When he was 19 he earned an engineering degree and moved to New York City and worked as a civil engineer. There, he showed some of his animal sketches to a magazine editor who published them. Beard decided to pursue a career in art and began sketching and writing nature and outdoors related articles for various publications. Eventually he became an editor of Recreation and set aside a section for boys. The tremendous interest in this section prompted Beard to establish a society, called the Sons of Daniel Boone. Gradually, from this society arose other societies around the country. These banded together and established the Boy Scouts in February 1910.