Scouting in Maryland

Scouting in Maryland

Scouting in Maryland has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving millions of youth with activities that have adapted to the changing cultural environment but have always been rooted in an active outdoor program.


Early history (1910-1950)

The 1923 National Order of the Arrow Lodge Meeting was held at Baltimore, Maryland.

In the early 1920s, there were several camps named Rodney in the Delmarva area. However, the current Rodney Scout Reservation was established in 1921.

Camp Linstead Fact Sheet 1918 to 1944 Boy Scouts of America Baltimore Area Councils First Camp By: Joel Meredith, Sr. Publication Date: May 7, 2008 – First Edition February 3, 2010 – Second Edition

1. Camp Linstead opened in 1918 and operated thru 1944. Linstead is the Baltimore Area Councils first Camp. Documentation shows that the camp operated as a full time summer camp thru 1944. There is some speculation that it may have operated in 1945 as well, but for now there is not enough documented evidence to support this contention. 2. Linstead was located on the Severn River on Round Bay in Anne Arundel County and consisted of ninety acres and was part of the Riggs estate. 3. The property was leased from two brothers, F.G. and H.G. Riggs for $1.00 dollar per year. Upon their deaths in the late 1930s and early 1940s the property was transferred to their heir who sold it to developers. Due to the outbreak of WWII, construction of new homes was delayed until around 1945. 4. Nentico Lodge 12 was founded at Camp Linstead on June 30, 1922. Dr. E. Urner Goodman, the founder of the Order of the Arrow and later the founder of the Cub Scout program, served as Chief of the Fire in the formation of Nentico Lodge. 5. In October 1923 Camp Linstead was the site of the third Grand Lodge Meeting of the Order of the Arrow. The Grand Lodge meeting is the forerunner of today’s National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC). 6. Camp Linstead operated for both white and black Scouts alike thru separate camping periods. This was not always the case in other scout councils, particularly in the south. In some cases, summer camp facilities would not be made available at all for minority scouts or a separate but not nearly as equal camp would be provided. The fact that the Baltimore Scouting program demonstrated leadership in the early years of scouting to serve all youth is a testimony to their character and vision. 7. Camping periods were two weeks long, with one period being dedicated to serve black Scouts. The summer camping season lasted eight weeks, with four camping periods per season. The Camp week started on Monday with dinner and closed two weeks later at Monday breakfast. 8. Scouts camped in a large canvas and wood framed tent that housed eight boys and one adult leader. For sleeping there were double-decked spring cots with straw mattresses. 9. Most Units and Boys would travel to the camp by means of the Baltimore & Annapolis R.R. from Camden Yards in Baltimore and arrive at Boone Station, now known as Severna Park Station. From there, a Camp truck would transport their gear / footlockers and the Scouts would hike one mile into the camp. 10. During the war years, (1942, 1943 & 1944), Scouts were directed in the camping brochure to bring their War Ration books #3 or #4 to camp for food supplies. 11. Linstead provided, as it was the custom in the early years of Scouting, full health care services to scouts. A camp Doctor was available at all times and the Scouts would travel across the Severn River by boat to visit a barber and Dentist in Annapolis during their stay at camp. 12. Full scouting skills programs were provided at Linstead, but its main focus was on aquatics. One of the highlights for scouts during their stay at camp was their sail boat races against the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy out on the Severn.

Recent history (1950-1990)

Boy Scouts of America

There are six Boy Scouts of America local councils in Maryland, all within the Northeast Region.

