ScoutingFebruary 8, 2022
Scout Programs Educate and Inspire Future Generations
National Boy Scout Day, February 8, 2022, marks the 112th Birthday of Boy Scouts of America.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum stewards America’s first aviation battlefield to honor those who have defended our freedom, so we can educate and inspire future generations. Part of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s education offerings include world-class Scout Merit Badges classes, including Aviation and Weather merit badge opportunities for BSA Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts.
Today’s blog features Eagle Scouts, aviators, and Museum friends Ken Dewey and Bruce Mayes to talk story about their scouting experience and inspiring careers as military and commercial aviators on the birthday of Boy Scouts of America.
Setting a Foundation
Scouting is founded on the oath and values of a Scout, “To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight” while remaining trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
In addition to creating structure and foundation, scouting works to provide skills for all areas of life.
Mayes and Dewey admire the foundation created by the Scouts as well as the constant willingness to work together. They were taught “if we all work together then we will get further than if we each try it individually.” Working together brings a unity among Scouts, eliminating divisions or barriers.
Scouts and Aviation
Both Mayes and Dewey were military and commercial aviators throughout their careers. Mayes, an Army and Coast Guard aviator, and Dewey, a Marine Corp pilot who flew F-4s for most of his career. Although neither attributes their final decision to become an aviator to Scouting, they explain that scouting gave them a strong foundation and skillset, leading to successful aviation careers.
Mayes explained, “To be in aviation you must be cut from a certain cloth and have those characteristics, which were given to me by the Boy Scouts.” He compared his time in the Coast Guard to being in the Scouts, stating that the structures were very similar. Mayes holds multiple aviation records, and feels he holds his aviation records because he was given opportunities in Scouts to open new doors to explore something different.
Dewey is a Vietnam War veteran, and remembers Scout laws running through his mind while holed up in attacks during the war with explosions happening all around him. The 12 Scout laws are “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” Dewey, and all Scouts, would be reminded of these values day after day. Many years later, ingrained in his memory, these laws came to his mind in a time when he needed them most.
Scouting stays with you. As a Scout and as a Marine aviator, Dewey was told to look out for the people to your right and the people to your left, knowing they will be there when you need them, faithful and true.
Unending Horizon of Opportunities
With 135 merit badges offered, Scouting provides amazing opportunities, offering exposure to new and unique subjects and activities. Due to advances in technology and constant growth, there are always new merit badges and opportunities. Merit badges can provide Scouts new experiences as they participate, opening up doors they may not otherwise encounter.
Mayes explained that along with giving exposure, Scouting provided, “so many people willing to help you discover and find your own ground,” providing the resources and the foundation to follow your own passions.
Because of diverse and endless opportunities, there is no intention to direct members to pursue one direction. Dewey describes the opportunities in Scouting as, “like a pie crust – intended to hold everything, “teaching you how to be successful no matter what you do.”
Scouting provides the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, work with your hands, and offers skills that cannot be learned in school.
Do a Good Turn Daily
Service is at the foundation of the Scouts. The Boy Scout slogan – “do a good turn daily” – is instilled at a young age. Dewey explained, “On first- and second-class badges there is a twisted wire in the form of an overhand knot serving as a reminder to do a good turn daily. To go be nice to someone and do something for them every day – don’t make them come and ask you to do something, if you see someone that needs help you go lend a hand.”
The slogan and practice of “doing a good turn daily” is a foundation that can lead you to a life of helping people and making a difference, one day at a time.
After Mayes got out of military service he worked as a fire safety helicopter pilot. Rather than simply “buzzing around in a helicopter” he felt he was “buzzing around in a helicopter to help people.” Mayes realized that the Boy Scouts instilled that passion into him; they “fostered and planted seeds, giving me the tools to realize helping people was a worthy way to spend your time.”
Rich History in Scouting - Notable Scouts
Scouting in America and in aviation have an extremely rich history. There are hundreds of famous aviators, businessman, athletes, authors, entertainers, politicians, and more who were Scouts.
Eagle Scouts who were also famous aviators and astronauts include the inspiring Charles McGee and Neil Armstrong. They used the foundation of the Scouting program to lead incredible and inspiring lives.
Mayes looks back on Boy Scout history and those Scouts who came before him with admiration, as they embodied the Scout ways of doing the right thing and helping other people even after they left the scouts.
Advice for Scouts Dreaming of a Future in Aviation
“You never know what you can do until you try and you never know if you can do it unless you give someone an opportunity to say no, so don’t be afraid to explore.” – Bruce Mayes, Eagle Scout & Army and Coast Guard Aviator
“Don’t be afraid to explore, keep learning, and don’t be afraid to go out and look. If you have a question, go ask. The only bad question is the one that wasn’t asked” – Ken Dewey, Eagle Scout & Marine Aviator
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Scout Programs
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum offers numerous scouting programs including merit badges, Pearl Harbor to Peace, and education events to explore aviation, technology, space exploration, and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Our world-class Museum educators – with help from volunteers, Eagle Scouts, and aviators Bruce Mayes and Ken Dewey – lead exploration in Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s Scout Programs, educating and inspiring the future generations on aviation, history, STEM, and so much more.
Learn more about our amazing programs and get in contact with our Education team.