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Boy Scouting at St. Mary's College

By Kristina Schulz

Wildly popular among youth in England, Boy Scouts came to the United States in 1910. English youth were introduced to Scouting through Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a former British Army hero.  In his 1908 publication, Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship, Baden-Powell provides practical instruction on scouting skills and development of moral character.

Scouting caught on quickly in Dayton, Ohio, as well.  St. Mary’s Institute Boy Scout Troop 21 is pictured on November 14, 1917 on the grounds of the campus. Just weeks earlier on October 12th, 40 Scouts were awarded their Tenderfoot badge. This is the second rank earned as a Boy Scout and requires proficiency in a number of outdoor skills, including physical fitness, meal preparation and first aid. Brother George Ley spoke to the Scouts at their Investiture Ceremony, “urging them to persevere in taking their tests until they have qualified as first-class scouts.”   

- Kristina Schulz, Assistant University Archivist

This photo and many other historical sources are available in University Archives. Set up an appointment by emailing archives@udayton.edu.

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