Happy Birthday, Boy Scouts of America!

February 8, 2017
Tom Rosenberg, President/CEO

On a cold and rainy Sunday this past month, my son, Daniel, and I joined our Webelos Den at the Trees Atlanta Treehouse to embark on an inspiring Arboretum hike along the Atlanta Beltline Eastern Trail. Two urban ecologists from Trees Atlanta introduced the scouts to the hundreds of native deciduous and evergreen trees, which have been planted along the Eastern Trail along with 8 ½ acres of native grass and wildflowers. The boys learned about tree conservation, invasive species and how they can each become active stewards of this urban forest in our neighborhood. Although the Atlanta metro area is recognized by the US Forest Service as the most heavily forested urban area in the country, in-town neighborhoods such as ours were severely lacking in trees compared to other major cities until Trees Atlanta stepped up to the challenge and planted over 100,000 trees.

Back at the Treehouse, the Scouts used a computer to access Georgia Tech’s Tree Canopy GIS map to see how their home and neighborhood tree canopy compares to other parts of the city. It was a huge hit. These Scouts are now motivated to plant more trees and plants where they live and be active junior treekeepers along the 22 mile Beltline.

It’s a pleasure for me to co-lead Daniel’s Webelos Den and help facilitate his Scouting experiences in the hopes that it will inspire him to become a naturalist and an enlightened community leader. Our Cub Scout Pack is wonderfully diverse and inclusive. These boys are growing up environmentally conscious and cross-culturally competent. They are learning to do their best in all that they do, to be kind and to be respectful. It is wonderful to see.

Today is National Boy Scouts Day, celebrating 107 years of Boy Scouting in the United States. Having been raised by a single mother, I will always be grateful to Boy Scouting for offering me excellent mentors and role models in my youth, as well as numerous friends for life. Nearly every month in my teens, our troop was out exploring the wilderness of the southern sierras of California. There is no doubt that my adventures in Scouting helped inspire my career as a Camp Professional.

In a little over a year, we hope Daniel will earn his Arrow of Light and cross over into our neighborhood scout troop. He and his friends can’t wait for the greater wilderness adventures it will offer during the months when they are not at summer camp. We are already talking about when they are young teens and eligible to participate in the best high adventure BSA programs: Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier High Adventure program and Florida Sea Base. Accredited by the American Camp Association, these programs are recognized as the ultimate Boy Scouting adventures. There is so much to look forward to. Happy birthday and thanks Boy Scouts of America!