The Beagle Scouts led by Snoopy are a recurring theme in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip, Peanuts. They consist of one beagle, Snoopy, and a number of his bird friends: Woodstock, Fred, Roy, Wilson, Conrad, Olivier, Harriet, Bill and Raymond.
The first strip appearance of Snoopy as a scout is in the strip from May 13, 1974. Snoopy reveals that he is a "tenderpaw" when Lucy asks what kind of Scout he is. The word "Beagle scout" (a pun on Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America), first appears in the strip from May 14, 1974. Before this appearance Boy Scout troop 109 from Erie PA wrote to Mr. Schultz and received written permission to use Snoopy as their troop mascot.
On Snoopy's first hike he gets lost in the woods and is rescued by Loretta, a scruffy looking Girl Scout selling cookies. When Snoopy comes back home Lucy calls him a disgrace to the Beagle Scouts and when Charlie Brown asks him about his compass skills Snoopy admits he thought N meant "nowhere".
Notable appearances in the strip
In the strip from July 23, 1978, Peppermint Patty and Marcie are out observing wildlife. When Marcie picks up one of the birds in its sleeping bag she thinks that she has found a giant worm. Snoopy comes along and kicks the giant worm (bird) back to camp. This is how Peppermint Patty finds out about the Beagle Scouts.
In a series of five strips beginning on August 14, 1979, Snoopy and the four birds go to visit Snoopy's brother Spike in Needles, California. During their visit, Snoopy tries to persuade Spike to come home with him. Spike decides not to leave because his bowling team is in first place.
In the strip from September 30, 1979, Snoopy and the Beagle Scouts are hiking and Snoopy explains that there may be some dangerous animals about. So they decide to practice some safety drills to get the birds to a safe distance. Snoopy tries to catch them by surprise. He shouts. "Bear!" The birds go up in a tree. He shouts. "Snake!" and the birds get on a large rock. Then Snoopy shouts. "Chicken Hawk." The four birds take refuge on Snoopy's Hat.
In this strip from October 7, 1979. Snoopy says to the Beagle Scouts, "May a thousand angels rest on your shoulders", before they go to sleep. This scares the birds, who all get into Snoopy's sleeping bag, Snoopy responds by saying, "My grandmother used to say that every night."
In a series of six strips starting on May 12, 1980, Harriet is introduced. At first Snoopy is reluctant to let a female bird join his scouts. However, he lets her join because she makes him an angel food cake with seven minute frosting.
In a series of nine strips beginning on October 24, 1980, Woodstock, Olivier, Bill, Conrad and Harriet go into town to party and drink root beer, leaving Snoopy all on his own. When the gang come back they are all injured, except for Harriet, who is in jail for fighting some blue jays and hitting them with the angel food cake. She is released when Charlie Brown bails her out from what is revealed to be the Humane Society.
In the strips from June 30 and July 1, 1983 the Beagle Scouts are about to come home from a photo hike to Point Lobos, when Harriet and Bill decide to get married and stay. Instead of wildlife pictures, Snoopy gets wedding pictures, which was not exactly what he wanted. However, he does admit that was a beautiful wedding, and was pleased by receiving the honor of "Best Beagle." Prior to this, the Beagle Scouts (minus Harriet) venture out to Needles to rescue Spike from being attacked by coyotes.
In the strip from April 22, 1984, Conrad is awarded the bronze Beagle Scout award. It is pinned to his hat but it is too heavy and makes him fall over.
The birds and Snoopy sleep on top of their tents, in the same manner in which Snoopy sleeps on top of his doghouse.
The birds often take silly things with them on hikes, such as sundials and surfboards. Pizza is also often taken with them. The birds are often rather lazy, slacking off rather than obeying orders from Snoopy, such as one occasion where they play at a fair instead of set up camp. They can also be cowardly, panicking at the slightest scares. This is shown where when Snoopy is testing their responses to danger, they quickly fail when Snoopy gives a test alarm for "chicken hawk."
- One of Snoopy's most famous sayings in the strip is, "You can always tell which way is west because the moon is always over Hollywood."
- The Beagle Scout oath is, "Never cut out a friend."