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Livingston Hike Medal #1 Presented

Posted By BSA History, Friday, October 25, 2013

Medal number ONE of the Livingstone Hike, was presented in a special frame to Mr. Les Baron, Scout Executive of the National Capital Area Council, who participated on the Hike last May. The photo in the frame shows the first Scouts leading the way for the 3,111 hikers registered for the 2013 Inaugural Weekend and opening of the Livingstone Hike.

 

 

 

Pictured are Kira G., Mr. Ron Marchessault, Mr. Less Baron and Peter "P-B" Bielak.


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The History of Scouting Program is now Officially a National BSA Trail

Posted By BSA History, Friday, October 25, 2013

Image of aproval letter from National BSA officeOriginally posted on September 13, 2013


The HOST program has been approved by National! Many years of hard work and persistence are behind this great program that will forever preserve and share the history of the Boy Scouts of America. Thank you for all of your support as the program is refined for a national and international audience.

 

The HOST committee is busy preparing the second of 3 history-of-scouting trails. This second trail, The Baden Powell Hike, will be unveiled on Memorial Day weekend, 2014. Covering unique aspects of the Boy Scouts’ history as well as new and interesting spots in Washington DC, the Baden Powell Hike will begin at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial and provide an original Boy Scout experience for visitors to our nation’s capital.

 

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National Jamboree review of the History Of Scouting Trail

Posted By BSA History, Friday, October 25, 2013
Originally posted on July 19, 2013

 

By Axel Anderson reporting at the 2013 National Jamboree.

 

Summit Bechtel Reserve: For Scouts weary of traipsing up and down the Summit’s hills, a friendlier post-jamboree alternative can be found in the nation’s capital. It’s an urban path rich in Scouting history that, not coincidentally, is named the History of Scouting Trail, or HOST.


The trail debuted in Washington, DC, over Memorial Day weekend when 3,111 Scouts — most from the National Capital Area Council — hiked it. During that weekend, Scouts and Scouters walked either of two lengths of trail — a 2.5-mile History Hike for Cubs, another nearly six miles for Boy Scouts and Venturers that is the Colin H. Livingstone Hike.
Scouts were even been spotted hiking the trail the few days before the jamboree kicked off.
HOST is part hike, part treasure hunt, part advancement recognition — and all fun.
Hikers are challenged to scour the city for symbols, figures, and physical features of man-made objects, and answer questions about them. Clues are found near the White House, Ellipse, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Boy Scout Commemorative Tribute Memorial, and even the exact place of origin of the Boy Scouts of America. Hmmm … where could that be?


Before beginning the trail, hikers need a $10 bill, camera, compass, downloaded questions, and a small plastic bag. The $10 bill [which you keep] will provide some clues.


The man behind HOST is Peter "P-B” Bielak, who chairs the History and Archives Committee and HOST subcommittee for the National Capital Area Council (NCAC). P-B prefers to be known by his initials because they’re easy to remember (like "peanut butter”), and they allow him to quickly move to discussing Scouting history. For the past two years, P-B, with the effort of many others, researched, planned, tested, and proposed the trail to NCAC and BSA officials. One major supporter of the trail is former NCAC President Dan McCarthy, who is also director here at the Summit.


Today, P-B met with McCarthy and presented him with a framed inaugural Livingstone hike medal and a photo of representatives of the DC-area’s four oldest troops hiking the Taft Bridge. "It’s a special presentation on behalf of the National Capital Area Council HOST Committee because he’s promoting the trail to jamboree troops,” said P-B before the ceremony. "When the trail concept began two years ago, he was president of the council, and he was supportive of the project.” Said McCarthy earlier: "It was an excellent concept to have a trail dedicated to Scouting in the national capital,” then adding to his comment today by saying, "What could be more perfect?”


The HOST idea came to P-B at a district roundtable meeting, when a leader wondered [where] Scouting started in the United States. P-B said he asked himself why more people don’t know about the origins of American Scouting, especially in Washington, DC, a city rich in BSA history. "The Boy Scouts were such an integral part of the city at that time (1910),” said P-B, adding that Scouts have long helped stage presidential inaugurations. They even did so this year. P-B was also inspired by the "National Treasure” movies, where clues are sought — even in a hidden compartment in the president’s desk — to solve mysteries. "I thought kids really liked that … let ‘em find clues, use a compass and their brains,” said P-B. "I thought that would be more fun than simply walking along a path.” P-B loves to rattle off Scouting historical trivia. Among his plums:

