Scouting in Virginia

Scouting in Virginia 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. Many of the local groups and districts took names of historic Virginia Indian tribes in the state.

Boy Scouts of America [ edit ]

History [ edit ]

William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America at 11:03 am on February 8, 1910 in Washington, D.C. on the advice of railroad executive and later first national president of the organization Colin H. Livingstone, with assistance from lawyers at the firm Ralston, Siddons and Richardson.[1] Six months later[2] in Norfolk, Charles Merrill Watson, pastor of First Christian Church, organized Troop 1, the first Boy Scout troop in Virginia.[3]:116

In the next year the National Capital Area Council was formed.[4] The oldest unit in the council is Troop 52, out of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase.[5] This unit dates all the way back to 1913.[5] When the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia decided that the security of suffrage marchers in 1916 was not their problem, Troop 52 Scouts marched alongside the women.[5]

From 1981 National Scout Jamboree, through the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, all Jamborees were held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.[6]:30

Blue Ridge Mountains Council [ edit ]

The Blue Ridge Mountains Council (BRMC) serves Scouts in southwest and south central Virginia.  

Buckskin Council [ edit ]

Buckskin Council serves Scouts in Scouts in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

Colonial Virginia Council [ edit ]

Served by the Wahunsenakah Lodge of the Order of the Arrow.

  • Chesapeake Bay District—City of Poquoson, and the Counties of York, Gloucester, and Mathews
  • Colonial Trail District—City of Suffolk, and the Counties of Isle of Wight (excluding the southern portion), and Surry
  • First Colony District—City of Williamsburg and James City County
  • Monitor-Merrimac District—Cities of Hampton and Newport News
  • Siouan Rivers District (named after the language spoken by historic Virginia Indian tribes in the Piedmont)

--Cities of Emporia and Franklin, and the Counties of Brunswick, Greensville, Southampton, Sussex, and lower Isle of Wight

Del-Mar-Va Council [ edit ]

Del-Mar-Va Council serves Scouts in Delaware, Maryland and Northampton and Accomack Counties in Virginia.

Heart of Virginia Council [ edit ]

Formerly Robert E. Lee Council, this council was renamed in 2003, with headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

Organization [ edit ]


  • Arrohattoc District (southern half of former Shawondasee District, now named after Indian Tribe that welcomed original immigrants)
  • Battlefield District
  • Capitol District
  • Cardinal District
  • Crater District
  • Huguenot Trail District (formerly the northern half of Shawondasee District, now named after French immigrants of 1700)
  • Rivers District, formed when Northern Neck and Rappahannock Districts were combined in 2010

Camps [ edit ]

  • Camp T. Brady Saunders - resident camp established in 1964 near Maidens, Goochland County, Virginia
  • Cub & Webelos Adventure Camp - resident camp opened in 2002 near Maidens, Goochland County, Virginia
  • Albright Scout Reservation - primitive weekend camp on Lake Chesdin in Southern Chesterfield County, Virginia with over 10 miles of blazed hiking trails plus 3 miles of Nature Trails (guide sheet available). Tent camping only, potable water and minimum sanitation facilities available.
  • Camp Eagle Point - primitive camp located on Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, no potable water available.

National Capital Area Council [ edit ]

Council gateway during the 1993 National Scout Jamboree held at Fort A.P. Hill

The National Capital Area Council (NCAC) within the Northeast Region that serves Scouts in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and the United States Virgin Islands.[7] The council offers extensive training, and administrative support to units.[8] It is rated as a "Class 100" council by the National Council (headquarters office), which denotes that the NCAC is among the very largest in the country. Chartered in 1911, it is also one of the oldest. The council is divided into 23 districts serving ten counties in Northern Virginia, six counties in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. The council has a 2.5 to 1 ratio of youth members to adult leaders, which is among the highest of all the councils. The youth retention rate approaches 80%.[9]

Sequoyah Council [ edit ]

Sequoyah Council serves Scouts in Tennessee and Virginia.

