Scouting History

Scouting History in the Heart of America Council - August 2017

by Andy Dubill, Council Historian

The Camp Osceola Canteen

In the early days of camp, as soon as dinner was over, most Scouts at Camp Osceola could be found at the canteen or “trading post” as the staff called it. Dick Schmidt (Chieftain Big Burning Feather) remembered that the campers used to run from the dining lodge to the canteen to purchase a bottle of pop, a candy bar (the favorite of this era was “Baby Snooks”) and a cup of ice cream. They cost five cents apiece and that ate up each camper’s daily spending limit of fifteen cents.

Bob Merrill was on J.D. Hammontree's office staff with Louie Chandler and Bob Bandelier and was assigned to sell items in the canteen after meals. “When the campers swarmed out of the dining lodge and raced to the canteen – we were ready for them,” he recalled. “We had three flavors of Nehi pop – grape, strawberry and orange - as well as three flavors of ice cream.”  He recalled that, “we just took their paper scrip and gave them whatever we had on hand - there was no choice of flavors!” There were long lines to get served and the rule was that each Scout had a fifteen-cent limit on his purchases. The limit was imposed to try to ensure that everyone could enjoy a treat. Scouts were served quickly and the health staff was not overrun with stomachache cases. Several times a session, the campers lined up for a "police call" to clean the empty pop bottles and other trash out of camp.

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