Baltimore Area Council

The Baltimore Area Council includes thirteen districts:

  • Arrowhead District
  • Thurgood Marshall District (formerly Babe Ruth District)
  • Carroll District
  • Chesapeake District
  • Dulaney District
  • Four Rivers District
  • Harford District
  • Hopkins District
  • National Pike District
  • Reginald F. Lewis District (formerly Scoutreach District)
  • The Capitol District
  • Pathfinders District
  • Learning For Life District

Baltimore Area Council partners with approximately 800 community based organizations providing programs to more than 35,000 youth each year. Baltimore Area Council operates three full service Scout Shops either directly or thru license with the National Council, Boy Scouts of America in Baltimore City, Hanover and Whiteford in Harford County, Maryland. The Harford Scout Shop is located in Camp Saffran at Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation at 1929 Susquehanna Hall Road Whiteford, Maryland. The Dorsey Road Scout Shop is located at 7502 Connelley Dr Ste 117, Hanover, Maryland. The Baltimore Scout Shop is actually located directly across the street from the Council's Shapiro Scout Service Center in the Stieff Silver Building at 800 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore Maryland. The Council also operates a Help Desk that serves Scout volunteers and Scout parents at the Baltimore Scout Shop.

In 2008, Baltimore Area Council announced ten top initiative programs to highlight the Boy Scouts of America 100th Anniversary in 2010. The Top Ten Initiatives are: Star-Spangled Camporee at Ft. McHenry and surrounding City Parks, Scout Sunday And Sabbath, Anniversary Black Tie Gala, Gathering of Eagles, Flag Ceremonies, the 100 Great Moments in Baltimore Area Scouting History, Birthday Card Contest, Scouting Mural/Mosaic Project and the 100th Anniversary Service Project.

In February 2009, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag or the Great Garrison Flag (also known as the 15 Star Flag) was officially adopted as the Official U.S. Flag of the Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America by authority of the Council Executive Board. A public ceremony was conducted on February 8, 2009, on the occasion of the 99th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America in Washington, D.C., by William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher. Representatives of Scout Units, Districts, the Council and the public were on hand to commemorate the adoption at the Shapiro Scout Service Center. This was done in anticipation of the bicentennial commemoration at Fort McHenry in 2014 of the battle which inspired Francis Scott Key to write his inspirational poem which later became our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

Baltimore Area Council operates a Scout camp in Harford County, Maryland known as Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation. Broad Creek land was first acquired in 1946. Over 1,900 acres (7.7 km2) of land are owned and/or operated by BAC. It has operated as a Scout camp since 1948 and is one of the five largest blocks of contiguous forest in the traditional (western shore) Baltimore metropolitan area, and the largest such private forested area. In 2009, a new Rosenberg Welcome Center, formerly the Reservation HQ, and the expansion of the Dining Hall Pavilion at Camp Oest were constructed to accommodate attendance growth and goals in the 2008-2012 Baltimore Area Council Strategic Plan.

Broad Creek has three primary camps, two secondary camps, plus a large natural area including the largest hemlock forest east of the mountains in Maryland. Several pine plantations were planted in 1949-51 and felled in 2006-7 due to beetle infestations.

The primary camps are called Camp Saffran (named after Frederick A. Saffran), Camp Spencer (named after William B. Spencer), and Camp Oest (named after E. Wallace Oest). Camps Saffran and Spencer operate as Boy Scout summer camps and Camp Oest as a Cub Scout resident summer camp. Camp Saffran's Middle Ridge area features a high ropes "COPE" challenge course and zip line.

Of the secondary camps, Camp Cone's remote Houck Lodge is often used by non-scout groups and for training events and, along with Camp Finney, the forests are used for hiking, backpack camping, and orienteering, with paddling access to both the mile-long Lake Straus waters and to the huge Conowingo Reservoir (Susquehanna River). All of the camps in BCMSR are named for a person with an early history of long service to the council.

The hemlocks stand includes the largest Eastern Hemlock in the state of Maryland (officially designated as of July 3, 2007.) A fund-raising campaign started in 2005 allows for ongoing treatment by volunteers of over 2,000 individual hemlock trees for protection against the invasive woolly adelgid hemlocks infestation.

