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Historical Figures as Scoutmasters

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Sorry but I still seem to be spin handicapped.


This thread comes from the discussion regarding hisorical figures as scoutmasters in the alleged deadbeat dad thread.


What about Jesus? Great outdoor skills. He can walk on water. Would he still need a BSA Lifeguard card to monitor water activities? He can also make bread from stone and heal the injured. Great guy to have on a camping trip, but he did have that temper tantrum in the temple when he through the merchants out. Not very scoutlike behavior. However he did seem to get along with children. Hmmm?


What about Moses? Another great outdoorsman. One of the worlds greatest long term hike leaders and can part seas and find burning bushes.


Any others?





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Well, not a true Historical Figure, more of a superhero, but I vote Indiana Jones! He did make it to the Life rank, and has great knowledge of the Outdoors. He seems to pack light, and is always in a outfit similiar to the Scout uniform. He's got his expedition hat already. He is Brave, and is pretty worldly. He would be the ideal Scoutmaster.


When it comes to Historical Figures. I'll brag a little since this is my local Council :)


Theodore Roosevelt


"Theodore Roosevelt was no longer President of the United States when the Boy Scouts of America was started in 1910. But he was an ardent booster of the organization. He was a troop committeeman of Troop 39, Oyster Bay, N.Y., and first council commissioner of Nassau County Council. As a former President he was elected an Honorary Vice-President of the Boy Scouts of America. He was the first and only man designated as the "Chief Scout Citizen." For many years after his death in 1919, several thousand Scouts and leaders in the New York area made annual pilgrimages to his grave in Oyster Bay.



Teddy was a very vocal supporter of Scouting. Early Scout Julian Salomon said, "The two things that gave Scouting great impetus and made it very popular were the uniform and Teddy Roosevelt's jingoism."


The National Council, Boy Scouts of America, chartered the Nassau County Council, Boy Scouts of America in 1917. In September 1997, the council changed its name from the Nassau County Council to recognize and honor Theodore Roosevelt, its founder and first Council Commissioner.


In a letter to a Scout executive published in the first U.S. Boy Scout handbook, Roosevelt wrote,



The movement is one for efficiency and patriotism. It does not try to make soldiers of Boy Scouts but to make boys who will turn out as men to be fine citizens and who will, if their country needs them, make better soldiers for having been Scouts.


No man is a good citizen unless he so acts as to show that he actually uses the Ten Commandments and translates the Golden Rule into his life conduct and I don't mean by this in exceptional cases under spectacular circumstances, but I mean applying the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule in the ordinary affairs of every-day life. I hope the Boy Scouts will practice truth and square dealing and courage and honesty. The man who counts and the boy who counts are the man and boy who steadily endeavor to build up, to improve, to better living conditions everywhere and all about them.



The same qualities that mean success or failure to the nation as a whole mean success or failure in men and boys individually. To be helpless, self-indulgent, or wasteful will turn the boy into a mighty poor kind of man just as the indulgence in such vices by the men of a nation means the ruin of a nation. Any boy is worth nothing if he has not got courage, courage to stand up against the forces of evil and courage to stand up in the right path. Let him be unselfish and gentle, as well as strong and brave. It should be a matter of pride to him that he is not afraid of anyone and that he scorns not to be gentle and considerate to everyone, especially to those who are weaker than he is. If he doesn't treat his mother and sisters well, then he is a poor creature no matter what else he does; just as a man who doesn't treat his wife well is a poor kind of citizen no matter what his other qualities may be. Let the boy remember he must have knowledge, he must cultivate a sound body and a good mind and train himself so that he can act with quick decision in any crisis that may arise. Mind, eye, muscle all must be trained so that the boy can master himself and thereby learn to master his fate."






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Let's go back to Indianna Jones for a moment . . . Harrison Ford doesn't advertise it much, but the reason Indianna Jones wasn't an Eagle Scout is that Harrison Ford is not an Eagle Scout.


However, as a young man in 1957, Life Scout Harry Ford served on the nature staff at Camp Napowan of the Northwest Suburban Council (Mt. Prospect, IL) in Wild Rose, WI.




Whether he's a historical figure is open to debate, however.



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On the Literary Angle, I always thought Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird would have been a great Scoutmaster, we know his moral compass was well founded and he already had a Scout in the family.


Robinson Crusoe should be a great scoutmaster, had plenty of survival skills and lead many great adventures after he got off the island. Although with the way he let Friday pamper him, he might have a hard time grasping the Boy Lead troop concept


Now Gulliver, from Gulliver's travels had many adventures, but as he kept getting lost and running into all manner of disasters, I think we best just pass on him.


The Pied Piper of Hamlin seems to be the model Venture Advisor, he had both girls and boys follow him, I mean when membership is down, just fire up the flute and walk through town and membeship swells, who wouldnt love that. Now of course his youth return rate from outings was not as good as it should be and may be considered as a negative, (or not)


Now Ralph and Piggy from Lord of the Flies would make a great SPL and ASPL team. They knew the rules and tried to follow them. The were in the first true "boy lead" troop England had seen. Too bad they were swept aside by an unruly choir member


Huckleberry Finn would make a great Instructor for Pioneering Skills, but his tendency to smoke a pipe may make him less then a wonderful role model.


Natty Bumpo, Deerslayer, Hawkeye, etc from the leathestocking tales would be a great scoutmaster, he did seem to have leadership skills but sharing the load wasnt his forte, he liked doing it alone, or with just one helper, the last of the mohicans


Then again, Lem Siddons has to be the best from God and My Country

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Interesting posts. VentureScout, thanks for the info on Teddy R.


DSteele, I'm suprised you didn't suggest Dirk Pitt. Great outdoorsman. Seems to live the Scout Law. Unfortunately his job does require alot of travel and he might not be available for meetings and campouts.












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If you are going to start talking about fictional characters then my vote for the best wilderness survial instructor would have to be Sam Gribley from the book "My Side of the Mountain". Any person who could do what he did in the book with a pen knife, hatchet, ball of twine and 40 dollars knows his stuff.

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