The First Scout Camp, Silver Bay, 1910

The formation of the Boy Scouts of America was inspired by Lord Baden-Powell’s Boy Scout movement in Great Britain. In the U.S., the YMCA had been running camps for boys since 1884, and in 1908, some Y camps began using elements of the “Scoutcraft” skills being taught in Britain.

When the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in February of 1910, the YMCA and other prominent youth groups – including Ernest Thompson Seton’s Tribe of Woodcraft Indians and Dan Beard’s Sons of Daniel Boone – quickly became involved, pooling their resources and energies. The first Scouting handbook was published in 1910 and…

… the first official Boy Scouts of America camp was held in August of that year at Silver Bay. A highlight of the Silver Bay camp was Ernest Thompson Seton demonstrating camp-craft to the assembled YMCA boys and leaders. YMCA official Edgar M. Robinson later wrote that by the time the camp ended, “Troops of Scouts were springing up like mushrooms in every section of the country.”


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