Scouting in Texas

Scouting in Texas
Comanche Trail Council Indian Camp at the National Scout jamboree in Washington, D. C., July, 1937.

Scouting in Texas has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, so that they may play constructive roles in society.

Scouting for boys in Texas is primarily represented by the Boy Scouts of America, or BSA. Texas is home to the BSA National Headquarters in Irving, Texas. The Boy Scouts of America in Texas are organized into 20 local councils.

Scouting for girls in Texas is primarily represented by the Girl Scouts of the USA, organized into eight local councils.



Scouting in Texas unofficially dates to the publication of British lieutenant general Robert Baden-Powell's popular book, Scouting for Boys, in 1908. Even before a national organization had been started, groups of boys began Scout activities in troops and small groups in 1908, 1909, and 1910. The claims of several troops to be the first organized in Texas, whether before or after the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910, are difficult to verify. BSA archives do show that the thirty-seventh registered scoutmaster in the country was a Texan, Rev. George W. Sheafor, of Comanche, in 1910.[1]

In February 1910, just days after the Boys Scouts of America was organized, Boy Scout Troop 114 was established in Floresville, Texas by Professor W.H. Butler. A reference to the Floresville Boy Scout Troop can be found in the April 2, 1911 edition of the The Galveston Daily News when they published a picture of the Floresville troop. An article in the Victoria, Weekly Advocate (probably 10/1/1911 edition) refers to the Floresville Boy Scout troop as the second oldest in Texas. A short break in the troop's charter occurred in 1974.

In 1913 Troop 1 was established in Wichita Falls, Texas. Troop 1 in Wichita Falls has been continuously chartered since 1916.

In 1914, the BSA gave local councils the power to segregate African Americans from white Scouts. Until 1974, some southern councils of the Boy Scouts of America were still racially segregated.

However, an African American troop was formed in Port Arthur as early as 1916. The BSA report to Congress for 1930 named Dallas as one of the southern cities in which scouting was growing in the black community. Hispanic boys were also active in scouting, often in units with non-Hispanic boys. Jewish youth had been active in scouting in San Antonio for many years before a synagogue sponsored a troop for them in 1924.[1]

By 1918, unofficial Wolf Cub packs appeared in Paris, Texas.

The BSA national office was moved to Irving in 1979.

The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council traces its roots back to the 1920s when Frances Mann Law and Corrinne Fonde organized a Girl Scout Council in Houston.[2] The council office was in a three roomed cottage.

Most Girl Scouts of the USA units were originally segregated by race according to state and local laws and customs. The first troop for Mexican Americans was formed in Houston in 1922. In 1936, the first African American Girl Scout troop west of the Mississippi was formed in Texas.

The Girls Scouts' Camp Texlake was dedicated in 1949.

Boy Scouts of America in Texas

Texas is home to the BSA National Headquarters in Irving, Texas. The National Scouting Museum is also located in Irving.

There are twenty Boy Scouts of America local councils in Texas. All of Texas lies within the Southern Region, except for El Paso, Hudspeth and Parmer Counties, which are part of Western Region.

Alamo Area Council

Alamo Area Council is composed of:Alamo Area Council

Old Districts

  • Broken Arrow District
  • Cherokee District
  • Eagle District
  • El Dorado District
  • Four Rivers District
  • Galaxy District
  • Keystone District
  • Mission Tejas District
  • Phoenix District
  • Sioux District

These ten are no longer have their old names, except Galaxy. Beginning February 2009, each received it's new name:

New Districts

  • Texas Hills District
  • Rough Rider District
  • Diamondback District
  • Summit District
  • Memorial District
  • Longhorn District
  • Cimarron District
  • Two Rivers District
  • Armadillo District
  • Victory District


Alamo Area Council operates two camps: McGimsey Scout Park, where Cub Scout Day Camp is held during the summer, as well as other events throughout the year, and Bear Creek Scout Reservation, where Boy Scout resident camp and Webelos resident camp are held during the summer, as well as other events through the year.

OA Lodge

Aina Topa Hutsi #60 [1] [2]

Bay Area Council

  • Coastal District Bay Area Council
  • Cradle of Texas District
  • Thunderbird District
  • Northern Star District

OA Lodge

Buffalo Trail Council

  • Big Bend District Buffalo Trail Council
  • Chaparral District
  • Comanche Trails District
  • Lone Buffalo District
  • Lone Star District
  • Sand Hills District

Caddo Area Council

Caddo Area Council serves Scouts in Texas and Arkansas.Caddo Area Council

Longhorn District - Serves Bowie and Cass counties in Northeast Texas.

