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Boy Scouts in 1912

The Boy Scouts of America is a uniformed youth organization in the United States dedicated to promoting self-esteem, citizenship, outdoors skills and leadership in young men, especially through group activities such as camping. Through different activities and mastery of different skills, boys earn ranks and merit badges. Because of their image of doing good deeds, insultingly referring to someone as a Boy Scout meant that they were a naive do-gooder.

The Scouting movement began in England in 1907, and spread worldwide, with the Boy Scouts of America established in the United States in 1910. Other boy scouts organizations were also started in the US, but eventually merged with the BSA or dissolved.

Adventures in the Boy Scouts[]

While living in the Southwest, Indiana Jones was a Boy Scout, attaining the rank of Life Scout (at that time, the third-highest rank - currently it is the second-highest rank),[1] where he learned Indian sign language.[2] In 1912, while on a Scout horseback camping trip in Utah, Indy and his friend fellow scout Herman discovered treasure hunters in a canyon.[1]

Jones kept the tattered cover and a clipping about Scout ranks from the Scout handbook in his journal. He also detailed preparations for the Utah camping trip, referring to their destination as Arches National Park.[3]

In 1933 Indy still carried a card of the Boy Scout oath with him.[4]

In 1937, the thief Amanda Knight called Indiana Jones a "Boy Scout" as she hit him over the head with a chair after he rescued her.[5]

Boy Scouts[]

Behind the scenes[]

Indiana Jones has the rank of Life Scout. There are several claims as to why this is:

  • He was supposed to be an Eagle Scout, but the badges are not given out to anyone other than Eagle Scouts, so he had to be just one under. (Critics of this theory note that a costume department with a big budget could have just had one made. Also, in 1912, unlike today, Life Scout was two ranks below Eagle Scout, and not one rank below Eagle Scout - in 1924, the ranks of Star and Life were re-ordered.)
  • Indy, born in 1899, would have been 13 at the time, and Eagle was much more rigorous and much less seldom earned until older, until well into the 1940s. Also, the ranks of Life and Eagle were not created until 1911, and the first Eagle Scout, Arthur Rose Eldred, was not awarded his medal until 1912. There was not a patch for Eagles distinct from the medal until 1924.
  • When Harrison Ford was younger, he was a Boy Scout and had earned the rank of Life Scout.

Indy's troop is depicted wearing yellow neckerchiefs. The use of the neckerchief was not standard in Boy Scout uniforms until 1923. Early Scout uniforms, such as in the time frame depicted in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were not necessarily standardized, and were based on US Army uniforms. Many troops that could not obtain official Scout uniforms frequently used surplus Army uniforms.

From Star Wars To Indiana Jones - The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives incorrectly identifies Jones' trip as with the Eagle Scouts, not the Boy Scouts, but has image of Eagle Scout Award prop.[6]

The area of Arches National Park, located in Utah, would not have been a National Park in 1912, according to real world history. The area was made a National Monument in 1929, and upgraded to National Park in 1971.



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