Scouting History in the Heart of America Council — March 2014
by Andy Dubill, Council Historian
Miss Vera Prout – the First Female Merit Badge Counselor in Kansas City
In 1936, Miss Vera Prout was appointed as the only woman among the 2,000 Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselors in the Kansas City Council.
Miss Prout, a librarian in the Children’s Department of the Public Library, presided over the Scout reading program. She devised a special “book patch” that had six different color segments that could be earned for reading six books each.
A Kansas City newspaper reported that she could tell how many books a boy had read as he approached her desk from the patch worn on his uniform or sash. It was said that she would often dig into the stacks and have a book ready to suggest to the Scout approaching her desk once she could see his patch.
If you have Scouting history questions or suggestions for future articles, please email Andy Dubill at email@example.com.