100 Years of Scouting
When the time came to create an iconic logo to mark the BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration, there was only one answer to who would be the best choice to create it—the Scouts themselves. More than 4,000 Scouts from all 50 states and several foreign countries participated in a contest to craft this enduring symbol of the centennial. Each Scout submitted an essay with his or her design, outlining how it reflected the spirit of Scouting and the 100th Anniversary theme: “Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey.”
Among the thousands of outstanding submissions, Philip Goolkasian’s design emerged as the one that best captured both the history and the future of the Boy Scouts of America. In early 2008, the 17-year-old Eagle Scout from Sequoia Council, Fresno, California, worked with renowned graphic designer Kit Hinrichs—an Eagle Scout himself—to perfect the final design.
For nearly 100 years, the BSA has created a strong foundation of leadership, service, and community for millions of America’s young people. But the centennial must do more than show off the BSA’s glorious past. This is a once-in-a-century opportunity to show America that Scouting is committed to inspire and prepare future generations.
“Our goal is not simply to recognize 100 years of service,” said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “Our expectation is that this anniversary will lay the foundation for making the BSA better and stronger for its next 100 years.”
And so the BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration was born, a program designed to inspire a nation—and to draw more people into the Scouting family by telling a story to show how Scouting improves lives and strengthens communities.
The BSA’s 100th Anniversary is a purpose-driven celebration. Every element is geared toward delivering meaningful results for the BSA’s constituents—growing membership, increasing manpower, and maintaining financial strength while also engaging local councils and enhancing public awareness and perceptions of Scouting.
When AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was asked to chair the National 100th Anniversary Committee, he enthusiastically accepted—and committed himself to making the celebration a landmark success.
“Our goal is not simply to recognize 100 years of service,” Stephenson said. “Our expectation is that this anniversary will lay the foundation for making the BSA better and stronger for its next 100 years.”
To demonstrate his commitment, AT&T signed on as the first official celebration sponsor. The company’s $3 million donation will help underwrite several of the celebration’s marquee programs. Stephenson is urging other corporate leaders to follow in AT&T’s footsteps and become financial partners.
Stephenson was appointed AT&T’s CEO in June 2007. He had previously served as the company’s chief operating officer. He has served on the BSA’s National Executive Board since May 2005. Stephenson believes strongly in education and mentoring programs that, like Scouting, prepare young people for leadership positions on the job and in their communities.
In 2008, the National Council worked in partnership with its 302 local councils to plan, build, and rally around a vision of a meaningful celebration. Early in the year, Scouting professionals and volunteers from all over America came together to brainstorm ways to improve national programs. The creativity—and constructive criticism—shared by those volunteers and professionals significantly strengthened the final national plan.
Eight national engagement programs were approved for the 100th Anniversary Celebration: BSA Alumni Connection; BSA 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership; Generations Connection; A Year of Celebration, A Century of Making a Difference; Adventure Base 100; A Pitch for Scouting; A Shining Light Across America; and Get in the Game! geocaching events.
Of course, a project of this magnitude requires additional infrastructure support, so employees and volunteers at all levels were given access to YourSource, a new online hub for anniversary planning. With easy access to news, discussion forums, and toolkit materials, local councils could plan, implement, and immediately gain value from the 100th Anniversary Celebration.
The BSA also introduced, as an extension of the anniversary project, a proactive media campaign emphasizing Scouting’s core values—values that resonate with today’s young people and their parents. The Scouting story has been told in such national publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and Time Magazine, as well as in major daily newspapers in the country’s top media markets.
With hard work and dedication from Scouting volunteers and professionals at every level, the BSA’s 100th Anniversary Celebration will show America that Scouting is as vital and relevant today as it was when the journey began.