Among the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard were skilled at living outdoors. Both had written books about camping and nature study, and both had developed their own outdoor programs for young people. Seton became the first Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of America. Beard served as the National Commissioner.
James E. West, a young Washington lawyer, became the first Chief Scout Executive of the young organization. His own childhood
had been difficult. His father had died before he was born. His mother passed away when he was 7 years old, and West was raised in an orphanage.
He suffered from an illness that made it difficult for him to walk. Despite these hardships, he put all his ambition, ability, and energy into
becoming a lawyer. He succeeded and then dedicated himself to helping all children -- healthy, sick, and disabled -- to have a better life. James
West gave the Boy Scouts of America 32 years of strong, wise leadership. His efforts helped build Scouting into the largest organization for boys
in the country.
Daniel Carter Beard
Several of the graphics on this page are by Norman Rockwell. At age 19, Norman Rockwell became the first art editor of Boy's Life Magazine. Much of his work was for the Boy Scouts of America's calendar series. He also illustrated many Scout handbooks.