Capitol Area Council

Capitol Area Council serves Scouts and Scouting volunteers in 15 Central Texas counties, surrounding Austin

OA Lodge

Tonkawa #99

Circle Ten Council

The Circle Ten Council serves BSA units in North Texas and a portion of Oklahoma. Its service area encompasses all or parts of Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt Counties in Texas as well as Bryan County in Oklahoma. Founded in 1910 and based in Dallas, approximately 70,000 youth and 10,000 adults participate in Scouting through the council each year. The council has six camps; the Order of the Arrow is represented by Mikanakawa Lodge.

Concho Valley Council

  • Amangi Trail District Concho Valley Council
  • Amistad District
  • Permian Basin District
  • Winter Garden District

Conquistador Council

The Conquistador Council (No. 413), with its office in Roswell, New Mexico, primarily oversees BSA units in southeast New Mexico. However, Parmer County, Texas is included in the council territory because of its proximity to Clovis, New Mexico. There are currently no units actually chartered in Parmer County. The area is part of El Llano Grande District. The Kwahadi Lodge #78 of the Order of the Arrow serves local Arrowmen.

East Texas Area Council

  • Caddo District East Texas Area Council
  • Cherokee Trace District
  • Naconiche District
  • Okee Tuklo District
  • Tall Timbers District
  • Three Rivers District

Golden Spread Council

The Golden Spread Council serves Scouts in the Panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Its service area includes all or part of 23 counties in Texas and three counties in Oklahoma.

Longhorn Council

The Longhorn Council serves Scouts in a 23 county area of North Texas and Central Texas. Its headquarters is in Hurst (near Fort Worth), with an additional service center in Waco. The Council is organized into 20 districts:

NeTseO Trails Council

NeTseO Trails Council serves Scouts in northeastern Texas (neT) and southeastern Oklahoma (seO).


  • Two Rivers District
  • Northern Star District
  • White Oak District

Camp Properties

Camp Frederick H. Dierks, Wright City, Oklahoma

"Hogue's Landing" a.k.a. Lynwood Hogue Scout Camp, Paris, TX

OA Lodge

Loquanne Allangwh Lodge #428

Northwest Texas Council

Northwest Texas Council Based in Wichita Falls, the Northwest Texas Council serves almost 100 units in 12 Texas counties (Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, King, Knox, Montague, Throckmorton, Wichita, and Wilbarger).

Camp Perkins, a gift from Mr. & Mrs. J. J. Perkins, is a primary campsite for the council. It is about 60 acres (240,000 m2) of camp grounds utilized by Northwest Texas Council as well as units of other councils chartering with them.

OA Lodge: Wichita Lodge 35 Order of the Arrow

Rio Grande Council

Rio Grande Council The Rio Grande Council covers 5 counties, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy, Starr & Zapata and it serves a membership of approximately ,4,000 youth and 1,500 adult leaders. The Rio Grande Council has four districts:

  • Arrowhead District
  • Tip-O-Tex District
  • Arroyo District
  • Llano Grande District

This council is one of 300 geographic council in the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting in the southern most parts of Texas, has provided the values that young people have need in the border town of the Rio Grande valley since 1926.

Camp Properties

Laguna Station High Adventure Sea Base is located on South Padre Island. Campers can gain SCUBA certification.

Camp Perry was established in 1927 and has continuously operated as a Boy Scout Camp longer than any other such camp in Texas. Situated on the banks of the Arroyo Colorado, it covers over 260 acres (1.1 km2). There are twelve campsites at Camp Perry.

High Adventure Sea Bases

Laguna Station High Adventure Sea Base

Sam Houston Area Council

Sam Houston Area Council serves youth in 18 counties in southeast Texas. The council office is in Houston.

Camp Properties

  • Camp Strake is a Boy Scout Camp in Southern Montgomery County, Texas off of I-45.
  • El Rancho Cima is a Boy Scout Camp on the Blanco River near Wimberley, Texas in the Devil's Backbone of the Texas Hill Country.
  • Camp Brosig is a weekend camp about seven miles north of Sealy Texas.
  • Camp Bovay is a weekend camping facility off SH 6 south of Navasota.

