LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

LadyLiberty and the Ideal BoyScout
Thomas Podnar called from
Ohio last week. LeRoy’s Lady
Liberty is ready to come back
home. (In fact, by the time you
read this, shemayalreadybeback
in LeRoy.) Her face has been re-
stored, and thegaping seamsnear
her feet are repaired. The wood
inside the basewas in such good
shape, theydidn’t have to replace
it. We decided that the seams
wouldnotbesoobvious ifafinish
was applied.
Originally she was made of
forty sheets of copper that were
soldered together. Then in 1984,
when she was repaired, she was
soldered again, but not with the
original type of solder, so she
really looked like a pieced quilt.
whichwouldminimize the solder
lines. They still show, but aren’t
as prominent. In order to restore
the face, Thomas had to remove
the top of her head and press the
copperout from the inside.Healso
straightened the seven rayson the
topof her crown. (The seven rays
symbolize the seven continents
and the seven seas of theworld.)
During our conversation, we
talked about the Boy Scout con-
nection to the statues that are
across thenation, and IaskedTom
ifhehadeverrepairedoneof these
before. No he hadn’t, but he did
work on the “Ideal Scout” statue
inCleveland. Ihadn’theardabout
thisstatue, so Idida little research
and found it quite interesting.
In 1914, the President of the
Philadelphia Council of Boy
Scouts asked Dr. R. Tait McK-
enzie to create a statuette of the
“Ideal Boy Scout.” McKenzie
was a Canadian physician, writ-
er, artist and sculptor, who had
moved toPhiladelphia to teach at
the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a pioneer in the field of
physical education and servedon
theBoardof thePhiladelphiaBoy
inchbronze statuetteandonly ten
were cast.
In 1930, the Philadelphia Boy
Scout Council asked Dr. McK-
enzie to create a life size statue
to stand before their new head-
quarters. Instead of reproducing
the small statuette in a life-sized
version, Dr. McK-
enzie incorporated
new changes in the
scout uniform and
insignia. The statue
unveiled in 1937.
(It has been re-
cently moved to
a new location.)
Boy Scout
Councils around
the country have
had copies of the
and installed. On
the Cub Scouts,
Boy Scouts, and
Explorer Scouts
icateda life-sized
version of “The
Ideal Scout” to the
Boy Scout Council
is the statue that Tom Podnar
As the Historical
Society gets ready
for our summer ex-
hibit, “Strengthen the
ArmofLiberty” I am
interested in finding
some - - -and I stress
- - some Boy Scout
things, preferably
connected with Le-
In particular, I am
interested in things
from 1950, when the
A few years ago, we
received a wooden
pack frame.Butas far
as I can tell, we have
nothing else. The
objects or uniforms
do not have to be
donated, they can
be on loan for the
In the meantime,
I have purchased a
few thingsonebay.
First I have a 1950
handbook for pa-
trol leaders. And a
neckerchief from
the 1950 Jambo-
ree at Valley Forge
with theStrengthen
theArm of Liberty
slide. I also found
a great 1950 scout
diary to celebrate
sary. On page
3 it mentions:
“Most import-
ant of all, it is
a placewhere
you may keep a personal
Turns. Good Turns are
not something to brag
about. But you should
be conscious of hav-
ing done them.” It also
mentions that the knot
in the scout tie is to re-
mindeachscout to“Doa
I have also bought
several pins that were
created to commem-
orate “Strengthen the
Arm of Liberty”
and a stamp thatwas
commissioned for the
post office. I also found
somefirstdaycovers that
were mailed from the
1950 Jamboree inValley
Forge. A more curious
object that Ipurchased- -
and itwasn’t cheap - - is
a small plasterSebastian
figure. (The Sebastian
of these little figures for
organizations and com-
panies. The company
began in 1938 and con-
tinues today. Theymade
a series for Jell-O in the
“Strengthen the Arm of
Scouts, headquartered
inEast Brunswick, New
Jersey, asked Prescott
Baston to design the pa-
I also bought an Explorer shirt
from the1950Jamboreebut itwas
not worn by a local scout.When
I paid for the shirt, the seller told
me that he had a second shirt. I
toldhimaboutourproject and the
storyof theStatue of Liberty and
the Boy Scouts, and he donated
the second shirt for the exhibit.
So if you have a scout uniform
from the 1950s, please giveme a
call at 768-7433,we’d like toput
it in the exhibit.
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