The BSA was founded by Robert Baden Powell, and Congress chartered the organization in 1916. This youth group has touched the lives of millions of children has shaped many of the world leaders. Chiropractic College presidents Sid Williams,DC, and Reed Phillips,DC,PhD, were Boy Scouts. Today the scouts are one million strong and have a half million volunteers.
More than just camping and hiking the scouts provide learning paths to vast worlds of opportunities. Scouting provides much more. Many types of crafts, occupations, and industries are represented in the scouting repertoire. Yet the scouts do not have a clear image of what chiropractic is. We are hardly acknowledged.
Prepare the way of the fastest growing health care profession in the world. The scouts who have matured to become chiropractors are uncomfortable and agitated with the scout's ignorance and misunderstanding. The message is being sent loud and clear in the form of an international campaign to correct the misinformation. A change is due; the time is now.
American culture is founded on long-standing institutions: scouting is one of these. Chiropractic, an American original, is maturing and must become part of other permanent institutions like the BSA. This trend has been seen by our efforts to fortify the chiropractic position in the military, the Veterans' Administration, and the Vatican decision to accept chiropractic (Dynamic Chiropractic 11-30-2000, vol.18 no. 25). The thread of our existence has yielded a strong, fast growing chiropractic profession for the new millennium. We are becoming a main stay in society.
What do medicine, basket weaving, veterinary science and raising rabbits have in common? They have all been acknowledged by the Boy Scouts of the BSA in the form of merit badges. The BSA does not have a merit badge for chiropractic.
A merit badge is an award granted to a scout who explores a certain field and performs certain requirements. Criteria are established for each merit badge. The scout must demonstrate knowledge and fulfill the requirements to the satisfaction of a merit badge counselor. The merit badges that a scout earns advances him in rank. The ranks begin with Tenderfoot, and ultimately advance to Eagle Scout.
The BSA has informed us that chiropractic is a subspecialty of medicine. This is a grave error. However, chiropractic is included in the medicine merit badge. Chiropractic is grouped with the medical subspecialties of physical therapy and nursing. This is the dismal representation, and must be corrected.
We are in hot pursuit of establishing a chiropractic merit badge approved by the BSA: a merit badge written by chiropractors that establishes a clear representation of chiropractic; gaining acknowledgment and dispelling all erroneous misinformation; and securing our place in this t American institutions.
James Edwards,DC, (Indiana) and myself, John Przybylak,DC, have been running the campaign. This well-designed action plan has yielded great results. Utilizing the internet, we've gotten the message to chiropractors. We've been overwhelmed with the response. Using personal and professional contacts, we have fostered the support of key people. Chiropractic Colleges and large international associations are already on board. New York State and Indiana have already endorsed this act. Logan College and LACC have sent letters of support to endorse the chiropractic merit badge.
The Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA) has the proposal on its agenda. Dr. Steve Simonton of the New York Chiropractic Council has brought this matter to the attention of COCAS President Dr. Thomas Knapp. COCSA can move the merit badge closer to success than any other group.
When all the states have ratified this action, we will move on the BSA. On arrival in Irving, Texas, we will go to the Boy Scout national headquarters and earn for our profession the first chiropractic merit badge.
Please write the BSA. Email the BSA. Contact your local scout troop. Ask your state leaders to ratify this proposal. Help us to gain equality and our just due.
Boy Scouts of Americaemail: http://usscouts.org/mb/proposals.html
1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015
Buffalo, New York