My heart always swells with pride at the sight of a Scout unit leading the way or aboard a float for a Fourth of July parade. It’s our way of honoring those brave souls who led our nation to freedom as we declared our independence.
Being a good citizen and honoring our heritage are among the many values we teach through the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and I’m happy to see that many units are taking those values to heart with their plans for Independence Day this year. Some of their activities include:
- A pancake breakfast by Troop 752 in Westlake Village, Calif. prior to their community’s Fourth of July Parade
- Gathering scouts in the Los Padres Council to carry a huge American flag in the Santa Barbara Fourth of July parade
- An air show hosted by the Chippewa Valley Council in Eau Claire, Wis., featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron
- Cub Scouts and Tiger Cubs marching as a Kazoo Band in the Piedmont Council
- Island camping and a fireworks show in the San Diego-Imperial Council
Let’s also remember that safety rules the day when we celebrate our nation’s founding, including the use of fireworks. I urge all of you to refresh your safety planning from our Guide to Safe Scouting on the use of fireworks at Scouting events. Overall, remember that setting off fireworks is an unauthorized activity in the Boy Scouts of America, except when the display is conducted by licensed experts.
Gather your Scouts, as well as your families, for a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July for 2015. And in the midst of the hot dogs, funnel cakes and brilliant fireworks, let’s honor our founding fathers and give thanks for the freedom that we all hold dear.