Three Boy Scouts in Africa: Eagle Scout Dave Martin Recounts 1928 Safari

Three Boy Scouts enter a magazine contest for a trip to Africa, win, and are swept away on safari for a summer with famed adventurers and huge game! That’s not the plot of a coming-of-age adventure movie. It’s the real-life account of contest winner Dave Martin.


If the story doesn’t already sound far-fetched, add President Theodore Roosevelt’s son Teddy Roosevelt Jr. to the contest selection committee – plus a side trip where the Scouts met Eleanor Roosevelt at the Roosevelt family home – and you’re one step closer to understanding just how epic this adventure was.

Dave explains, “Boys’ Life Magazine, the National Magazine of the Boy Scouts had an article in which they announced that they were going to sponsor a trip to British East Africa for some Eagle Scouts to spend the summer on safari with Martin and Osa Johnson who were big game photographers out on the eastern side of Africa.”

Along with two other Scouts, David was selected for the trip. Then, the real adventure began. Check out the National Scouting Museum’s interview with David Martin below to see hear more about the safari, the big game spotted, and the follow-up book the Scouts wrote.


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This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.