I recently came across a 1961 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook [thank you, Echo Antiques]. Because I’m fond of a theme, I’ll be taking bits of the guide and translating them for today’s audience. I begin at the beginning, and have fun with the foreword. All text and CAPS are the voice of Joseph A. Brunton, Jr., Chief Scout Executive. All [brackets] belong to yours truly.
To YOU as a Scout,
“I suppose every boy [or girl] wants to help his [or her] country in some way or another. There is a way by which he [or she] can do easily, and that is by becoming an [Indoor] Boy Scout.”
Those are the opening words of the World Brotherhood edition of SCOUTING FOR BOYS—the book written by Baden-Powell that started the [Indoor] Boy Scout movement on its conquest of the [indoor-]boy-hood of the world more than fifty years ago. Since those early days, millions of boys have been Scout[ed]. [And the Indoor Boy Scouts] have had fun in Scouting—and Scouting has helped them grow into good citizens, has made it possible for them to help their country.
Today is your day in [Indoor] Boy Scouting.
You, too, will have fun. You, too, will help your country.
You know the old saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” In the same way, the strength of a country depends on the personal integrity, the personal effort of each of its citizens. The strength of America depends on YOU!
To a real [wo/]man, …HONOR is [their] most valuable possession. As a member of the [Indoor] Boy Scouts of America, you pledge yourself ON YOUR HONOR to work towards becoming a real Scout. It is not easy to become that kind of a Scout. It means dedication and work and perseverance. It means self-sacrifice–giving up some of your own pleasures for the sake of other people. It means doing what [or who] is right rather than what [or who] is easy. It means living up to the [Indoor Boy] Scout Oath and the [Indoor Boy] Scout Law.
As you use this [INDOOR] BOY SCOUT HANDBOOK as your guide toward good citizenship through Scouting, I trust you ON YOUR HONOR to strive toward becoming a real Scout and the kind of citizen our country needs and deserves.
Joseph A. Brunton, Jr., Chief Scout Executive
[Anita A. Stubenrauch, Sr., Chief Smart/Sexy Executive]
What are you waiting for? Your country needs you. Join Indoor Boys Scouts.