Let's Celebrate!

By Scott Daniels
Photographs by Amy Mikler

Anthony Thomas is the BSA's 2 millionth Eagle Scout. He's a member of Troop 471, chartered to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Minnesota's Northern Star Council.

Past, present, and future all play a part in the BSA's national annual meeting.

Milestones mark occurrences of significant achievements and historic events. Those attending the BSA’s 2009 national annual meeting in Orlando got both—one realized and the other eagerly anticipated.

First, the organization recognized its 2 millionth Eagle Scout: Anthony Thomas of Troop 471 in Lakeville, Minn. Anthony achieved Scouting celebrity when he received his Eagle Scout rank. The 16-year-old set the 2 million mark in March and joined a long list of outstanding young men who have earned Scouting’s highest rank.

Second, the BSA announced exciting details for its centennial celebration in 2010. The anniversary hoopla kicks off on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif. During the nationally televised Tournament of Roses Parade, a Scouting-themed float will showcase youth and leaders. And though Feb. 8 marks the BSA’s real birthday, that’s too early in the year to stop partying.

Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, national commissioner Tico Perez, and BSA president John Gottschalk discuss the organization's next move as it approaches its centennial year.

So organizers have drawn up a long list of plans for a yearlong observance that includes a massive outdoor road show called Adventure Base 100. The BSA has outfitted a huge 18-wheeler to haul this 10,000-square-foot campus of interactive exhibits to 41 cities across the nation, meaning the stops will be within driving distance of about 160 local council offices.

But the organization is saving its real fireworks for the national Scout jamboree next summer. The event promises to be the “best, most exciting, fun-filled, and safest” jamboree ever. Plans call for a broadcast of the closing arena show so that no one misses out on this once-in-a-lifetime event.

At the close of the two-day meeting in Orlando, attendees went away pumped. They returned to their local Scout councils committed to the BSA’s centennial theme, “Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey.”

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September - October 2009 Table of Contents