As further proof of the Web’s ubiquity, as if any were needed, we learn that the latest edition of the Boy Scout Handbook has been restructured to include extensive Web links. An article in this month’s Scouting Magazine notes that the links begin with www.bsahandbook.org (the BSA-approved Web site), and then extend to other sites. Looking for a place to camp? The newly revised Handbook will direct you to www.nps.gov, site of the National Park Service. Want info on the camping philosophy and guidelines of the Leave No Trace movement? Check out www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php.
This particular edition of the handbook is noteworthy because it’s the Centennial edition “highlighting what’s been important and exciting about Scouting’s first century” according to the Handbook’s author, Robert Birkby, who also wrote the 11th  and 10th  editions. In a nod to tradition, Birkby notes that “I used the table of contents from the First Edition  for this edition, with Scoutcraft, woodcraft and campcraft as the major topics… to emphasize the building blocks of becoming a good Scout and a good person.”
It all comes back to that certain special feeling, captured in one of the new Handbook’s quotes from a prior (1939) edition: To hike over hills and through deep valleys, under big trees and along murmuring streams is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”
And we don’t need the web for that, do we?
This all comes to my mind because tonight the local Scout troop I’m involved with re-starts our meetings after our post-summer-camp hiatus. Thus begins my 14th year as an Assistant Scoutmaster, and another year of helping boys become young men on what in Scouting is known as The Trail to Eagle.
Come the Bi-Centennial celebration of Scouting a century hence, I fully anticipate, though will never know, that both the Web and Scouting will have continued to evolve in amazing and unforeseen ways.
But one thing won’t change: those “trees and murmuring streams” will remain one of life’s greatest pleasures.