In the summer of 2018, the BSA celebrated the opening of the National Scouting Museum just across the road from Philmont’s headquarters.
The museum has moved several times over the course of its life, most recently from Irving, Texas. Unfortunately, due to the Ute Park Fire, the museum hasn’t been able to welcome a full season of crews until 2019.
Now that the museum is open, however, people from all over the country are swinging by to learn the history of the American Scouting movement. A team of professional and volunteer docents is available to help participants and the general public understand what Scouting is about.
One of the museums’ volunteers is Marty Latimer, a retired professional Scouter from Utah. Latimer is working a four-week stint at the library educating Scouts about the various pieces of history showcased in the museum.
“The museum is really geared to show people the heritage of scouting,” he said. “It does not have, for example, every merit badge ever sewn together, but more the spirit of scouting.”
The spirit of Scouting can be found as soon as you enter the museum’s first room. It features exhibits on the Order of the Arrow, New Mexico history and original artwork from Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the BSA’s founders. There’s a glass case that displays the first Eagle Scout award earned in 1912 and reproductions of early Scouting uniforms.
The goal is that by the end of the tour Scouts will leave with a newfound appreciation for their heritage.
“Hopefully, you’ll leave with the spirit of scouting because you sense the value and contribution that scouting’s making to society,” Latimer said.
The museum is free and open to the public every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.