This March 18, 2016, photo provided by John Churchill shows Boy Scouts of America museum artifacts from the 1930s, including a sash with rank and merit badge patches, canteen, first aid kit, pocket knife, and flashlight, as well as a copy of the Third Edition of the "Handbook for Boys," featuring cover artwork by Norman Rockwell. (John Churchill via AP/AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Boy Scouts museum moving to New Mexico
December 13, 2016
There are merit badges and uniforms. And there's an impressive collection of Norman Rockwell paintings and drawings. All will be what the Boy Scouts of America will be packing up. The organization plans to move more than a century of scouting history. The Scouts will take the artifacts to the wilds of northern New Mexico.
The organization will move its national museum. It will go from its current home in Texas to the Philmont Scout Ranch. The ranch in New Mexico has served as an adventure destination for generations of troops and their families.
Plans call for expanding the existing Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library. That will make room for a national collection. It includes more than 600,000 items. It also has reams of historical documents and photographs.
Construction is expected to start next year. The opening is planned for 2018.
Boy Scouts officials didn't say how much the project will cost. But they're committed to preserving the 100-year history of the scouting movement. They will do it through the museum's extensive collection. They say all the artifacts, fine art and documentation provides a look at Scouting's influence on American culture.
The Philmont Ranch hosts more than 32,000 visitors each year. Officials say more people will get to see the national collection.
The official museum of the Boy Scouts of America got its start in New Brunswick, New Jersey. That was in 1959. It was moved to the grounds of Murray State University in Kentucky in 1986. Then it was relocated in 2002 to Irving, Texas. The museum is adjacent to the organization's National Service Center.
The collection includes items from each of the national jamborees. In addition, it has rare merit badges, pocket knives and compasses. Historical records, speeches, photographs and dozens of examples of the artwork are included in the collection. These have helped to deliver the Scouting message.
What about Norman Rockwell? He was best known for his covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine. They captured the spirit and popular culture of everyday American life.
In 1912, he was hired for his first gig. He became a staff artist for Boy's Life magazine. It is an official publication of the Boy Scouts. He went on to become the magazine's art editor. Rockwell created 51 original images for the official Boy Scouts annual calendar.
In all, the decades-long partnership between Rockwell and the Scouts generated 471 images. They appeared in periodicals, guidebooks and promotions. The museum's collection includes 48 original Rockwell paintings.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How has Scouting influenced American culture?
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