Boy Scouts to celebrate 100th anniversary this month

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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is going to celebrate its centennial Monday.

What does this mean to Arnold Engineering Development Center?

Many employees have been or are currently involved with more than the six troops represented in the local area.

Doug Ratliff, Aerospace Testing Alliance project manager for Flight Systems, got involved with scouts when his older son crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in 2004. Ratliff wanted his sons to be in Boy Scouts to develop leadership skills and to learn how to work with others.

"By volunteering I am being a producer and not just a consumer, Ratliff said. "Scouting teaches life skills and the scouts can always use the Scout Oath and the Scout Law to guide their every decision in life. I did not have the opportunity to participate in Scouting as a youth but I am enjoying my involvement as an adult."

Turbine engine test cells system architect Darrol Payne, who was a scout from age eight to 18, is now the Scoutmaster for Troop 332 in Hillsboro. His son Derek also grew up in scouts and earned his Eagle Scout badge in 2008.

"I joined scouting with several of my friends so I had a club to attend and do outdoor activities as well as the side benefits of learning about good citizenship and leadership skills," Payne said. "It is hard to quantify all of the skills that one learns in scouting - everything from knot tying, map and compass, cooking, backpacking and camping to first aid, wilderness survival and emergency preparedness. Along with these skills, scouts learn what it takes to be good citizens and leaders and learn about duty to God, country, other people and self. I have learned a lot from scouting and continue to learn more as time goes on."

Geographical Information System (GIS) administrator Stephen Farrington got involved with boy scouting six years ago when his son joined.

"It did not take long to see the impact that scouting has on the boys and the adults," Farrington said. "The fellowship that is shared with other adults and youth while teaching and trying to live the scout Oath and Law is rejuvenating. Just the other night we asked one of the boys if there was anything he didn't like about scouts and his comment was 'There is nothing not to like about scouts.'"

BSA is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States with more than four million members in age-related divisions. Since its inception in 1910, more than 110 million Americans have been members in BSA. The goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations.

For more information about the centennial celebration log onto years/100YearsStamp.aspx.