United States Boy Scout Activities: Essays

Figure 1.--This newly minted Boy SDcout receives the Fredom Foundations's Nthan Hake Award for his wssay, 'Why I love Ajerica". The press caption read,"J. Paul Conover, scout executive of the Pinellas Area Council,m presents the Natan Hale Award tin the Freediom Foundation essay contest to David Macri." David was 11 years old abd had just moved up from Cub Scouting. His essay was entitled, "Why I kove America." The photograph is dated Aoril 10, 1965.

We note some essay competitions that Scout groups supported. Often the esay competitios were set up by various civic groups. They were not all just for Scouts. We note both competitions for Scouts and others which are not exclusively for Scouts, but in which many participate. These appear to have commonly been local competitions and varied over time. We think that essay competitions were an activity from the earliest days of Scouting. And the tradition has continued. A good example of these contests is the Natan Hale Essay Contest sponsored by the Freedom Foundation. Here we see a Scout receiving his Nathan Hake Awaard in 1965 (figure 1). The Veterahbs of Foreign Wars (VFW) sponsors the Voice of Democracy Essay Contest. It is open to all high dchool students, but quite a number of the participants are Scouts. The American Legion also sponsors an essay contest. Osprey Packs, a company manufacturing camping equipment runs an essay competitiion in hich many Scouts participate. Scouting News in recent years has been primoting an essay contest being conducted at ascoutis.org. It is an essay contest that hopes "to encourage scouts to look at their own lives and those of their fellow scouts. The essays focus on the living of the Scout Law and living Lives of Service. The essay contest was started as a way to remember Nigel Clarke, who died last Halloween at the age of 15. Nigel was a star scout who lived the Scout Law in his daily life. As part of his memorial service, his father answered the question for his son, 'How have you lived the Scout Law since you last Scoutmaster Conference?'


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Created: 8:12 AM 8/12/04
Last updated: 8:12 AM 8/12/04