Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - July 2014

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian


The 1915 Summer Camp in Elk Springs, MO   

The Mid-West Boy Scout, the official magazine for Boy Scouts in the Kansas City area, reported in its first edition in July of 1915 that the Kansas City Council ranked fourth in the country in the ratio of Scouts to boys of Scouting age in its area. The council was considered a strong Scouting center by all standards.

Albert J. Watson, Scout Commissioner of the Greater Kansas City Council, reminded readers that: “Your Scout officials are planning activities for you during the summer, but of course, the great Scout event is the Summer Camp at Elk Springs. During the two weeks in camp you will have an opportunity to learn more of Scouting than you can at any other time, and the chums you will make will last a lifetime. The experience of 500 boys, living together as one big family, enjoying equal rights and knowing what it means to consider the rights of everyone else, is a training which he can secure in no other way.”

Watson went on to inform the Scouts reading the new magazine that there were many exciting programs awaiting them in Elk Springs including swimming, hiking, recreation and the campfire hour. This would be a summer camp to remember. Parents were reminded to not forget the dates - August 16 to 28, 1915. The cost was only eight dollars for all expenses. The final reminder from Watson was, “Don’t count the cost now, but the benefits and profits later, REGISTER TODAY.”

The first issue of The Mid-West Boy Scout contained three pictures of the caves near Elk Springs. It was noted that an area Scoutmaster had taken an exploration party into the caves a year before and his party of Scouts had discovered an old buffalo skull with a flint arrowhead embedded in it. What Scout would not want to be the next one to make a major discovery like that?

If you have Scouting history questions or suggestions for future articles, please email Andy Dubill at