The OA lodge, Nentico Lodge 12, rents a sizable section of forest from BAC for $1 a year for various uses including ceremonial grounds. A Broad Creek "Camporall" in the fall of 1979, just a few years after national and Maryland scout membership numbers peaked, attracted approximately 4000 participants, mostly to Camp Finney. A September 1998 50th anniversary celebration attracted approximately 2800 participants. Even winter weekends with no special district or council events have attracted up to 1700 campers at this busy year-round facility.

Del-Mar-Va Council

Del-Mar-Va Council serves Scouts in Delaware and the eastern shore portions (east of the Chesapeake Bay) of Maryland and Virginia.

Rodney Scout Reservation, also known as Camp Rodney or simply RSR, is a Boy Scout camp located near North East, Maryland. Along with Henson Scout Reservation, it is one of the two main Scout camps in the Del-Mar-Va Council. Covering 900 acres (3.6 km2) including the Bull Mountain Wilderness Area, it shares a long border with the woodlands of Elk Neck State Park. Along with Broad Creek Reservation, Rodney has placed much of its land into conservation easements for permanent legal protection from residential or commercial development. A number of facilities and campsites directly overlook the Chesapeake Bay which is used for an active aquatics program.

The Del-Mar-Va Council includes eight districts:

  • Cecil District
  • Choptank District
  • Freedom Trail District
  • Sussex District
  • Three Rivers District
  • Tri-County District
  • Two Bays District
  • Virginia District

National Capital Area Council

The National Capital Area Council (NCAC) serves Scouts in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert, and St. Marys Counties in Maryland. The Marriott Scout Service Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Chester County Council

The Chester County Council is a Boy Scouts of America council that serves Chester County, Pennsylvania and part of Cecil County, Maryland in that state's northeast corner. It is one of the oldest councils in the nation. Its Horseshore Scout Reservation straddles the Mason-Dixon line between these two counties.

Mason-Dixon Council

The Mason-Dixon Council serves southern Franklin and Fulton Counties in Pennsylvania and neighboring Washington County in Maryland.[1]

Sinoquipe Scout Reservation (Sinoquipe means Builder of Men) is a remote 500-acre (2.0 km2) forested mountain facility with a 10-acre (40,000 m2) lake located in the rural area two miles (3 km) from the village of Fort Littleton, Pennsylvania in Fulton County. It is located 120 miles (190 km) from Baltimore, 115 miles (185 km) from DC, and 65 miles (105 km) from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Order of the Arrow lodge for the Mason-Dixon Council is Guneukitschik Lodge No. 317.

The Mason Dixon Council is made up of three districts:

  • Great Cove District - Fulton County, PA
  • Washington County District - Washington County, MD
  • Tuscarora District - Franklin County, PA

Potomac Council

Potomac Council serves youth in Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland and Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, and Grant Counties, West Virginia.
It has two districts:

  • Nemacolin Trail District
  • Tri-Valley District

Potomac Council operates Camp Potomac, which offers Resident Boy Scout and Webelos camps, as well as a Cub Scout day camp program.

Girl Scouts of the USA

Map of Girl Scout Councils in Maryland

Four Girl Scout Councils serve Maryland but only one is headquartered in the state.

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council

See Scouting in West Virginia for more information. Serves Maryland girls in Garrett county.

Headquarters: Charleston, West Virginia

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

The only council with headquarters in Maryland, it serves over 30,000 girls in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties.

It originated the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program that tries to maintain ties between female prisoners and their daughters by having them participate in Girl Scouts.[2] The program has been replicated in some 25 other Girl Scout Councils.

Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland

Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council

See Scouting in Delaware. Serves Maryland girls on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Headquarters: Newark, Delaware

Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital

See Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital. This council supports girls in several Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's, Frederick, St. Mary's, Allegany, and Washington.

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

International Scouting in Maryland

An international Polish Scout Jamboree with several thousand participants took place in Maryland in the summer of 2006, composed primarily of Scouts-in-Exile from Canada and the United States. It was held at Baltimore Area Council's camp at Broad Creek Scout Reservation in an area known as Camp Spencer.

See also

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