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New Postage Stamp Takes Center Stage In Beaumont

There’s a new postage stamp on the block: the 44-cent Scouting stamp.

It is being issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. Local residents who stood in line to buy the collectibles gave their stamp of approval.

“It’s fabulous!” said Jean Kohn, of Cherry Valley. “You know, my son was an Eagle [Scout], and his son is going through his first code of honor on the 13th of September.”

The City of Beaumont commemorated the unveiling with a small dedication ceremony Monday in the Civic Center. Local dignitaries attended the event.

Scoutmaster Steven Pesante, of Troop 322, says the Boy Scouts’ membership peaked in the 1970s with nearly 5 million scouts. Today, there are about 3 million only, he said. In order to increase its membership, the organization branched out to other ethnicities.

“To make Scouting more relevant among Hispanics and blacks. Diversify,” he said. “Here in Beaumont, we have ethnic diversity, and we’re very proud of that.”

Pesante says scouts learn about morals, values and patriotism.

Aiden Dorough, 13, has been a Scout for a year.

“Most people say, ‘Oh, all the nerdy boys do it.’ But actually, it’s really fun, depending on which troop you join because some do more stuff than others,” he said.

The last time Scouting was depicted on a stamp was 1998. A stamp bearing only the Boy Scouts came out on its 50th and 75th anniversaries.

The Girl Scouts will celebrate its centennial in 2012.

KESQ News Team

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