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Happy Birthday to Lord Robert Baden-Powell!
Little Bobbie was born on February 22, 1857 and would grow up to eventually start the Scouting movement that has encompassed the globe, so today is celebrated as Scouts' Day, Founders' Day, and Guides' Day.
It is called Founders' Day instead of Founder's Day because Robert founded Scouting for boys and girls with his sister, Agnes.
Today is also the birthday of the girl who would grow up to marry Robert and be an integral part of early scouting, Olave St. Clair Baden-Powell. They met in 1912, on the RMSP Arcadian while sailing through the Caribbean to New York. They got married the day before Halloween that same year - quite a whirlwind romance, huh? He was 56 and she was 24 when they married.
Scout-Guide Week is celebrated right now in Canada. It is the week on which February 22 falls.
And, it's World Thinking Day also - a day for scouts to think about and appreciate all their scouting sisters and brothers around the world.
One more thing - if your children are grown and you think you're too old for any more Scouting, consider that Lord Baden-Powell did all of his work with boy and girl Scouts after he turned 50 years old.
Today's letter from the national Boy Scouts of America leadership...
Dear Scouting Family,
Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.
While the word “bankruptcy” can be intimidating, it is important to know that Scouting programs will continue. Your regular unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual.
We took this action today amid increasing financial pressure on the BSA from litigation involving past abuse in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, we provide counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward. Our plan is to use this Chapter 11 process to create a Trust that would provide equitable compensation to these individuals.
As we go through this process, we want to make certain that all Scouting parents and volunteers know the following:
- Scouting is safer now than ever before. Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. As someone close to Scouting, you know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA’s absolute top priority and that one instance of abuse is one too many. That’s precisely why over many years we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.
From mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, to policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require that any suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement, our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. You can read more about the BSA’s multi-layered safeguards and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse at www.scouting.org/youth-safety. In fact, this is a resource that you can share with friends and family who are interested in understanding what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe.
- Scouting continues. Scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come. Just last year, communities across the country benefited from more than 13 million Scouting service hours, and young men and women earned more than 1.7 million merit badges that represent skills that will help them succeed throughout their lives. Studies prove and parents agree that Scouting helps young people become more kind, helpful and prepared for life, and as long as those values remain important to our society, Scouting will continue to be invaluable to our nation’s youth.
- Local councils have not filed for bankruptcy. Local councils – which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities – are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
We know you will likely have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. We have posted information about our restructuring on a dedicated website, www.BSArestructuring.org.
This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ and a reference document that will help you discuss this announcement with youth in our programs. The site also includes a Milestones page, which will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.
If these resources don’t answer your questions, please feel free to reach out to us through Member Care at 972-580-2489 or MyScouting@Scouting.org. We will do everything we can to provide helpful, transparent responses and ensure your Scouting experience continues to be a great one.
Yours in Scouting,
President & CEO
It has been brought to my attention that Valentines has morphed into two alternate celebrations. You can blame the TV show "Parks and Recreation" for the initial drive of these two pseudo-holidays.
Galentines Day started as a satirical bit on the show in 2010, setting Feb. 13 as a day for females to celebrate their female friends, especially those with no significant others. IRL women took and ran with it, keeping the day alive.
Palentines Day is just a natural expansion of that celebration to become gender neutral. Celebrate any and all friends you have with no romantic connotations.
Unfortunately, Scoutentines Day just doesn't have a very good ring to it. But, Hey, here's some candy hearts to celebrate anyway!
What other sayings would you put on hearts to share with your scouts and scouters? (up to 3 lines with 8 chars per line)
You actually can have custom hearts created - for example, here. Kind of expensive, but the fleur-de-lis on a heart might be cool. And, if you don't like those chalky hearts, other candies can be personalized, like M&MsScout On!
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