happy birthday boy scouts of america

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What better time to announce one of the goals of the Aardvark Trading Company than on the 98th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America?

It was on this date in 1910, that W.D. Boyce, a Chicago area publisher, founded the BSA. Legend has it that Boyce had benefited from the generosity of a Scout performing his duty in London, England the year before, and was very impressed by the Scout Movement that had been organized by Robert Baden-Powell at Brownsea Island, England in 1907. Scouting has flourished in America ever since.

Everyone who collects baseball cards realizes that fewer and fewer kids are getting into the hobby today than in the past. The reasons for this trend are numerous, and it would prove a time-consuming waste of effort to start pointing fingers at the technological advancements being made in other industries such as skateboarding and video gaming. And I’m not buying the excuse that kids aren’t collecting cards because of the use of steroids in baseball.

Philosophical collectors are reaching the conclusion that if younger generations fail to develop an interest in the hobby, the demand for all those cards they’ve been carefully storing in protective sleeves and binders could dry up right around the time they plan on retiring. As a result, we will be left sitting alone with our stacks of boxes of cardboard covered with photos and stats of baseball players that no one has ever heard of. Slowly but surely, old baseball card collectors will become as crazy as the “cat woman” living next door as we try to comprehend how an Albert Pujols rookie card suddenly is as worthless as an off-center 1981 Donruss Lenn Sakata card.

The bottom line is that museums such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Baseball Hall of Fame will probably only be interested in one of each card for their type collections. Unless the trend changes, even Topps will be forced to rethink their policy of buying back old baseball cards to insert into packs when the only merchandise selling is 50-year anniversary reprints of Harry Potter cards. Of course this brings to mind the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”

But what can be done? Surely a single person can do nothing, right? WRONG!

We were elated to learn of the partnership between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Boy Scouts of America that allows youngsters to earn achievement awards and merit badges by collecting cards, creating displays to share at meetings, and demonstrating a knowledge of different aspects of the hobby. I think we can all agree that once the baseball card bug has bitten you, there is no cure.

We believe that it is such a great idea that we immediately sent off our application for consideration to serve as guides along the trail that has become overgrown and difficult to navigate. We are hopeful that we will be selected to help support Albuquerque area kids as they discover the joys in something that is so meaningful to us.

While performing our good deed, I suspect that we will learn many new things about trading cards as we observe the decisions made by new collectors.

– Kris

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