When kids of my generation were growing up the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were an important part of many of our lives. Scouting promoted responsible citizenship, character development, and other good values, and provided opportunities to learn outdoor skills. Many boys and girls who were Scouts grew up to make valuable contributions to their communities and the country.
In the small town of Larned, Kansas, we visited the Central States Scout Museum, which has an amazing collection of Boy Scout memorabilia dating back over 100 years. The museum’s displays include everything from old merit badges, patches, and uniform accessories, to books, commemorative plates, musical instruments, and more, all with an association to the Boy Scouts.
The museum has a broad range of uniforms dating back to the 1920s, including Sea Scout and Air Scout uniforms.
The merit badge collection includes sashes and badges from the Scout, Explorer, and Air Explorer programs, along with medals and patches dating back over 100 years. Also included are pre-revolution Russian Scout badges, Norman Rockwell Spirit of Scouting coins, and many Rockwell plates, cups, and figurines.
While it would be easy to rush through the museum, instead take the time to explore and you will find many rare and unusual items including letters, photos, and original drawings from such Scouting notables as Baden Powell, E.T. Seton, Kames West, and Dan Beard.
Whether you were a Cub Scout, a Tenderfoot, or rose to the rank of Eagle, you’ll discover things that will bring a nostalgic smile to your face. It might be a copy of the Boy Scout Manual you studied, or a mess kit complete with a camp knife that included a fork and spoon, or a Scout camera. I saw a number of things I remembered from the old days. Girl Scouts are also represented with a display of uniforms and equipment.
Though the program has seen a lot of negative publicity in recent years, I believe that in our modern world, where kids seem to be born with a joystick in one hand and a computer mouse in the other, the values so many of us learned as Scouts are still needed. A lot of kids from our younger generation are missing out on the Scouting experience.
The Central States Scout Museum is located at 215 W. 14th Street in Larned, and is open daily from 1-4 pm and by appointment. Admission is $5 for adults, and kids age 15 and under are free. For more information about the museum, call (620) 804-0509.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an Amazon Kindle e-book reader. All you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – We use tables to keep food off the floor, tablecloths to keep food off the table, placemats to keep food off the tablecloth, and plates to keep food off the placemats. Where will it ever end?