A Brief History of the Early Days of the Boy Scouts of America by Seth Chalmers

Posted on August 28, 2012

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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was launched in 1910 by Chicago-based publisher William Boyce. Drawing inspiration from other scouting organizations, Boyce took scouting one step further by turning it into a business, and he incorporated the BSA in Washington, D.C. He recruited youth leaders and provided funding to the organization in its early stages. Boyce also formed a strategic partnership with the established YMCA and set up the first official BSA office in Manhattan next to the office of YMCA executive Edgar Robinson.

To further the BSA, Boyce developed a handbook, established a national office, and achieved a congressional charter. Additionally, the organization began campaigning to incorporate other scouting organizations under the BSA banner. Only one group refused to join, and that was US Boy Scout, which belonged to William Randolph Hearst. However, BSA went to the courts and received a favorable ruling against US Boy Scout.

With all obstacles removed and a business infrastructure in place, the Boy Scouts of America grew in popularity and continues to thrive to this day.

About the author: Seth Chalmers is the President of Chalmers Engineering Services, Inc., in Tempe, Arizona. An avid supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, he has contributed to the Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts of America, helping the troop buy a storage trailer for Camp Geronimo.

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