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Daily News Editorial – Scouting creates tomorrow’s leaders

By Staff | Feb 2, 2008

With Boy Scout Anniversary Week coming up Feb. 3-9, now is the time to recognize the contributions that Scouting has made to our country and the world.

Ever since Robert Baden-Powell started Scouting in Great Britain, the Boy Scouts have been the premier organization to build character in young men so they can become leaders of tomorrow.

The Boy Scouts of America formed shortly after Baden-Powell founded the organization in England. From that time on, Scouting has flourished.

Scouting doesn’t just teach young men how to have fun in the outdoors. It’s much more than that. Scouting teaches real survival skills that help foster self-confidence and self-sufficiency. It’s those attitudes that make Scouting one of the greatest character builders that there is.

If you look at the number of congressmen, senators, and military officers who were Eagle Scouts, the percentages are astounding.

Just look at the statistics for U.S. astronauts from the Boy Scouts of America:

Of the 312 pilots and scientists selected as astronauts since 1959, at least 207 have been identified as having been Scouts or active in Scouting.  The list includes 39 Eagle Scouts, 25 Life Scouts, 14 Star Scouts, 26 First Class Scouts, 17 Second Class Scouts, 13 Tenderfoot Scouts, 3 Explorers, 25 Cub Scouts, 10 Webelos Scouts, 1 King’s Scout, 2 Wolf Scouts, and 32 with unknown ranks, including 27 who were Girl Scouts.

Of the 27 men to travel to the moon on the Apollo 9 through Apollo 17 missions, 24 were Scouts, including 11 of the 12 men who physically walked on the moon's surface, and all three members of the crew of Apollo 13.

All three of the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire, four of the seven who died in the Challenger launch explosion, and five of the seven who died in the Columbia re-entry explosion were Scouts.

There should be no doubt that Scouting builds character. That’s something the U.S. military and employers already know. So if you have a son who could benefit from Scouting or if you would like to sponsor a Boy Scout, contact your local Boy Scout leader today.