Shenandoah Area Council [ edit ]

Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia the Shenandoah Area Council serves Scouts in Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren counties in Virginia and Berkeley, Morgan and Jefferson Counties in West Virginia.

Organization [ edit ]

The Shenandoah Area Council is divided into four districts and includes a Learning for Life division.[10]

Camp [ edit ]

Camp Rock Enon or CRE is both a Scouts BSA and Cub Scout resident summer camp with high adventure opportunities.[10]:2 The mineral springs of the area afforded the development of a resort in 1856.[11]:868 89 years later in 1945 the resort and most of the land was converted into the Scout camp of today.[12] The summer camp programs includes obvious outdoor programs like aquatics camping, cooking, fishing, handicraft, and shooting sports, yet also includes less common programs like canyoneering, rappelling, rock climbing, scuba, space exploration, volleyball, white water rafting, and wilderness survival.[13] Camper family members are invited to visit the camp on Friday nights for dinner; a Scout-performed campfire program with skits, songs, and jokes; then an Order of the Arrow Callout Ceremony.[14]:10 Each Sunday evening at the camp chapel a short non-denominational service called Vespers is held.[14]:10 In 1985 the camp participated in the international camp staff program by hiring Martin Woodhead of England and Jos Verschure of the Netherlands.[15] In 2010 campers spent 9,034 nights at Camp Rock Enon.[10]:2 The camp includes 14 campsites that accommodate from 16 to 56 campers in tents or Adirondack shelters as well as a dining hall that can serve 450 at a time.[16]

Order of the Arrow [ edit ]

  • Shenshawopotoo Lodge #276, established in 1944. Shenshawpotoo is a composite word, made up of the first syllables of the Council name, and the three districts in the council at the time the lodge was formed - Shawnee, Potomac, and Two Rivers.[17]

Stonewall Jackson Area Council [ edit ]

The Stonewall Jackson Area Council (SJAC) serves Scouts in areas of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and West Virginia and areas of central Virginia. The first council in the area was the Staunton Council, formed in 1921 and failed in 1924. The Stonewall Jackson Council was organized in Waynesboro, Virginia in 1927 as the Stonewall Jackson Council. The council is named after General Stonewall Jackson, one of the most famous residents of the area. The Lewis & Clark Council was formed in Charlottesville in 1927; it failed in 1931 and folded into the Stonewall Jackson Council. The council was later renamed to the Stonewall Jackson Area Council. The first Scout executive was J.W. Fix who served from 1927 to 1950. Fix had joined Scouting as a youth in 1911 and was an Eagle Scout.

The Order of the Arrow is represented by the Shenandoah Lodge. It supports the Scouting programs of the Stonewall Jackson Area Council through leadership, camping, and service.

Tidewater Council [ edit ]

Tidewater Council serves southeastern Virginia and north-eastern North Carolina. This region is often referred to as South Hampton Roads or the Tidewater or Tidewater Virginia area; hence the name of the council. One of the first councils in the country, Tidewater Council was established in 1911, just one year after William Boyce of Chicago founded Scouting in the United States, and only three years after Sir Robert Baden-Powell founded the movement in England. In 1914 the local council was issued a second-class charter, as it did not have a professional Scout executive.[citation needed]

Its Order of the Arrow counterpart is the Blue Heron Lodge, which was founded in 1946 when a team from Octoraro Lodge in Pennsylvania inducted the first members of Blue Heron Lodge.

Girl Scouts of the USA [ edit ]

Girl Scouts of the United States of America
Map of Girl Scout Councils in Virginia
Headquarters New York, New York
Country United States
Founded March 12, 1912; 107 years ago (1912-03-12)
Founder Juliette Gordon Low
  • 2,164,318 youth
  • 846,600 adults (2013)[18]
Interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo
Affiliation World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
 Scouting portal

There are seven Girl Scout councils serving girls in Virginia; three are headquartered in the state.

