For more than half a century, the National Scouting Museum has served as the official museum of the Boy Scouts of America. Founded in New Jersey in 1959, the museum headed south for Kentucky in the mid-’80s, where it stayed for 15 years. In 2002, the NSM made its way to Texas, opening opposite Boy Scout headquarters inside a massive 53,000-square-foot facility in Irving.
Today, the museum has nearly 600,000 interesting items and artifacts in its collection, including the first Eagle Scout badge ever awarded. Kids can fly a virtual helicopter, learn to identify animal tracks, and hear campfire stories told by an animatronic Scoutmaster—all in one afternoon. Guests can also see the world’s largest collection of Scouting artwork done by Norman Rockwell—61 pieces in all—as well as works by Joseph Csatari, Remington Schuyler, and other artists inside the Norman Rockwell Art Gallery. The museum offers more personalized experiences for Scout groups by way of 60-minute workshops that can focus on anything fromflag etiquette to map and compass skills.