So, Scouters, just what is the Blue and Gold Banquet?
Cub Scouts celebrate the Anniversary of Scouting with a "birthday party" called the blue and gold banquet. In nearly all packs, the blue and gold banquet is the highlight of the year. It brings families together for an evening of fun and cheer, celebrating the organization, the Pack, and those who have made and continue to make the Scouting experience possible. Do you know how Scouting came about?
Scouting's history goes back to the turn of the 20th century when in 1907, an inspired British Army officer, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell took a group of 20 boys on a 12-day foray playing, hiking, and pioneering in patrols along England's southern coast. The outing was a smashing success and word spread quickly. A mere one year later, more than 10,000 Boy Scouts attended a rally held at the Crystal Palace; a mere two years later, membership in Boy Scouts had tripled!
Scouting found it's way to the United States when Chicago businessman and publisher William D. Boyce was groping his way through the English fog when a boy appeared and offered to take him to his destination. When they arrived, Boyce tried to tip the boy, but the boy refused and courteously explained that he was a Scout and could not accept payment for a Good Turn.
Impressed, the publisher questioned the boy and learned more about Scouting. He visited with Baden-Powell as well and became captured by the idea of Scouting. When Boyce boarded the transatlantic steamer for home, he had a suitcase filled with information and ideas. And so, on February 8, 1910, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. President Taft became the first honorary president of the BSA; Theodore Roosevelt first honorary vice-president.
The "unknown Scout" who helped Boyce in the fog was never heard from again, but he will never be forgotten. His Good Turn is what brought Scouting to our country. Scouting has grown in the United States from 2,000 Boy Scouts and leaders in 1910 to millions strong today!
So, in honor of this great tradition and those who take part, please join us each March to celebrate the legacy that has been enhancing the lives of our great nation's youth for more than 100 years!
Yours in Scouting,