The 1940 Handbook for Boys, which I purchased for half a dollar, became my most cherished possession. Fifty years later, I still read my original annotated copy with remembered pleasure. Richly illustrated, with a cover by Norman Rockwell, it was packed with useful information on the subjects I liked most. It stressed outdoor life and natural history: camping, hiking, swimming, hygiene, semaphore signaling, first aid, mapmaking, and above all, zoology and botany, page after page of animals and plants wonderfully illustrated, explaining where to find them, how to identify them. The public schools and church had offered nothing like this. The Boy Scouts legitimated Nature as the center of my life.
from the remarkable memoir Naturalist, by the Harvard-based scientist Edward O. Wilson (Island Press/Shearwater Books, 1994)