June 21, 1850 -
June 11, 1941
Daniel Carter Beard was a Founding Father of the Boy Scouts of America and remains a highly influential and inspirational presence in modern Scouting. His focus on the outdoor life can be felt in every Scout troop across the United States and beyond.
Dan Beard planned many of his programs and ground breaking initiatives in his Kiva style cabin that served as his headquarters in rural Pike County in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This historic cabin holds an honored place in Boy Scout history!
This beautiful cabin has survived ninety years through various owners, and remains in excellent condition! If these walls could talk – oh, the stories they could tell! One can only imagine the conversations that took place within its pure American chestnut walls as Dan and his staff laid out a vision, that in tandem with other early leaders of Scouting, has become the bedrock of the modern Boy Scouts of America!
Dan Beard was arguably the most quintessential Scouter of all time. His Outdoor School for Boys and subsequent programs (which he later folded into the Boy Scouts of America) was so special, he had to turn away campers who were clamoring to attend.
Dan Beard was born in Cincinnatti and grew up nearby Covington, KY, where his boyhood home is now a National Historic Landmark in the Riverside Drive Historic District. He was a civil engineer, surveyor, prolific author and illustrator, inventor, and a founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, which was founded in 1910.
Beard formed the “Sons of Daniel Boone” in 1905, later changing the name to “Boy Pioneers of America.” He met and became friends with Ernest Thompson Seton in 1883, who had formed the “Woodcraft Indians” in 1902. Seton’s program was based on American Indian traditions and lore, and Beard’s on pioneer life and nature. After meeting with Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, both merged their organizations into the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. The work of both men is in large part the basis of the traditional Scouting movement.
Dan Beard was the BSA’s first National Commissioner and Chairman of the Court of Honor; and was the author of 21 books on outdoor living and survival skills. His calling in life was to be a social reformer and help all boys be the “best person that they could be!” Dan Beard founded Boy Scout Troop 1 in Flushing, NY, which is believed to be one of the oldest continuously chartered Boy Scout Troops in the United States. Dan died in 1941, shortly before his 91st birthday at his home in Brooklands in Suffern, NY. He is buried near his home at the Brick Church Cemetery in Spring Valley, NY. An estimated 2,000 people lined the funeral route to the cemetery where 127 Boy Scouts formed an honor guard and assisted with traffic control.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, Boy Scouts of America has begun the process of relocating and restoring an important piece of Scouting’s history.