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|Scouting prepares for 98th anniversary|
The Louisiana Purchase Council of the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate nine decades of Scouting next week and honor local Scouts.
The organization's volunteers will be honored, too.
Last year marked the beginning of a countdown to the Boy Scouts' centennial anniversary, when the organization will have a year's worth of activities in 2010.
Even as the Boy Scouts mark their 98th anniversary this year, thoughts of 2010 are on the minds of many Scouts and Scout leaders.
Eddie Enlow, field director for the Louisiana Purchase Council, said the national council began preparing last year for the centennial of Scouting.
The national jamboree, which typically occurs every four years, will take place in 2010.
"We're focusing on the centennial in a number of ways," Enlow said. "We're getting very excited, and there's a lot of planning going on."
"We want the entire year of 2010 to be a celebration, so we'll be planning for that over the next year and a half," Enlow continued. "We'll have some very special activities in northeast Louisiana, too."
"I think every council will have some special activities that year," he added.
The national council began giving out an award last year called the Centennial Quality Award to begin the countdown to the centennial celebrations. This award is presented at the council level to individual packs and troops for meeting certain criteria. Those who receive this award are the councils and units that excel at retaining and advancing boys in the Scouting program.
The theme for the next several years will be 'When Tradition meets Tomorrow.'
"We're looking back at the values we started with in 1910, but we're also looking to the future and the way we've evolved as an organization, and the way we can reach out and touch even more lives and families and bring them in line with the values and the standards of the Boy Scouts of America," Enlow said.
To celebrate nine decades of Scouting, the Council will recognize the 98th anniversary from Feb. 3-9. On Scout Sunday, Feb. 3, and Scout Sabbath, Feb. 9, Scouts in northeast Louisiana and central Louisiana will attend local church services in uniform to honor the anniversary.
Scouting anniversary week is typically the first full week of February. Scouting in America was founded on Feb. 8, 1910.
"So the Sunday around that timeframe is usually designated as Scout Sunday, and the following Saturday is Scout Sabbath," Enlow said. "So, Scouts of whatever faith can participate in services with their church or synagogue."
Also, there is typically a ceremony at the churches so the Scouts can be recognized by the congregation.
"It's a good opportunity on Scout Sunday to be able to showcase some of the things that Scouting is doing in the community as well as let the congregation know who the boys are and some of their accomplishments over the last year," Enlow said.
The anniversary week is also a time for each pack and troop to focus on what Scouting means to America as well as their community, Enlow said.
In the Louisiana Purchase Council, there are 300 different Boy Scout and Cub Scout units, serving 10,000 boys in 20 parishes. Some of these groups may host their own activities during the week to celebrate Scouting's 98th anniversary.