Boy Scouts

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“Newton, Utah Boy Scout troop in Logan Canyon,” 1920s. Courtesy of the Newton Town (UT) Library via Mountain West Digital Library.

In 1910, the Boy Scouts, founded by Robert Baden-Powell in Britain, came to the United States. A youth organization focused on service, citizenship, and outdoor skills, the Scout law proclaimed that "a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent." The Boy Scouts of America sought to bring urban youths into the natural environment and away from the corrupting influences of the city. Boys were awarded with badges for achievement in outdoor skills and crafts.

Principles of good citizenship were instilled in the Scouts. Only three years after the formation of the national organization, the Boy Scouts served as crowd control for both the 1913 parade for Women's suffrage in Washington D.C., and President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. Like adults on the home front during World War I and World War II, children participated in war efforts, and the Boy Scouts were active in collecting scrap metal and rags, and purchasing war bonds.

Although the Boy Scouts program did not deny membership on the basis of race, its troop formation followed the segregation policies of local schools. As a result, segregated troops existed through the 1940s.