I’m just about done reading an excellent book called 4 Percent: The Story of Uncommon Youth in a Century of American Life. It is an incredible journey all the way back to the beginning of the scouting movement through modern times, detailing out the changes, trials, tribulations and victories of BSA, individual hero scouts and leaders within the organization. One of the interesting take aways that I have from the historical narrative is that, many of the issues and concerns of today have come up many times and been dealt with in many ways in the past.
Malone, the author, does an incredible job of recreating the historical excitement of some of the legendary feats that some of the Eagle alumni have accomplished. Most notably the stories of Neil Armstrong, which most of us are familiar with, but also an incredible account of Paul Siple, an incredible young Eagle, who won a spot on board Admiral Byrd’s first Antartic Expedition as a publicity stunt, but went on to perform incredible feats of daring and true heroism, demonstrated resourcefulness (tied a bowline to save a man’s life!), and ingenuity to become not only a leader within Byrd’s organization, but having gone on to incredible heights within the scientific community, the US military and the world.
If you have an interest in the history of scouting, this is an incredible read, I highly recommend it.