Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - February 2016

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian

The Kansas City Pathfinding Contest of 1920

Another highlight during Clarence Abbott's Scouting days was the Kansas City Pathfinding Contest in 1920. The daylong event began at seven in the morning, and the last participant finished the course at seven that evening. Clarence remembered the event as if it happened yesterday. “We met at Quindaro Ruins at seven in the morning. We really didn’t know what to expect."

"The first station contained a message in Morse code telling us what direction to head. I was off like a rabbit. I knew I could win that contest! At some stations we had to identify trees. At another we had to build a fire using our Scout skills. I raced through the course and knew I had won.” Later that night Clarence received the phone call he had anticipated – he had placed first among over three hundred participants. He was awarded a special gold contest medal that he cherished.

If you have questions about Scouting history that would be good topics for future columns email Andy Dubill at