The council named after Daniel Carter Beard is about to honor the man who was instrumental to the foundations of Scouting. On Oct. 24, the Dan Beard Council will unveil a life-size bronze statue of the Scouting icon.
The statue is a gift from Scouting benefactor and patron of the arts Bob Griffin. Griffin was never a Scout himself, but he eventually joined on as a Scoutmaster and served on the Dan Beard Council’s board. The gift of the anticipated statue that’s well underway may be his most long-lasting mark on the council.
The Man Behind the Bronze
Daniel Carter Beard, nicknamed Uncle Dan, was born in Cincinnati. In 1905, he founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, a Scouting group centered on American frontier life. When the Boy Scouts of America was established in 1910, Beard merged the organizations. He served as one of the first National Scout Commissioners and editor of Boys’ Life magazine.
An avid writer and sketch artist, Beard penned The American Boy’s Handy Book, credited as a precursor to The Scout Handbook.
His legacy as a founder of the BSA has left a permanent impression on Scouters around the world. In fact, this isn’t the first time a statue has been erected in his honor. A life-size bronze of Beard stands in Covington, KY.
The Cincinnati statue, however, has both a unique past behind it and symbolic site awaiting it.
Bringing Beard to Life
The bronze cast will be placed outside the Dan Beard Achievement Center in a garden of native plants Beard identified in his early writings. The picturesque scene will also include a water stream, representing the Ohio River. It’s a sight Scouters in the Cincinnati area are eagerly awaiting with next month’s big unveil.
The mold has gone through a series of transformations in a process known as “lost-wax” casting. It’s a century-old process, updated with today’s technology.
“It’s the very same way Frederic Remington cast his statues. It’s the same way the Civil War monuments across the country were cast,” Dan Beard Council Scout Executive Thomas Dugger explained.
Beginning as a clay table model, a full-size clay model was formed by Cincinnati sculptor John Hebenstreit. Then, the model went to a bronze foundry where artist John Cline made foam molds of the dismembered clay model. Next, he created wax molds from the foam molds. These were dipped into ceramic paste and fired in a kiln, melting the wax away and giving the lost-wax process its name.
If you’d like more information on the heroic statue of Uncle Dan, poised to form the organization we know today, visit http://www.danbeard.org/uncledanunveiling. And stay tuned to Scouting Wire for news from the sculpture’s unveiling!