By Robert F. Sanchez, Policy Director
This week (Feb. 8) celebrates the 100th anniversary of the formal U.S. incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America. Reading about the anniversary observances brings back fond memories.My younger brother, David, and I were both active Scouts in a troop sponsored by Sarasota’s First Presbyterian Church, where my dad was a deacon and very actively involved in the troop’s activities.I regret to say that I never achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, but many of the skills that I learned in Scouting were very helpful a few years later during my military service. Knowing how to pitch a tent, light a campfire, and tie a square knot came in handy. The most valuable lesson of all: When you’re using a knife to cut anything, whether a tender tomato or a rock-hard hunk of cheese, be sure that the sharp edge of the knife is moving away from you.As for life in general, the values taught in Scouting – love of God and country, service to others — turned out to be even more important than the skills. Indeed, Scouting is one of the many activities ranging from team sports to music and art that can help boys and girls become responsible adults. Moreover, Scouting is particularly important for boys nowadays. We’re at a time in our nation’s life when many boys and young men come from broken homes and have no constructive male role models in their lives, so getting more of them involved in Scouting could be a blessing for them and our society – all without the need for governmental involvement or money.     For more information about Scouting, go to