The front page of the first edition of the legendary “Scouting Journal.”
The Scouting Journal
By Richard Mabey Jr.
“The Scouting Journal” was the official newspaper of Boy Scout Troop 170. The first edition was printed in November of 1982. The paper was published for a little over 10 years. I had the distinct honor and privilege to the Editorial Advisor of Scouting Journal for the entire time of its publication era.
Scouting Journal was written, edited and financed completely by the scouts of Boy Scout Troop 170. It was published monthly. The first edition was four pages in length. Within a short time, the paper increased in size to become an eight page newsletter. Within two years, SJ had become a very respectable Boy Scout publication and was 12 pages in length.
I was so very proud of the scouts who worked on Scouting Journal. They were a great inspiration to me. We would meet every other Saturday morning, from eighth o’clock till 11 o’clock. Our meeting place was the dining room table of the old Mabey Homestead. I think that the scouts who worked on SJ learned a lot about writing, editing and running a newspaper. It was such a fun thing to do.
Some of the scouts wrote articles. Others drew cartoons for the paper. Still others worked on the layout. And then some of the scouts sold ads to local merchants. It was like a real newspaper in miniature.
I think it was in 1985, that I received a letter from the Chief Scouting Executive of the Morris and Sussex Counties Council of the Boy Scouts of America, complimenting the scouts on what a great job they were doing in publishing The Scouting Journal. The scouts who worked on SJ were deemed a very high honor. The Chief Scouting Executive used Scouting Journal as an example of an outstanding troop newsletter in training programs for scout leaders. This was quite a milestone. I was so very proud of the scouts for earning such a high degree of respect from the top scout officials of the Morris and Sussex Counties Council.
I look back now with great pride of the scouts of Boy Scout Troop 170. They were such great scouts. I miss those glory days very much. I was a young man then. I was very honored to pass on my knowledge of writing and the insight of how a newspaper is run to the scouts.
Nearly 35 years have come and gone since the publication of the first edition of The Scouting Journal. In many ways it seems like yesterday. For me, it was a great labor of love. I cherish my memories of being the Advisor to the scouts who wrote and managed the great Scouting Journal.