Back in the United States of America, Boy Scouting was an honorable activity. Scouting was held up as something to be proud of. Scouts were called upon by the government at that time to do what were called “National Good Turns”.
In 1944, one of those Good Turns was to collect milkweed fluff.
Before the use of synthetic materials, life preservers were filled with a material called kapok. During the war it was impossible to get kapok in sufficient quantities for the demand, and milkweed fluff had been chose as an alternative filler material for the life jackets.
The Scouts collected enough fluff to make 2 million life jackets. They were young, but their country was at war and they wanted to do their duty. They were members of the Boy Scouts of America and they had taken an Oath.
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country…
–The opening phrase of the Scout Oath