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Baloo's Bugle

September 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 2
October 2006 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Shipbuilders
Webelos: Citizen & Showman
Tiger Cub


Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month.  You can reach him at bobwhitejonz@juno.com or through the link to write Baloo on www.usscouts.org.   CD

Sea of Goodwill Prayer
Cub Scout Roundtable Planning Guide

Let us set sail into the sea of goodwill to all.  Amen

The Poster Boys of World War II
Scouter Jim

No one quite knows when boats became ships, but the greatest period of ship building in the history of our nation was after Pear Harbor on December 7, 1941, 65 years ago.  In the decade before 1940, American shipyards launched only 23 ships.  In the years from 1940 through 1945, American shipyards produced over 5100 ships.  This was in addition the vast quantities of planes, tanks, trucks, and jeeps needed to fight a war on two fronts. During World War II, almost all able-bodied younger men were sent to war, leaving older men and women to fill the gap in the job force. 

During World War II, President Roosevelt formed the Office of War Information, (OWI). The OWI was charged with distributing thousands of posters all across the nation every two weeks.  With almost all of the adult work force engaged in other activities, they had to turn to an untapped resource.  Quoting from an article by Robert Ellis and published in the summer of 2005 by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:

In 1942, at the start of the OWI's ambitious poster distribution program, Edward Dodd, chief of the Division of Production and Distribution at OWI, asked the scouts to help: "Officials in Washington do not know of any other way by which they can meet this emergency except through the help of the Boy Scouts of America."

As soon as war was declared, the leaders of the Boy Scouts realized that they could be of service. Walter W. Head, president of the Boy Scouts of America, and James E. West, Chief Scout Executive, telegraphed President Roosevelt on December 8, 1941, the day Congress declared war, offering "the full and whole-hearted co-operation of our organization."

The scouts were a popular choice for jobs that needed to be done. In 1941 some scouts already operated a messenger service for the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD), collected aluminum and books, planted trees, and, possibly, did every job some local official could imagine. Boy Scouts were a natural choice for work at the grassroots level in the United States. In 1942, there were 1,600,000 members, and almost every village, town, and city had a scout troop. They also had complete knowledge of their neighborhoods. In addition, being clean-cut children and young adults, they could approach individual homes and businesses and be readily welcomed. The OWI's Dodd thought it would "be a great mistake not to take advantage of the eagerness of this organization to serve in this capacity."

By Scouts put up scraps poster

Cub Scouting in 1941 was 16 years-old.  Many of those 1,600,000 boys may have at one time been Cub Scouts.  From 1942 through the end of the war, many more Cub Scouts would have joined the ranks of the “Poster Boys of World War II.”

Today there is no longer a need for the “Poster Boys,” but there are still needs.  There are many wars raging throughout the world and there is a way to help.

At the end of World War II, the Boy Scouts of America developed the World Friendship Fund (WFF).  Quoting from the Boy Scouts of American Fact Sheet entitled “Scouting Around the World:”

A sampling of World Friendship Fund supported projects in recent years includes the building of a youth dormitory and activity center at the Eurasia Region headquarters, development of a new Scout camp in Guatemala, a leadership training program in Liberia, a "young electors" program in Poland, establishing a National Youth Center in Azerbaijan, constructing a Scout Service Center in Georgia, leader training materials for Moldova, training programs for Tanzania, a new Scout Service Center in Bolivia, reforestation program in Lesotho, support of leader development in Peru, and improvement of facilities at the Kandersteg International Scout Center.

As Cub Scouts Packs, we can collect donations for the WFF and help other Scouts around the world.  Let us teach our boys responsibly and the true meaning of the “Golden Rule.”  Let the Scouts of today follow in the footsteps of the “Poster Boys of World War II.”


Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a great source of inspiration for Cubmaster’s minutes, material for an advancement ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover.

The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them. Amelia Barr

We will build new ships to carry man forward into the universe, to gain a new foothold on the moon and to prepare for new journeys to the worlds beyond our own. George W. Bush

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” William Shedd

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“It's not the towering sail, but the unseen wind that moves the ship” Proverbs

 “I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” John Masefield

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