Great Smoky Mountain Council
|Great Smoky Mountain Council|
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
The Great Smoky Mountain Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America in Tennessee, with headquarters in Knoxville. It serves 21 East Tennessee counties that span two time zones. Camp Buck Toms is a summer camp owned and operated by the Great Smoky Mountain Council. The camp is located outside Rockwood, Tennessee, on the shores of Watts Bar Lake.
The Great Smoky Mountain Council was founded as the Knox County Council in 1915. The Cumberland Council was formed in Lenoir City in 1927 and a council of the same name was formed in LaFollette from 1921-1923. The Great Depression saw the consolidation of these councils into the Knoxville Area Council. The name was changed in 1943 to its current incarnation.
In 1915, the Knox County Council's first summer camp was held at Camp Helpful, near Elkmont, in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Four years later, camp was held at a facility in Powell known as The Scout Ranch.
In 1936, the Knoxville Council leased a patch of property on Norris Lake from the Tennessee Valley Authority. This soon became the Council summer camp, named Camp Pellissippi. 1938 saw Camp Pellissippi’s first summer camp season; 75 Scouts attended with 600 in attendance the following year. Pellissppi Lodge 230 of the Order of the Arrow is named for the camp.
In 1952 several Scout leaders including William Perry “Buck” Toms purchased a plot of property on the shores of Watts Bar Lake using proceeds from a Scout show. Three years later, the first summer camp was held at Buck Toms with 155 Scouts and leaders in attendance. The first campers arrived by boat, due to the lack of any road to the camp grounds. Electricity was implemented at the camp in 1957.
In 1977, the dining hall at Camp Pellissippi was destroyed by fire. The summer camp was rendered defunct and although the council has retained the property as a campground for troops, it has not served as a summer camp since. This left Camp Buck Toms to serve as the sole summer camp of the Great Smoky Mountain Council.
1994 saw the renovation of Buck Toms with the addition of several buildings, including a dining hall that greatly increased the camp’s capacity.
The council is divided into ten districts:
- Catoosa District, consisting of Cumberland, Fentress, Pickett, and Roane Counties
- Chehote District, consisting of central Knox County
- Cherokee District, consisting of Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson Counties
- Cumberland District, consisting of Campbell, Claiborne, and Scott Counties
- Echota District, consisting of northern Knox County and Union County
- Pellissippi District, consisting of Anderson and Morgan Counties
- Sequoyah District, consisting of southern Knox County and Sevier County
- Toqua District  Toqua is made up of western Knox county and all of Loudon County.
- Tuckaleechee District, consisting of Blount County
- Unaka District  Unaka is made up of Meigs, McMinn, and Monroe Counties.
Pellissippi Lodge #230 is the Order of the Arrow lodge that serves the Great Smoky Mountain Council in East Tennessee. Its headquarters are located in Knoxville, TN. The Order of the Arrow is an organization that is dedicated to cheerful service and brotherhood, and is the honor society of the Boy Scouts of America.
The lodge hosts a number of events per year that center around fellowship and service. These include: Fall and Spring Fellowship, Winter Banquet, Conclave, and a "Fun Trip".
The lodge also holds two Ordeals to induct elected candidates for membership, one in May and one in August.
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