OA Lodges

International exchanges

Houston Scouts have an international relationship with Scouts in Chiba, Japan.

Sam Houston Area Council

Central Division

  • Aldine Pathfinder District
  • Antares District
  • Blue River District
  • Cherokee District
  • Lone Star District
  • Tejas District
  • W.L. Davis District

East Division

  • Bayshore District
  • Eagle Trail District
  • Flaming Arrow District
  • Raven District
  • Skyline District

Frontier Division

North Division

South Division

West Division

South Texas Council

The South Texas Council of Corpus Christi, Texas, was renamed from the Gulf Coast Council in 2003. South Texas Council

  • Aztec District
  • Coastal Bend North District
  • LaSalle District
  • Coastal Plains District
  • Brush District
  • Venado District

OA Lodge

Karankawa Lodge 307

Texas Trails Council

The Texas Trails Council was formed in 2003 by the consolidation of the Chisholm Trail Council and the Comanche Trail Council.Texas Trails Council

Three Rivers Council

Yucca Council

Yucca Council serves Scouts in Texas and New Mexico.Yucca Council

  • Chamizal District no longer exists
  • Geronimo District
  • Mescalero District
  • Polaris District
  • Sunshine District
  • Wapaha District
  • White Sands District
  • Mission Trails District no longer exists

Other scouting associations for boys in Texas

  • In 1997, the leaders of a Scout troop in Fort Worth, Texas contacted the Baden-Powell Scout Association in the United Kingdom to inquire about a possible affiliation. The Chief Commissioner of the Baden-Powell Scouts in England issued a Branch Warrant to the Fort Worth group in 1998. The unit operated under a dual status from 1998 until January 2002, at which time the troop divided, and the 1st Tarrant Group was officially established solely as a Baden-Powell Scout Association unit.

Girl Scouts of the USA in Texas

Map of Girl Scouts Councils in Texas

There are 8 Girl Scout councils in Texas.

Girl Scouts of Central Texas

Girl Scouts of Central Texas now includes the former councils of: Girl Scouts — Bluebonnet Council, Girl Scouts — El Camino Council, Girl Scouts — Heart of Texas Council, Girl Scouts — Lone Star Council. In 2007, the Girl Scouts of Central Texas served 20,000 girls, ages 5–17 years, and nearly 12,000 adult volunteers. The council runs three residential camps. These are: Camp Texlake, Camp Wood Lake and Camp Kachina. It also runs three primitive camps: Camp Dixie Allison, Camp Howdy and Camp Happy Hollow.

Headquarters: Austin, TX

Camp Texlake comprises 455 acres (1.84 km2) on Lake Travis. It was assigned to the former Girl Scouts — Lone Star Council by the Lower Colorado River Authority, and was dedicated on July 17, 1949. That summer nearly 400 girls attended camp. The dining facility overlooks Lake Travis itself. The council houses ten horses at this site as well as encouraging watersports. The camp can accommodate 335 overnight guests in a variety of situations.

Camp Wood Lake is on the shores of Lake Brownwood.

Camp Kachina is on the shores of Lake Belton. It covers a total of 344 acres (1.39 km2). Facilities include an equestrian center and an archery course.

Although nationally the Girl Scouts of the USA does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, some Girl Scout councils may choose to have connections to Planned Parenthood. In 2004 in Waco, Texas, the former Bluebonnet Council had endorsed a Planned Parenthood education event, but did not provide money nor send Girl Scouts to it. This was criticized by some pro-life movement supporters and social conservatives. The Bluebonnet Council subsequently removed their endorsement. (USA Today article).

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest – Southern New Mexico & West Texas

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest brings together Girl Scouts of the Permian Basin, Girl Scouts of the Rio Grande and Girl Scouts - Zia Council. The merger on May 1, 2009 is part of the realignment of Girl Scout councils nationwide.(see Scouting in New Mexico).

