Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - July 2015

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian

A Scoutmaster and His First Eagle Scout in 1920

There is probably no event that is more important to a Scoutmaster than seeing one of his Scouts receive his Eagle Award. Scoutmaster Claude Peterson was even more proud of Clarence Abbott -- his prized Boy Scout -- as it became obvious that Clarence would become the first Eagle Scout in Kansas City, Kansas. It was such a big event that the national council sent his Eagle Scout medal to the local council in time for a special Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce program on December 29, 1920.

The local newspaper arranged to have an artist sketch Clarence dressed in his complete Scout uniform prior to the ceremony. Clarence was such a news item that the paper ran two articles the week of the ceremony. After a special program for the Scouts of “music, speaking, and motion pictures,” one of the articles relates, “Clarence Abbott was given the decoration -- the Eagle Scout badge -- the highest honor awarded for Scout proficiency.”

Over two hundred of his friends, relatives, and Kansas City Boy Scouts attended the special program for the first Eagle Scout in Kansas City, KS and watched with pride as Scoutmaster Peterson pinned the Eagle Scout medal on Clarence’s left pocket. All of his hard work and the support of his fellow Scouts and Scout leaders paid off that evening.  

If you have questions about Scouting history that would be good topics for future columns email Andy Dubill at adubill@aol.com .