  • In Scouting’s early years, all Eagle Scout awards were presented at the White House.
  • In 1913, police lost control of the crowd during a woman’s suffrage parade in DC. Boy Scouts, who all carried staves at the time, stepped in to restore order as well as administer first aid.
  • In its fledgling years, many major Scouting figures met in DC, including Robert Baden-Powell (world Scouting’s founder), William Boyce (a newspaperman who imported Scouting to America), Juliette Gordon Low (who founded the Girl Scouts), Colin H. Livingstone (the BSA and NCAC’s first president; he held both jobs at the same time), Dan Beard (national commissioner), Ernest Thompson Seton (chief Scout), and James West (the BSA’s first Chief Scout Executive).

Besides his motivation to add fun (and education) to Scouting, P-B also had a lofty goal: to help support Scouting financially. Proceeds from the sales of HOST medals and patches will go to enable the NCAC to provide good Scouting opportunities for all local youth. P-B will eagerly tell you that Washington, DC’s oldest Scout troop — 100 — was begun in 1918. Maryland’s is Troop 8 (1919), Virginia’s, 104 (1916), and in the NCAC, 52 (1913). Scouts and Scouters of all four troops led HOST’s Memorial Day weekend hike.

 

P-B boasts that HOST is the only BSA historic trail that can be hiked 365 days a year and that the effort can be accomplished in a day. This means trail maps can be downloaded, the trail hiked, questions answered, form stamped, and medals and patches purchased. Scouts and Scouters who satisfactorily complete HOST’s requirements are eligible to buy a medal and patch. Both trails end at a pair of trail project "partners”: the International Spy Museum, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

 

Plans are for the trail to evolve into two other hikes — each progressively longer and more challenging. The first one that opened on Memorial Day weekend was the aforementioned Livingstone Hike, which begins at the Taft Memorial Bridge. An hour later, the shorter History Hike began.

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Scouts Prepare for Historic New Hike

Posted By BSA History, Friday, October 25, 2013

Originally posted on July 2, 2013

As printed in The Scouter Digest, July, 2013

Flags flew on Saturday, May 25 as 32 Scouts from NCAC’s four oldest troops led the procession down Connecticut Avenue and across the President Howard Taft Bridge to open the History Of Scouting Trail (HOST). Weather was perfect for the inaugural weekend. More than 3,100 Scouts, leaders and parents participated and could be seen all over town investigating clues, reading plaques and looking for statues.


The 5.9 mile Colin Livingstone Hike was named after the first president of NCAC and of the Boy Scouts of America. Two other hikes, the Baden-Powell Hike and the James E. West Hike, are in the works. Also available is the popular History Hike, a shorter 2.5 mile hike concentrating on the area from the Ellipse to Lafayette Square. John LeMon, Scoutmaster of Troop 100, the oldest troop in Washington, DC, said, "This was a wonderful opportunity for the boys to learn about their Scouting heritage connected with so many landmarks in D.C. It is always a good thing to know where you come from.”


Peter Bielak, also known as P-B, a DC-based Scout historian and creator of the HOST program, said, "The program was about the experience of discovery. It was designed to provide a fun and challenging historical treasure hunt of knowledge”. P-B said the HOST program is going through the approval process to become a Nationally Recognized Historic Trail and is the first trail in the world based completely on Scout history. HOST benefited from strong relationships and support from the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Omni Hotel and the International Spy Museum.


Full Issue

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It all started in our Nation's Capital

Posted By BSA History, Friday, October 25, 2013

Originally posted on June 14, 2013


Did you know that BSA began right here in our city? Scoutmasters regularly met at the White House as the movement gained momentum. Presidents Taft and Wilson were instrumental in getting things started, and there’s so much more little-known history of the scouting movement right in our nation’s capital.


For example, the movement was floundering until the 1913 inauguration when police "lost” control of the crowd during a woman’s suffrage parade and Boy Scouts (who all carried staves at the time) stepped in and controlled the rowdy crowd and served first aid. The trail tells the story of scouting history with first-person interactive challenges where all the history went down.


Baden-Powell, Boyce, Juliette Low, Livingston, James West — they were all here in our city making it happen, and this National History of Scouting Trail retraces the steps from the Willard Hotel to "Boy Scout Square” to the white-house victory gardens planted and plowed by scouts and so much more.

This will be a nationally recognized trail with authorization for the attractive metals to be worn on the scout uniform.

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