Scouting in North Carolina

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Scouting in North Carolina has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Early history (1910-1950)[edit]

The Boy Scout program began in England under the leadership of Robert Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell gained fame in Britain through his leadership of British troops during the siege of Mafeking during the Boer War in South Africa in 1899-1900. Following this event a military training manual he wrote called “Aids to Scouting” gained popularity amongst boys in Britain. In the early 1900s Baden-Powell began developing the concepts of scouting and he put his theories to the test during the summer of 1907. He took a group of 22 boys to Brownsea Island where he conducted the first Boy Scout camp. He divided the boys into four groups and established the “patrol method”. In 1908 Baden-Powell published “Scouting for Boys”, the first Boy Scout handbook.

Scouting came to the United States a short time later. There were already boy organizations in the US under the leadership of Daniel Carter Beard (Sons of Daniel Boone), Ernest Thompson Seton (Woodcraft Indians) and the YMCA. Chicago publisher William D. Boyce learned about Scouting during a visit to London in 1909. A young boy assisted Mr. Boyce to his destination and declined a tip offered to him saying that he was a Scout. Boyce was impressed by the young man and visited the London headquarters of the Boy Scouts. He studied the British model and felt that boys in the US could benefit from this program. On February 8, 1910 the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated. A National Office was established in New York City and James E. West was hired to lead the new organization.

Boy Scout troops were formed in North Carolina as early as 1910. Troops were formed at schools and churches in Greensboro, Raleigh, Burlington, Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and other communities. Adult volunteers in each area worked with boys in teaching outdoor skills, first aid, athletics, swimming, citizenship and leadership. These troops registered with the BSA and as communities established multiple Boy Scout troops the volunteers began seeking professional leadership. Boy Scout Councils were chartered through the BSA as “Scout Executives” were hired.

Initially, Scouting groups in the major cities formed councils. There was the Greensboro Area Council (1918), Winston-Salem Council (1919), Raleigh Council, and Durham Council. Over the next few years as Scouting spread throughout the counties the small councils consolidated and changed their names. By 1950 North Carolina was served by thirteen Boy Scout councils:[1]

Council Name Headquarters Date Formed
Cape Fear Council Wilmington 1930
Central NC Council Albemarle 1937
Cherokee Council Reidsville 1923
Daniel Boone Council Asheville 1925
East Carolina Council Kinston 1932
General Greene Council Greensboro 1947
Mecklenburg County Council Charlotte 1942
Occoneechee Council Raleigh 1929
Old Hickory Council Winston-Salem 1942
Piedmont Council Gastonia 1924
Tidewater Council Virginia Beach, VA 1935
Tuscarora Council Goldsboro 1923
Uwharrie Council High Point 1923

Camping was an emphasis for the councils from their formation. Each council purchased or leased land for establishing Boy Scout camps. During the summer each camp was open for several weeks with a trained staff of older boys and adults to teach the Scouts various Scouting skills. In the mid-1930s most councils began holding annual "camporees." These events were held over a weekend with Scouts camping by troop with their patrols competing and demonstrating various Scouting skills.

Recent history (1950-1990)[edit]

Boy Scouting in North Carolina today[edit]

There are eleven Boy Scouts of America councils in North Carolina.

Cape Fear Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through Klahican Lodge 331

Counties served: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Hoke, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, and Scotland.

Central North Carolina Council[edit]

Counties served: Anson, Cabarrus, Montgomery, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, and Union. [2]

Daniel Boone Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through Tsali Lodge 134

  • Nantahala District
  • Cataloochee District
  • SoQua District
  • Terrora District
  • Toe River District

Counties served: Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey.

East Carolina Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through Croatan Lodge 117

Counties served: Beaufort, Bertie, Carteret, Craven, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wilson.

Mecklenburg County Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through Catawba Lodge 459

Counties served: Mecklenburg.

Occoneechee Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through Occoneechee Lodge 104.

Counties served: Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Lee, Moore, Orange, Vance, Wake, and Warren.

Old Hickory Council[edit]

Served by the Order of the Arrow through [1] Wahissa Lodge 118.

  • Blue Ridge District
  • Dogwood District
  • Hanging Rock District
  • Laurel District
  • Wachovia District
  • Wilkes District

Counties served: Alleghany, Ashe, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin. Alleghany District was merged into Laurel District in late 2010. Piedmont and Salem Districts were combined into the new Wachovia District serving Forsyth County in 2015.

Old North State Council[edit]

The Old North State Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. The council's name is taken from the state's official song, The Old North State. Old North State Council's Order of the Arrow counterpart is Tsoiotsi Tsogalii Lodge (#70).

