Scouting in Tennessee

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Scouting in Tennessee 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.[citation needed]

Early history (1910-1950)[edit]

The boy scouts were chartered in Tennessee in 1910. Until 1974, some Tennessee councils of the Boy Scouts of America were racially segregated. (The Old Hickory council did not integrate until 1974.) Colored Troops, as they were officially known, were given little support from some Districts and Councils. Some Scouting executives and leaders believed that Colored Scouts and Leaders would be less able to live up to the ideals of the Boy Scouts.

In 1917 the first girl scout troops in Nashville and elsewhere in Tennessee began meeting. In 1922 Knox County received a charter. In 1926 the Nashville Girl Scout Council was chartered.[1][2]Most Girl Scouts of the USA units were originally segregated by race according to state and local laws and customs. In 1924, Josephine Groves then working at a shelter for African-American mothers and families in need in Nashville heard about Girl Scouting and attended a training course for leaders. She brought scouting back to the girls at the shelter; however, none of this was official since both she and they were African-American. She married, becoming Josephine Groves Holloway, and left her job at the shelter but continue to encourage scouting. In 1933 she requested recognition for her troop from the local council; it was refused until 1942 when permission for the first official African-American Girl Scout troop in Tennessee was given. She also help fully desegregate the Cumberland Valley council in 1962.[1][3]

Boy Scouting in Tennessee today[edit]

There are seven BSA local councils in Tennessee.

Cherokee Area Council[edit]

The Cherokee Area Council serves Scouts in Tennessee and Georgia, with the council office located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[4] Active from 1914, programs offered include: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture, Exploring and Learning for Life. The council's Skymont Scout Reservation provides year-round and summer camping opportunities on the Cumberland Plateau.[5]

The council is divided into five districts:[4]


Skymont Scout Reservation , which consists of over 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) on the edge of the Cumberland Mountains Plateau, hosts Boy Scout summer camps, Cub Scout family camps and high adventure activities throughout the summer and other camps during the year.[5] It is also home of the Talidandaganu' Lodge of the Order of the Arrow.[6]

Chickasaw Council[edit]

Main article: Chickasaw Council

Chickasaw Council serves Scouts in Shelby County, as well as a single county in eastern Arkansas and fifteen counties in northwest Mississippi.

Great Smoky Mountain Council[edit]

The Great Smoky Mountain Council serves 21 East Tennessee counties, and is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Middle Tennessee Council[edit]

Camp Arrowhead, Elk River District


Middle Tennessee Council Web Site

  • Black Fox District [1]
  • Buffalo River District
  • Cherokee District
  • Cogioba District
  • Dan Beard District
  • Davy Crockett District
  • Duck River District
  • Elk River District
  • Exploring District
  • Hermitage District
  • Highland Rim District
  • James E. West District
  • Nashboro District
  • Natchez Trace District
  • Trail of Tears District
  • Upper Cumberland District
  • Warioto District
  • Walton Trail District

Sequoyah Council[edit]

Council office in Johnson City

The Sequoyah Council serves Scouts in Northeast Tennessee and Virginia.


  • Breaks District
  • Buffalo Mountain District
  • Nolachuckey District
  • Overmountain District
  • Wilderness Road District


Sequoyah Council has its own summer camp called "Camp Davy Crockett", just outside Rogersville, TN. It was founded in 1972.

Lincoln Heritage Council[edit]

Main article: Scouting in Kentucky

Lincoln Heritage Council serves Scouts in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and the community of South Fulton, Tennessee (located in Obion County).

West Tennessee Area Council[edit]

  • Big Hatchie District
  • Central District
  • Davy Crockett District
  • Bedford Forrest District
  • Shiloh District

Camp Mack Morris in Camden, Tennessee serves as the primary camping facility for the WTAC and has been in continuous operation since 1946. It is also the home of Ittawamba Lodge 235 of the Order of the Arrow.[6]

Girl Scouting in Tennessee today[edit]

There are seven Girl Scout councils serving Tennessee though three will merge in the near future.

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta[edit]

See Scouting in Georgia for complete information. This council serves girls in Polk County, Tennessee

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Girl Scouts Heart of the South[edit]

Girl Scouts Heart of the South was established on June 1, 2008 by the merger of Girl Scouts of Northeast Mississippi, Girl Scout Council of Northwest Mississippi, Girl Scout Council of The Mid-South, and Reelfoot Girl Scout Council. It serves 16,500 girls and has 4,400 adult volunteers in west Tennessee, north Mississippi and Crittenden County, Arkansas.

Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee


Girl Scouts of Kentucky's Wilderness Road Council[edit]

See Scouting in Kentucky for full information. This council serves Tennessee girls in northern Claiborne County.

Headquarters: Lexington, Kentucky

Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee[edit]

Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee serves nearly 14,000 girls and has 7,000 adult volunteers in 39 Tennessee counties. Nashville had its first troop in 1917 and Nashville Girl Scout Council was chartered in 1926. In 1958 a reorganization led to Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Council covering 20 counties in Tennessee and southern Kentucky. In 2006 a new realignment led to the current larger council.

Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee


  • Camp Holloway is 76 acres (310,000 m2) in Millersville, Tennessee, and established in 1951 as a camp for "Negro girl scouts"; it now serves all girls. It is named for Josephine Holloway who founded the first official African-American Girl Scout troop in Nashville in 1942 (some 18 years after establishing one unofficially and 9 years after first seeking official permission).[2] [3]
  • Camp Nee Kah Nah is 354 acres (1.43 km2) in Gainsboro, Tennessee. Its name derives from "friendship crossing" in Cherokee.
  • Camp Piedmont is 29 acres (120,000 m2) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • Camp Sycamore Hills is 742 acres (3.00 km2) in Ashland City, Tennessee. It was established in 1959.

Proposed Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians[edit]

This new council is a merger of three councils planned for October 2009.

Girl Scouts of the Appalachian Council[edit]

Girl Scouts of the Appalachian Council serves more than 6,000 girls in Tennessee and Virginia. It is headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee.[8]


Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council[edit]

Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council serves some 13,000 girls in 16 counties in East Tennessee, and is headquartered in Knoxville.[9]


  • Camp Tanasi covers 450 acres (1.8 km2) on Norris Lake near Andersonville

Girl Scouts of Moccasin Bend Council[edit]

Girl Scouts of Moccasin Bend Council serves 6,600 girls in the Chattanooga area of Tennessee and Georgia.[10]


  • Camp Adahi covers 900 acres (3.6 km2) on Lookout Mountain. It was acquired in 1965.

Scouting museums in Tennessee[edit]

Main article: Scouting museums

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee History". Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  2. ^ "Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council history". 
  3. ^ Elisabeth Israels Perry (2002) [1998]. "Josephine Groves Holloway". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Tennessee Historical Society, Nashville, Tenn. (Online ed.). Retrieved 2006-09-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Cherokee Area Council, Boy Scouts of America". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Skymont Scout Reservation". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  6. ^ a b "Talidandaganu' Lodge #293". Retrieved 2008-05-29.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ref3" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^
  8. ^ Appalachian Council. Retrieved: 12 February 2013.
  9. ^ Tanasi Council. Retrieved: 12 February 2013.
  10. ^ Moccasin Bend Council. Retrieved: 12 February 2013.