History [ edit ]

In 1939 the Alexandria Council and the Arlington Council formed.[19]:48 This version of the Arlington Council included Falls Church, Fairfax City, and Fairfax County. Later the Fairfax County Council of Girl Scouts formed, but would not include all the Fairfax County troops until 1946.[19]:48 In 1946 the Fairfax County Council of Girl Scouts had 26 troops with 476 girls.[19]:52 By 1958 there were 485 troops with 7,800 girls.[19]:52 Before buying land in 1942 to build Camp Potomac Woods, the Arlington Council would send their Scouts to National Park Service Camp Chopowamsic in Triangle Virginia.[19]:50

In 1958 The District of Columbia Council formally changed names to National Capital Council, putting an end to the informal name of Girls Scouts of the District of Columbia and Montgomery County.[19]:48 Also in 1958 the Fairfax County Council of Girl Scouts spread by including Falls Church and Quantico and so later took the name Northern Virginia Girl Scout Council.[19]:48 Then in the June 1962 issue of the Trefoil magazine the National Capital Council held a mail in vote to rename the council with the choices of: Potomac River Council, Nation's Capital Council, Greater Washington Council, and a space to write in your own suggestion.[19]:54 Nation's Capital Council won that contest.[19]:54

That kind of consolidation continued in 1963 when the new Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital was formed from the National Capital, Southern Maryland, Alexandria, Arlington, and Northern Virginia councils, as well as including a single troop from Prince William, another in Fauquier, and one in Loudoun.[19]:48 A new Shawnee Council also formed in 1963 which consolidated the Blue Ridge Council of Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle Council of West Virginia, the Washington County Council of Maryland, and the previous Shawnee Council that included the Maryland county of Alleghany, the Maryland county of Garrett, and the Pennsylvania county of Bedford.[19]:48 In 1972 this much larger Shawnee Council moved their headquarters to Martinsburg, West Virginia.[19]:48

Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians [ edit ]

See Scouting in Tennessee. Serves Virginia girls in the extreme southwest of Virginia.

nearest Service Center: Johnson City, Tennessee

Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council [ edit ]

See Scouting in West Virginia. Serves Virginia girls in Bland, Buchanan, and Tazewell counties.

Headquarters: Charleston, West Virginia

Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council [ edit ]

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

Headquarters: Newark, Delaware

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Council [ edit ]

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Council serves over 16,500 girls, with 5,500 adult volunteers in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. It was established in 1981.

Headquarters: Chesapeake, Virginia


  • Camp Darden is almost 100 acres (0.40 km2) near Franklin, Virginia. It was acquired in 1961 and named after Colgate Darden and his wife.[20]
  • Camp Skimino is a 90-acre (360,000 m2) camp near Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Camp Apasus is located in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Camp Burke's Mill Pond is a 30.06-acre (121,600 m2) camp located in Gloucester County, Virginia. It was donated to the Heritage Girl Scout Council in 1975, along with an additional 6.23-acre (25,200 m2) tract which contains the original mill house. Heritage Girl Scout Council and Tidewater Girl Scout Council merged to become the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast.

Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia Council [ edit ]

The Girl Scout of the Commonwealth of Virginia serves more than 16,000 girls and has about 5,700 adult volunteers in 30 central Virginia counties. It was chartered in 1963, when three smaller councils serving Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Southside Virginia merged. In 2007, Surry County was moved from this council to Colonial Coast. The first troop formed in central Virginia was Troop #1, Highland Springs in 1913.[21][22]

In 1932 the first African-American troop in the South, Girl Scout Troop 101, was founded in Richmond by Lena B. Watson. It was first led by Lavnia Banks, a teacher from Armstrong High School. It first met in Hartshorn Hall, Virginia Union University. In 2008 a tree was planted in commemoration at Hartshorn Hall.[23]

In 1922 Girl Scouts of Richmond was chartered. In 1942 Petersburg Girl Scout Council was formed and in 1944, Hopewell Girl Scout Council. In 1953 Petersburg and Hopewell merged to form Southside. In 1963 Southside, Richmond, and Fredericksburg councils merged to form the current council.

