout Executive said the registered membership of 7,300 Cub Scouts and Explores is spread through Warren, Hunterdon and Mercer Counties.

John Hotz, assistant Scout Executive, added there are also over 2,000 adult leaders in the three-county area.

The present headquarters of the organization is at 62 South Main Street, Pennington.

Dan Beard was 90 years old in 1940 when nearly 50,000 Scouts assembled to wish him a happy birthday.

He joined them for the last time as they recited the Scout Oath, "On my honor I will do by best: to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law."

ask jos: The above material appeared in a column by Emil Slaboda, who writes about Trenton history for the Trentonian newspaper. I have no idea about the accuracy of his claims. The date of publication is uncertain. A copy was mailed to me on September 8, 1999.

First Scout, Part 1       Return
September 12, 1999