FEBRUARY 8, 2018 | NATIONAL BOY SCOUTS DAY | NATIONAL IOWA DAY | NATIONAL KITE FLYING DAY
NATIONAL BOY SCOUTS DAY
Since 1910, boys across America have been doing good deeds, learning survival skills and developing moral foundations through the Boy Scout of America. February 8th annually recognizes National Boys Scouts Day.
The Boy Scouts of America has roots in the British Boy Scouts organization which was created in 1908 after the success of the book Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell.
On a foggy day in London an American newspaperman, William Dickson Boyce, became lost when a Boy Scout came to his assistance. With the boy’s guidance, Boyce arrived at his destination. When Boyce offered payment for the assistance, the Boy Scout refused explaining it was a good deed.
Boyce was inspired to organize similar youth groups into one organization. On February 8, 1910, Boyce filed papers of incorporation, and the Boy Scouts of America was born.
Boy Scouts have had a profound impact on the United States. Many presidents and other dignitaries have been Boy Scouts. A total of 181 Astronauts have also been a part of the Boy Scout program.
- Boy Scouts of America incorporated 1910
- First Boy Scout Handbook published 1911
- Boys’ Life premiered 1911
- First Eagle Scout, Arthur R. Eldred 1912
- Scouting magazine premiered 1913
- Registration of Scouts began, 25¢ annual fee 1913
- Order of the Arrow began 1915
- Federal charter granted by Congress 1916
- First season at what would become Northern Tier High Adventure Base 1923
- Boy Scout membership tops 1 million 1925
- Cub Scout program began 1930
- Philmont donated to the BSA 1938
- First BSA Wood Badge course taught 1948
- First Pinewood Derby® held 1953
- Webelos program added to Cub Scouting 1954
- Exploring program began 1959
- Florida National High Adventure Sea Base officially opened 1980
- Tiger Cubs program added to Cub Scouting 1982
- 1 millionth Eagle Scout, Alexander M. Holsinger 1982
- Learning for Life program began 1991
- Venturing program began 1998
- 100 millionth member registered 2000
- 2 millionth Eagle Scout, Anthony Thomas 2009
- Total Cub Scouts 62,226,396
- Total Boy Scouts/Venturers 52,077,933
- Total Youth Served 114,304,329
- Total Adult Volunteers 33,364,261
Total number of merit badges awarded 117,649,303
Top 5 merit badges awarded**
- First Aid 6,537,232
- Swimming 5,929,179
- Camping 4,364,027
- Cooking 4,122,629
- Citizenship in the Community 3,178,473
Eagle Scout Awards 2,043,375
William T. Hornaday Award (since 1914) 3,799
Honor Medal (since 1923) 2,234
Honor Medal With Crossed Palms (since 1924) 231
Silver Buffalo Award (since 1926) 686
Medal of Merit (since 1945) 5,927
Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (since 1969) 1,840
Heroism Award (since 1977) 3,081
National Certificate of Merit (since 1989) 1,501
Statistics provided by National Boy Scouts of America – http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/100_years.aspx
HOW TO OBSERVE
Share the benefits of Boy Scouts and use #NationalBoyScoutsDay to post on social media.
February 8 recognizes the anniversary of the date William Dickson Boyce filed the letters of incorporation. February is also Boy Scout Month.
NATIONAL IOWA DAY
On February 8, National Iowa Day recognizes The Hawkeye State.
The 29th state to join the United States is known for fertile prairie, rolling hills, raising innovative people and some nostalgic movie moments. From the Mississippi River to the harvests in Plymouth, Harrison or Fremont counties, Iowa’s history, beauty and hospitality flourish.
The state was named for Iowa Native Americans who populated the area when European settlement forced Eastern tribes westward.
Acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa Territory settlement didn’t start to take place until around the 1830s.
One of the later settlements that remain today is the Amana Colony. A congregation of the Community of True Inspiration, their faith and persecution in Germany led them to immigrate to America for religious freedom. Iowa supplied fertile farmland and a home for them to practice their skills and their beliefs. Today, they open their community to the public. Shop for handmade gifts, homemade baked goods, wine and stay for a home-cooked meal.
In the southwestern part of the state, Madison County boasts beautiful covered bridges which were featured in the movie by a similar name. While touring the bridges, be sure to stop by Winterset and take in the birthplace of John Wayne.
Not far from the Mississippi River, The Field of Dreams home is just outside Dyersville. They built it so that you would come.
For fantastic performances in a historic rock and roll venue, check out the events at the Surf Ballroom. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper played their last concerts at the Surf Ballroom the night they perished in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Nature lovers will find plenty of adventure in Iowa. Effigy Mounds National Park will satisfy those with a mystical and historical curiosity. Rockhounds should seek out Geode State Park. The Corps of Discovery’s Louis and Clark Trail come through Iowa, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE
From the Quad Cities to Shimek Forest, Iowa offers city and country to explore. Join National Day Calendar as we examine the 29th state’s dynamic people and pioneering history. Travel byways and discovery Iowa’s stunning scenery! Use #NationalIowaDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL KITE FLYING DAY
Observed annually on February 8th, National Kite Flying Day is marked by kite flying enthusiasts across the country.
Kites date back to China in 470 B.C. China is full of lore and histories of the origins of the kite. Many are related to the way wind affects the leaves on the trees, the shelters they lived in, blowing away the sails on their ships and the hats they wore upon their heads. The stories also tell of kites being invented to spy on their enemies or to send messages.
There is also evidence that the people of South Sea Islands were using kites for fishing around the same time as the people of China.
Early kites were constructed from bamboo or sturdy reeds for framing. Leaves, silk or paper made ideal sails. Vines or braided fibers completed the line or tether. While kites were initially used as tools, they were also ceremonial as well. Used to send messages into the heavens or to lift offerings up to the gods, kites had a symbolic place in the culture.
Today kites are popular both as hobbies and for outdoor fun. They range from a simple diamond kite to more complicated box kites and giant sled kites. Stunt kites, also known as sport kites, are designed so the operator can maneuver the kite into dips, twists, and dives with dramatic effect.
Tips for Getting Your Kite Up in the Air and Keeping it There
Be sure the kite is assembled correctly.
Check the wind. Some kites require more wind and others less. Picking the right day for your kite is key. A light breeze (5-20 mph) is generally optimal.
Be safe. Don’t fly the kite near power lines, trees or other sky high obstacles. Wide open spaces are best.
Be safer. Don’t fly in the rain.
When launching the kite, be sure to have your back to the wind. If the wind is light, have a friend hold the kite down wind and hold your line taught, reeling in slowly until the kite launches.
Don’t let the line out too quickly. Let the line out at the same pace the kite is gaining altitude.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Go outside and fly a kite if weather permits. If not, make one inside. In some parts of the country, the time of year may make it difficult to fly a kite. There are kite festivals at various periods of the year. Use today to scout out those festivals and make a plan to join in. Use #NationalKiteFlyingDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Kite Flying Day.
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