Boys’ Life turned 100 in 2011, reaching a milestone few magazines ever see. Each month, the award-winning magazine reaches nearly 4 million readers with an entertaining and educational mix of Scouting news, entertainment, nature, sports, history, fiction, science, corny jokes, and features that complements pack and troop programming.
Contributors over the years have included Jack London, Ray Bradbury, Norman Rockwell, Ansel Adams and—of course—Pedro the mail burro. It’s no wonder that Boys’ Life readers stay in Scouting longer, participate in more activities, and advance farther than other Scouts.
Drivers Alex Lloyd and Sébastien Bourdais shared the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar with each other—and with thousands of Boy Scouts. At races around the country, Scouts got to slide behind the wheel and imagine chasing the checkered flag.
In Las Vegas, 36 Scouts experienced a different sort of thrill. Prior to the IZOD IndyCar World Championships, they were matched with IndyCar drivers who cheered them on as they raced IndyCar-shaped pinewood derby cars. While the BSA car didn’t win that race, the Scouts themselves certainly did.
The Spirit of Service
Jack Pape was surprised to be nominated this year for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s American Spirit Award. A self-professed “normal teenager,” the Omaha, Nebraska, Scout provided first aid to fellow Scouts injured in a tornado at Little Sioux Scout Ranch in 2008. A year later, he performed CPR on a boy who nearly drowned in a hotel swimming pool.
“I was scared when I was faced with these situations, but I didn’t think about it,” he said. “I just did what needed to be done.”
Scared or not, Jack won the award and exemplified the Scout motto—Be Prepared—in the process.
Going the Extra Miles
How far will a Scout leader go to inspire his Scouts? At least 140.6 miles. That’s how far Mark Williams swam, biked, and ran to finish his first Ironman triathlon in November. An assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 16 in Parker, Colorado, Williams competed to demonstrate what it means to go the distance.
“Really wanting to inspire these boys, I trained and trained and trained,” he said.
Williams carried his Life Scout badge—the highest rank he earned—throughout the race. It reminded him of a goal he’d once missed—and of all he’d gained through Scouting.