Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - May 2016

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian

Saving for Summer Camp in 1915

Families in the early days of Scouting did not have a lot of disposable income to send their sons to camp. But in 1915, there were two ways Scouts could attend summer camp with a little extra effort.

The first was by saving the carton tops of Aunt Mary’s Loaf Cake, a popular food product of the time. Sixteen Scouts would go to camp free thanks to Aunt Mary. The boy bringing in the most carton tops with Aunt Mary’s picture would receive a free round trip ticket on the train to Elk Springs, entrance fee to camp, and $2 cash for spending money. The next five boys would be given round-trip tickets to camp and the entrance fee and the next ten would be given round-trip tickets to camp. The contest was scheduled to end two days before camp began and all Aunt Mary carton tops were to be delivered to Boy Scout headquarters.

Bunting-Stone Hardware, located at 8th and Walnut, also reminded Scouts that one Scout from Troop 17 sold enough flyswatters in two days in 1914 to pay his way to camp as well as his camp expenses. Scouts were instructed to come in and see Mr. W.M. Bunting for the particulars on this opportunity. The supply of swatters was limited and the time was short, so if they wanted to have a way to pay for camp they had to act quickly!

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