Headquarters: El Paso, TX

Service Centers: Midland, TX; Odessa, TX; Alamogordo, NM; Artesia, NM; Carlsbad, NM; Deming, NM; Hobbs, NM; Las Cruces, NM; Roswell, NM; Silver City, NM;

Camp Mitre Peak is located in the Davis Mountains between Alpine and Fort Davis. There are three cabins, known as Kickapoo, Apache, and Seminole, located in Fern Canyon. There are also three tent units: Mescalero, Tonkawa, and Chippewa. These have views of Mitre Peak. The Janice Hill Mathews Amphitheater seats over 200 people and campfires are held here. The Pamela Catherine Haas Horseback Riding Arena, nicknamed Rebel Arena, gives girls the opportunity to participate in western riding and trail riding programs. The Laura Van Pelt Complex supports indoor activities. The complex consists of a pavilion and an educational building. The latter includes a kitchen and a darkroom. Alumni and supporters of the camp can join Troop Mitre.


  • Camp Pioneer in Sunland Park, NM
  • Camp Mitre Peak in Fort Davis, TX

Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

See Scouting in Arkansas.

Headquarters: North Little Rock, Arkansas

Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas

Formed by the merger of Girl Scouts Paisano Council and Girl Scouts — Tip of Texas Council in 2007.

Headquarters: Harlingen, TX

Council Offices:

  • Corpus Christi, TX
  • McAllen, TX

Program Centers:

  • Laredo, TX
  • Victoria, TX


  • Camp Bayview is 18 acres (73,000 m2) near Bayview, TX along the Los Cuates Resaca. There are cabins and bungalows to accommodate campers. There is a swimming pool, amphitheater and a covered pavilion.
  • Camp Green Hill is spread over almost 50 acres (200,000 m2) and is located near Mathis, TX on Lake Corpus Christi. The site is mostly wooded. Small craft can be launched from the waterfront.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

New council formed by the merger of Cross Timbers, Red River Valley, and Tejas Councils. 42,761 girls are in this council, 61% of which are in troops. This council serves girls in 32 counties. The first troop in the Dallas area was formed in December 1920.

Headquarters: Dallas, TX


  • Camp Bette Perot - A resident summer camp near Palestine, Texas
  • Camp Rocky Point - A resident summer camp on Lake Texoma founded in 1952.
  • Camp Whispering Cedars - 20 minutes from downtown Dallas
  • Camp Whispering Oaks - 1729 W Sherman Dr, Aubrey TX 76627 - 40 woody, hilly acres
  • Camp Kadohadacho - on Lake Texoma
  • Camp Gambill - 54 acres (220,000 m2) near Paris, Texas. Initial bit donated in 1947 by John C. Gambill

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council serves 26 counties in Southeast Texas, including Angelina, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Wharton. Headquarters: Houston, Texas

Program Place and Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History

The Program Place and Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History opened in 2007. It is situated next to the headquarters building and is intended to function in harmony with the headquarters on the shared site. The Program Place includes a library, theater, Girl Scout shop, stage, café and a lounge for older girls, as well as a park with fire pit. The Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History, in the same building, features a timeline from the start of the council in the 1920s until the present, and interactive displays. The building acquisition and renovation cost $5.6 million.[3] The entrance canopy of the Program Place was designed and built by University of Houston graduate architecture students.[4] The pavilion was represents a Girl Scout sash.[5]


There are ten camps run by the council. Three of these form the Treelake Complex, a series of connected camps. Trails allow Girl Scouts to hike from Camp Misty Meadows to Camp Silver Springs via Camp Agnes Arnold.[6]

Camp Agnes Arnold is a 479-acre (1.94 km2) camp near Conroe. Campers can be accommodated in tents, yurts, tree houses or cabin units. The camp offers canoeing and fishing on Shadow Lake. A nature trail encircles the lake. In total, there are 7 miles (11 km) of hiking and cycling trails on the site. The Ann Temple Allen Lodge is air-conditioned. The Nature Center was opened on 2008-04-12.[7] The center has over 4,000 square feet (370 m2) of space and includes a workroom, classroom and exhibit hall, as well as overnight accommodations for two naturalists. A glass wall makes an indoor observation deck. There is also a pillared observation deck. Wood from around the site was used to build the center. The Council received the 2008 Excellence in Wood Design Award from the Texas Forestry Association (TFA) for the Nature Center.[8] In total, there are 7 miles (11 km) of hiking and cycling trails on the site. The Ann Temple Allen Lodge is air-conditioned.

Camp Camwood covers 100 acres (0.40 km2) in Hockley. It is only operational during the daytime.

Camp Casa Mare is a year-round camping facility for Girl Scouts ages 8–17 years old. It is located on Galveston Bay in Seabrook, Texas and under ownership of the Girl Scouts San Jacinto Council. Camp Casa Mare was founded in 1958[9] and has offered sailing programs, aquatics, and sporting activities, not to mention performing arts and academic classes. Fencing is also offered to campers at this site.