Headquarters: Mechanicsville, Virginia


  • Pamunkey Ridge Girl Scout Camp is 240 acres (0.97 km2) in Hanover, Virginia along the banks of the Pamunkey River. It was opened in 1996.
  • Camp Kittamaqund is 387 acres (1.57 km2) and 5 miles (8.0 km) of shoreline on the Northern Neck. It was named after the chief in power at the time of English arrival. The property was acquired in 1964. In 2006 the council attempted to sell the property, but the sale fell through due to zoning regulations that limited redevelopment.

Earlier camps include Camp Pocahontas acquired in 1928; Camp Pinoaka, created in 1936 for African-American Girl Scouts; and Camp Holly Dell in 1951 (sold in 1996).

Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital [ edit ]

See Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital. Serves girls in northern Virginia as well.

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council [ edit ]

This council serves about 10,500 girls in 36 Virginia counties. It was established in 1963.

Headquarters: Roanoke, Virginia


Scouting museums in Virginia [ edit ]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Wendell, Bryan (February 8, 2017). "We know the date (Feb. 8, 1910), but at what time was the BSA founded?". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. ^ August 1910
  3. ^ Newby-Alexander, Cassandra; Breckenridge-Haywood, Mae (2003). Portsmouth Virginia. Arcadia. p. 128.
  4. ^ Agnew, Jeff; Durbin, Don; Eyck, Greg (November 1, 2011). "Local Scout Council, Capital Area Food Bank, WUSA-TV, Safeway and The Washington Examiner team up to nourish area's hungry" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Hendrix, Steve (June 23, 2012). "Washington's oldest scout troop also its most well-connected". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  6. ^ The Virginia Record Magazine, Volume 101. Virginia Publishers Wing. 1979.
  7. ^ "Virgin Islands Council now part of National Capital Area Council". Scout Wire. 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  8. ^ Wood, Bob (August 2015). "NCAC 5 Year Strategic Plan" (PDF). National Capital Area Council. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ "2013 Annual Report by National Capital Area Council".
  10. ^ a b c "Stakeholder Report"(PDF). SAC. 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  11. ^ Engelhard, G.P. (1902). The Standard medical directory of North America. p. 924.
  12. ^ Bell Jr., Stewart. Rock Enon Springs Records #1303. Winchester, VA, USA: Handley Regional Library. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  13. ^ Summer camp programs:
    Lux, Brian (2011). "Administration Guide" (PDF). Camp Rock Enon. p. 16. Retrieved 28 February 2017.:11
    Wagner, Gary (2015). "The Quest" (PDF). Tomahawk (July–August). Assemblies of God. Potomac District Royal Rangers. Retrieved 28 February 2017.:6
    "Previous Summer Camps". Troop 349. 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b Lux, Brian (2011). "Administration Guide" (PDF). Camp Rock Enon. p. 16. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  15. ^ Fairweather, Dan (1985). "Bringing the World to Summer Camp". Scouting (March–April). Boy Scouts of America. ISSN 0036-9500. :27
  16. ^ Campsites:
    Pennington, Mark (2013). Renew the Rustic Splendor Capital Projects 2013-2016 (PDF). Shenandoah Area Council. p. 6. Retrieved 27 February 2017.:2
    Lux, Brian (2011). "Administration Guide" (PDF). Camp Rock Enon. p. 16. Retrieved 28 February 2017.:6
    Poland Lodge dining hall:
    McVey, John (February 17, 2015). "Longtime Boy Scouts supporter named 2015 Distinguished Citizen". Journal News. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
    Pennington, Mark (2013). Renew the Rustic Splendor Capital Projects 2013-2016 (PDF). Shenandoah Area Council. p. 6. Retrieved 27 February 2017.:4
  17. ^ "Home".
  18. ^ 2013 GSUSA Annual Report(PDF). p. 18. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Robertson, Ann E. (Dec 2, 2013). Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital. Arcadia. p. 127.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2008-12-19. CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "404 | Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia"(PDF).
  22. ^ "404 | Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia"(PDF).
  23. ^ "404 | Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia"(PDF).

External links [ edit ]

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