Counties served: Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Person, Randolph, and Rockingham.

Piedmont Council[edit]

Official website Counties served: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford.


Camp Bud Schiele is a Boy Scout camp owned by the Piedmont Council. Summer camp programs were first officially held on the reservation in 1981 and was called Camp Natomi. In 1982 Camp Bud Schiele opened.

The reservation is settled in rural Rutherford County, North Carolina, and easily accessible from both Highway 64 and 221. Prior to Camp Bud Schiele the Piedmont Council #420 held its summer camps at the Schiele Scout Reservation in Tryon, North Carolina.[3]

Coordinates: 35°26′42″N 81°55′09″W / 35.4451°N 81.9192°W / 35.4451; -81.9192


  • Two Rivers District
  • Heartland District
  • Gemstone District
  • Polk District (now Chimney Rock District)
  • Thermal District (now Chimney Rock District)
  • Battleground District
  • Foothills District
  • Lakeland District
  • Tablerock District
  • Swamp Fox District

Order of the Arrow[edit]

Served by Eswau Huppeday Lodge, 560

Tidewater Council[edit]

Main article: Tidewater Council

Tidewater Council is the local council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) that serves southeastern Virginia and north-eastern North Carolina. This region is often referred to as South Hampton Roads or the Tidewater or Tidewater Virginia area; hence the name of the council. Its Order of the Arrow counterpart is the Blue Heron Lodge, which was founded in 1946 when a team from Octoraro Lodge in Pennsylvania inducted the first members of Blue Heron Lodge.

Counties served: Camden, Chowan, Dare, Gates, Perquimans, and Pasquotank.

Tuscarora Council[edit]

316 E. Walnut Street Goldsboro, North Carolina (919) 734-1714

Visit the Tuscarora Council online

Serving the youth of Duplin, Johnston, Sampson, and Wayne Counties.


  • Coharie District - Sampson & Duplin Counties
  • Neusiok District - Johnston County
  • Torhunta District - Wayne County

Served by the Order of the Arrow through [2] Nayawin Rar Lodge 296

Boy Scout Camps in North Carolina[edit]

The following Boy Scout camps are in North Carolina:

Council Name Camp Name Date Started
Cape Fear Council Camp Bowers June 5, 1982
Central NC Council Camp John J. Barnhardt 1966
Cherokee Council Camp Cherokee 1924
Daniel Boone Council Camp Daniel Boone  ?
East Carolina Council Camp Boddie  ?
Mecklenburg County Council Camp Grimes 1976
Mecklenburg County Council Belk Scout Camp (Formerly Clear Creek Scout Camp) 1987
Occoneechee Council Camp Durant 1980
Old Hickory Council Raven Knob Scout Reservation 1954
Old North State Council Cherokee Scout Reservation 1968
Piedmont Council Camp Bud Schiele 1982
Tidewater Council Pipsico Scout Reservation 1958
Tuscarora Council Camp Tuscarora 1923

Girl Scouting in North Carolina[edit]

There are four Girl Scout councils in North Carolina.[4]

Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast[edit]

See also Scouting in Virginia.

Headquarters: Chesapeake, Virginia

Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines[edit]

Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines was formed by the merger of Girl Scout Council of Coastal Carolina and Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council on October 1, 2007. It serves over 32,000 girls and has nearly 10,000 adult volunteers in 41 central and eastern North Carolina counties.

Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina


Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont[edit]

Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont officially began on October 1, 2009. It was created from the merger of four councils in western North Carolina: Girl Scout Council of the Catawba Valley Area, Girl Scouts, Tarheel Triad Council, Girl Scouts of the Pioneer Council, and Girl Scouts of Western North Carolina, Pisgah Council. The council operates service centers in Asheville, Colfax, Gastonia and Hickory.



  • Keyauwee Program Center is 350 acres (1.4 km2) and is located in Randolph County near Greensboro, NC.[5] It was established in 1945.
  • Camp Pisgah is 160 acres (0.65 km2) and is located in Brevard, NC.[6] It was established in 1953.[7]
  • Camp Ginger Cascades is 226 acres (0.91 km2) [8] and is located near Lenoir, NC. It was established in 1963.[9]

Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council[edit]

The Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1935.[10]



  • Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs is 700 acres and is located 45 minutes north of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was named after the Dale Earnhardt Foundation because of its contributions to the property.[12]
  • POD Village is located just behind the GSHNC Service Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and consists of 5 "pods", or octagonal buildings.[13]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]