The Galveston Boat Club (GBC) is a two storey building on Galveston Island. Visitors sleep on the floor on the second storey. Adult leaders can be accommodated in a separate small building. The GBC is in a residential area. Visitors primarily use the GBC to visit the island's attractions.

Camp Misty Meadows is a 328-acre (1.33 km2) wooded camp located in Conroe. The main attraction of this camp is its horse riding facilities. In 2007, there was a herd of forty horses. Visitors sleep in cabins or dormitories.

Camp Myra S. Pryor includes air-conditioned cabins and a camping area. The activity center is also air-conditioned.

Camp Robinwood is a 206-acre (0.83 km2) camp in Willis. Campers are accommodated in platform tents, cabins or dorms. Swimming and canoeing is conducted on Lake Ann, a reservoir. There is also an outdoor swimming pool.

Camp Silver Springs is a wooded 131-acre (0.53 km2) camp located in Conroe.

Camp Whispering Pines is a 93-acre (380,000 m2) site located in Garrison. Swimming, canoeing and rope assisted hill climbing are all on offer at this site.

Camp Wind-A-Mere is located in Alvin. The Tejas unit had two teepees. These were destroyed in Hurricane Ike, but will be replaced. The Caddo unit has platform tents. Pine Meadows and the Chickasaw site are camping areas. During Hurricane Ike, a great oak tree fell on the lodge and half the building was declared unsafe and unrepairable.[10]

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas serves more than 19,000 girls and was established in 2007 from the San Antonio Area council plus a large section of the old El Camino council.

Headquarters: Sally Cheever Girl Leadership Center, San Antonio, Texas

Service Centers:

  • Avenida Guadalupe Girl Scout Center in San Antonio, TX


  • Camp La Jita is 236 acres (0.96 km2) on the Sabinai River near Utopia, TX. The land for it was donated in 1946 by the John F. Camp family.[11] Campers sleep in cabins. An equestrian program is offered at this camp. La Jita means precious possession.
  • Camp Mira Sol is 47 acres (190,000 m2) overlooking the Guadalupe River and is near Waring, TX.


  • Del Ro Girl Scout House in Val Verde county.
  • Eagle Pass Girl Scout Educational Center in Maverick county
  • Kerrville Girl Scout House in Kerr county
  • New Braunfels Girl Scout Hous in Comal county
  • Seguin Girl Scout House in Guadalupe county
  • Uvalde Girl Scout House in Uvalde county

Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains

Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains serves over 24,000 girls and 9,000 adult volunteers. It was formed by the merger in January 2008 of Girl Scouts of Caprock Council, Girl Scouts-Five Star Council, and Girl Scouts, Norcentex Council.

Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas

Regional Offices:

  • Abilene, TX
  • Amarillo, TX
  • Lubbock, TX
  • Wichita Falls, TX

Service Centers:

  • Clarendon, TX
  • Plainview, TX


  • Camp Kiwanis
  • Camp Rio Blanco
  • Camp Timberlake
  • Stevens Ranch
  • Camp Mel Davis
  • Camp Boothe Oaks

Scouting museums in Texas

See also


  1. ^ a b Block, Nelson R.. "BOY SCOUTS". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Have you visited the Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History at the Program Place for Girls?". The Golden Link (Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council) 34 (5): 7. September/October 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Girl Scouts have place to call their own". El Campo Leader-News. 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2009-02-13. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Girl Scouts Opens Program Place for Girls". Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Special Recognition Award: The Girl Scouts: Building confidence, character and a new Headquarters". Building Design and Construction. Reed Elsevier Inc. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2009-02-13. [dead link]
  6. ^ "SouthEast Texas Girl Scouts Camping". Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  7. ^ "Nature Center Opens At Girl Scout Camp". Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. May 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Girl Scouts Recognized by Texas Forestry Association". Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. November 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Camp Casa Mare". Camp Channel, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  10. ^ Spaeth, Bob (November/December 2008). "Around Camp". The Golden Link (Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council) 34 (6). Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  11. ^ Camp La Jita and Mira Sol. Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. 
  • I go to prepare a trail for you; a History of Mikanakawa Lodge, by Peter McNabb
  • 2006 Mikanakawa Lodge Operations Manual

External links

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