"Scouting has been successful because of its commitment to its core purpose and values," said Larry Chase, who volunteers as BSA Atlanta Area Council Commissioner.
Started by British Lord Robert Baden-Powell after serving in the military, today Scouting revolves around the great outdoors. Incorporating the original concepts through outdoor adventure, Scouts develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills and citizenship skills among other life skills.
"In that outdoor program is where the attraction to Scouting often lies for youth," said Chase. "It provides a part of the vehicle that enables character development, physical fitness development, and leadership skill development through that setting."
Businessman William Dickson Boyce, who learned of Scouting when he lost his way while in London and an unknown Scout assisted him, is credited with bringing Scouting to the U.S.
Boyce, introduced to Baden-Powell by the unknown Scout, incorporated BSA on Feb. 8, 1910.
Since the time of Boyce, BSA has vastly expanded its presence in the U.S. In 2008, BSA served more than 2.8 million youth, with the Atlanta Area Council serving more than 50,500 youth through its different programs in 2009.
"One of the most attractive things it offers youth is the outdoor component of the program through camping and high adventure," the Cobb resident said.
Boy Scouts even offers the outdoor component to young women age 14-20 through its Venturing Program.
Service is also a key element of Scouting. In 2008, Scouts nationally reported more than 35 million hours of community service.
"Scouting for Food Drive will be the centerpiece during the centennial celebration," Chase, Atlanta Centennial Chair pointed out. "I believe that Scouting in the U.S. is positioned to continue to grow and prosper and serve an increasing number of youth because we are continuing to adapt the program and keep it relevant to contemporary youth."
"I believe a number of the core components of the program are still relevant to youth," Chase said.
One hundred years strong, BSA is prepared to continue its journey into the next century.
To learn more about Boy Scouts of America or the Centennial Celebration, visit www.scouting.org. To learn more about Boy Scouts in your area, visit www.atlantabsa.org.