By Tiffany Nabors, The BayonetFebruary 25, 2010
When former Army CPT John Sly mailed his Boy Scout neckerchief and a patch to Fort Benning in honor of the organization's 100th anniversary, the 74-year-old also included a letter describing his fond memories of the organization and the post.
While assigned to Fort Benning, he volunteered to serve on post as a Scoutmaster for the troop in 1960, just in time for the organization's 50th anniversary.
"Times were different 50 years ago," he said, recalling the hurdles his integrated troop faced during a period when the off-post community was still segregated.
After being excluded from participating in a parade in Columbus for this reason, the troop had its own celebration.
Now, retired and living in New York, the former service member still reminisces about the time he spent with the troop here. He continued to stay active with the Boy Scouts of America and received its Silver Beaver award for community service in 1987.
"(BSA has) changed with the times, but their core values continue," Sly said. "They're about character building and citizenship. It's a wonderful opportunity to gain self-reliance and have fun in the outdoors."
Boy Scouts of America is a values-based youth development organization dedicated to creating future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun, according to its Web site.
Fort Benning youth are governed by the Chattahoochee Council, which serves the counties that surround the installation.
There are several troops in the tricommunity area, but there is only one troop, Troop 27, on post.
"That troop has been around for (decades)," said LTC Charles Auer, 192nd Infantry
Brigade deputy commanding officer. As a youngster, he was a Boy Scout, and his two teenage sons are currently in the organization.
Auer's sons have hiked, rappelled and backpacked with the organization, which he said
teaches them to be leaders. He lists honesty and integrity as values emphasized by the Scouts.
"A lot of the Boy Scout values mirror Army values," he said. "It's because of those values that they've stood the test of time."
Anthony Thomas is the 2 millionth Eagle Scout.
First Scouting for Food National Good Turn collects 60 million food items.
First Boy Scout stamp issued by the post office.
Cub Scout program formally launched.1935
Membership hits 1 million.
Feb. 8, 1910
Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.
Jan. 2, 1911
National Council office opens with 7 employees
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