Welcome to the BSA and Troop 4 History page. On this page we hope to tell you about scouting in the early years and how it has become so large. This information has been taken from Boys’ Life magazine.
Scouting began in 1907 when Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a retired Lieutenant-General of the British Army, took 20 boys on a camping trip to Brownsea Island. A year later Baden-Powell published the first Boy Scout handbook, “Scouting for Boys.”
In 1909, Mr. William D. Boyce, an American publisher visiting London, England, was helplessly lost in a heavy fog that covered the city. A young boy dressed in uniform approached him and asked if he might be of help. Mr. Boyce told the boy where he wanted to go and the lad took him straight to his destination. The boy refused Mr. Boyce’s tip saying, “Scouts do not accept tips doing good turns. Haven’t you heard of Baden-Powell’s scouts?” Mr. Boyce was much impressed and questioned the boy about the movement. The lad told him all he knew and took him to Baden-Powell’s offices. Then the boy disappeared. Returning to America, Mr. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America under the Laws of The District of Columbia on February 8, 1910.
On June 21st, 34 men started organization plans, with President Taft as Honorary President.
1911 – On Jan 2, National Council offices were opened in New York. James E. West became the first Chief Scout Executive. The Scout Oath, Law and badges were adopted. The National Court of Honor gave out the first Heroism awards. Membership: 61,495 Scouts and Scouters.
1912 – Scouts from every state are now enrolled; the first National Good Turn was started (“A Safe and Save Fourth of July”), Sea Scouting was established and Boy’s Life became the official BSA magazine.
1913 – Dr. Clarence Spaulding, a student at Oxford University became acquainted with Lord Baden-Powell and worked with him in the Scouting movement between 1908 and 1911. Dr. Spaulding returned to the United States determined to start a Boy Scout troop. He became the minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1912 and founded Troop 4 in June, 1913.
Over more than 95 years, Troop 4 has been the longest continuously charted troop in the San Gabriel Valley. There have been over 41 Scoutmasters, 202 Eagle Scouts, and over 2,400 Scouts in the troop. Troop 4 serves local youth with a program that emphasizes personal development, outdoor adventure, and service to others.