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Scouts teach youth to ‘be prepared’

The Corydon Democrat continues its new feature for this year, ‘Top 26 of 2006,’ that takes a look at 26 people, places or things that our readers suggested make Harrison County a great place to live or work. The remaining seven stories will be published before the end of the year.
Programs designed to build character in youth have been in existence for decades. One of the largest is the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA.
Boy Scouts was founded in February 1910 by W.D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher, Boyce had learned about the Scouting movement the previous year when he visited London, England. The program, in three divisions, is available to boys ages 7 through 21.
A similar program for girls was started two years after the BSA. The first Girl Scout troop was founded on March 12, 1912, by Juliette Gordon in Savannah, Ga.
Since Scouting started in the United States, more than 100 million boys and about 3.7 million girls have participated.
Evelyn McPherson, one person who suggested Scouts be included as a Top 26, said her son Eric, has benefited from being in the program. Eric recently became an Eagle Scout, an achievement reached by only four percent of all Scouts.
She said numerous volunteers helped guide her son to this achievement.
Both the Boy and Girl Scouts strive to teach values and build self-esteem. Participants can earn various badges and merits on a wide range of subjects.
The Boy Scouts of America’s national office is located in Irving, Texas. Two years ago, it was ranked as the 12th largest nonprofit organization in the United States.
Headquartered in New York City, the Girl Scouts is also a nonprofit organization.
Both organizations have affiliates worldwide.