Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 20 August 2010 00:00
The Boy Scouts of Westbury Troop 233, which includes several Scouts from Hicksville, commemorated the organization’s 100th birthday in grandeur fashion as they hosted their counterparts from Westbury, U.K., and together celebrated a century of scouting worldwide.
In addition to the three days of local activities for the Scouts, which were planned by the Westbury United Methodist Church, the U.S. Post Office issued a memorial stamp and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) designed a special patch for the occasion.
“Celebrating the adventure, continuing the journey” served as the Boy Scouts’ motto for the centennial event. According to the Boy Scouts, Lord Robert Baden-Powell started the organization in England in 1908. The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910 when Chicago publisher William Boyce learned of the Scouts on a business trip to London.
Author Alvin Townley stated in his book, Legacy of Honor, that the purpose of the BSA was “to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.” Townley also noted that since its inception in 1910, over 100 million Americans have been a part of the Boy Scouts of America.
On July 27, the 1st Westbury Scout Group arrived in New York from the United Kingdom. In the ensuing days, the Scouts from Westbury U.K., Westbury U.S. and Hicksville visited Eisenhower Park for a mounted police demo, saw the Westbury Fire Department, took a walking tour of Westbury, a tour of Theodore Roosevelt’s home at Sagamore Hill, barbecued at the Marcus Home in Hicksville, swapped patches, ate at a potluck dinner and visited Times Square in Manhattan.
“It’s really a special thing and a special event that the Boy Scouts in Westbury did here … it took a lot of time and effort to put together,” said Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro.
“The event was a wonderful experience, made extra special by sharing the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America with the Scouts from our sister town of Westbury, Wilkshire, U.K.,” Legislator Rose Marie Walker said.
The walking tour of Westbury included stops at the Westbury Post Office (unveiling of new stamp), Village Piazza, Village Hall, Children’s Library, Westbury Friends Meeting House and Westbury United Methodist Church. Theodore Roosevelt’s home at Sagamore Hill featured a beach walk, historical museum and a gift shop.
“The second day was a visit to Sagamore Hill, hosted by Teddy Roosevelt himself (James Foote) and five Rough Riders. Teddy showed us his home, his famous porch where he gave speeches and showed us around the museum by the orchard,” said Westbury Pack 233 Cubmaster Ray Muntz.
The special 100th birthday stamp was designed by illustrator Craig Frazier and went on sale July 27. The design featured two different Scouts in clothing and accessories synonymous with the outdoor experience – hats, packs, boots and binoculars. The final image depicts a large silhouette with a scout peering through binoculars and is complemented with another smaller scout perched on a mountain.
“I wanted a level of discovery to be portrayed in the stamp itself,” Frazier said.
Scouts from both troops discovered plenty about each group, and for many unfamiliar with the Scouts from the UK, their group does not separate boys and girls as they do here in the States.
“Even though they’re from over there, they’re not so different from our kids,” said Cavallaro. “I think they enjoyed their time and it was very nice to meet them and we now have a sister community in the UK.”
Cavallaro also said that both troops will “always remember the event,” and now it’s up to the Westbury, U.S. troop to “put [their] arm on them and go over to the U.K.”
At the Aug. 5 Village of Westbury monthly board meeting, Muntz noted – with Scouts’ honor – the invitation has already been extended.