Mr. William D. Boyce, a wealthy Chicago-based publisher, was lost in a London fog. He didn’t know his way around, and the lack of visibility only made matters worse.
«May I be of service, sir?» a young male voice called from nearby. Boyce turned to see a street urchin—the kind of child most wealthy men try to avoid—standing at attention.
«Well, yes,» the publisher responded. «I’m late for a meeting, but I don’t know where the building is. If you could help, it would be a real service.»
«I’ll gladly lead you there,» came the quick reply.
Before long, man and boy stood outside the building where Boyce was scheduled to transact some business. «Here,» the man said, handing the child a coin. «Thanks for your help.»
«No, sir,» said the boy. «I’m a Scout. Scouts don’t accept tips for courtesies.» The young speaker leaned forward slightly. «You do know what a Scout is, don’t you?»
«Then I’ll take you to someone who can explain everything after you’ve finished your meeting. I’ll wait right here for you.»
Boyce agreed, completed his business, and allowed the boy to take him to Lord Baden-Powell, the man who started the Boy Scout movement. So impressed was the publisher with what he heard and saw that the director gave him many books and pamphlets about Scouting. The publisher returned to Chicago and launched the Scouting movement in the United States.
For almost one hundred years boys have enjoyed the benefits of Scouting. What a tremendous amount of good resulted from one act of «no-charge» courtesy on a far-off foggy street.