West Central Florida Council

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West Central Florida Council
West Central Florida Council CSP.png
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Seminole, Florida
Location Pinellas County, FL, west Pasco County, FL
Country United States
Founded 1917
Defunct 3/30/2016
Scout Executive William Davis
 Scouting portal

West Central Florida Council merged with Gulf Ridge Council to form the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council on May 1, 2016.

West Central Florida Council served Pinellas County and west Pasco County in Florida. Two main Scout camps were Sand Hill Scout Reservation in Spring Hill and Camp Soule in Clearwater. There was also a smaller facility at Bigfoot Wilderness Camp near Dade City. At the time of its merger, over 6,000 youth and 4,000 adult volunteers were served by the West Central Florida Council. More than 100 young men earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012. The West Central Florida Council earned the prestigious 2008 Centennial Quality Council Award from the Boy Scouts of America.


West Central Florida Council was originally chartered as the Pinellas Council in 1917. Pinellas Area Council changed its name to West Central Florida Council in the late 1970s to recognize that west Pasco County had been a part of the Council for many years.[1]


West Central Florida Council was divided into three distinct geographical Districts to best serve the youth of Pinellas and west Pasco Counties.


Sand Hill Scout Reservation[edit]

Main Entrance Sign at Sand Hill Scout Reservation
Sign for the entrance to the Sand Hill Scout Reservation in Spring Hill, Florida.

Sand Hill Scout Reservation is a Scout camp of over 1,212 acres (4.90 km2) in the west central Florida region, located near Spring Hill, Florida. Sand Hill Scout Reservation belongs to the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers of the West Central Florida Council and Gulf Ridge Council and is intended for their instruction and enjoyment. Sand Hill Scout Reservation offers many different activities including archery, small-bore rifle, shotgun trap and skeet shooting, hiking, camping, Project COPE course, climbing wall, rapelling tower, swimming pool, large athletic fields, 10 improved campsites (complete with shelters, water, latrines, and hot water shower facilities), handicapped accessible campsite and facilities, 2 primitive campsites, chapel, large air-conditioned dining hall, trading post, camp medical center, activities shelters, nature center, 15 staff cabins, and training buildings. This camp is also the residential Boy Scout Summer Camp for the West Central Florida Council. Hundreds of boys from the Greater Tampa/St. Petersburg area and throughout Florida attend camp every summer. Thousands of Scouts, leaders, and outside organizations use Sand Hill Scout Reservation every year for camping, training, and other activities. A full-time Camp Ranger and his family live on the property. Sand Hill Scout Reservation is large enough to host more than 1,500 Scouts at one time. Sand Hill has hosted Scouts and other organizations since the early 1980s. Sand Hill is also home to the Brooksville Raid Civil War battle reenactment every January.[3]

Sand Hill Grace[edit]

The "Sand Hill Grace" is customarily said by campers before meals:

"Sand Hill Grace"

For the hills, for the sand,
for the bounty of the land,
for water bright
and the pristine sunlight.
For all who guide our programs path
for all opportunities that Scouting hath
We thank Thee, O Lord.

Camp Soule[edit]

Camp Soule serves the West Central Florida Council. It is located on 50 acres (200,000 m2) of pristine wilderness, in the heart of Clearwater, Florida. It offers protected trees, wildlife, and beauty centered in the most populous county of Florida. Camp Soule offers four improved campsites (with Adirondack shelters, latrines, and showers), six primitive campsites, a dining hall, trading post, large activity fields, Olympic-size swimming pool, pool house, BB gun range, Cub Scout and Boy Scout archery ranges, two cabins, Council campfire ring, chapel, and a home occupied by a full-time camp ranger and his family. Camp Soule is constantly utilized for short-term Boy Scout camping, Cub Scout family camping, Cub Scout Summer Day Camp, Tiger Growl, training courses, and various other activities. The dining hall and camp medical building/camp office have recently been renovated. This major rebuild of the dining hall involved installing air conditioning, a new entrance, and a large porch. Camp Soule has served the West Central Florida Council since the 1930s.

Camp Bigfoot[edit]

Bigfoot Wilderness Camp (BWC) is a hidden gem at Green Swamp, east of Dade City, Florida. It is located within a 30,000-acre (120 km2) wildlife preserve owned by the State of Florida - Southwest Florida Water Management District. The facility includes a 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) cabin with electricity and indoor plumbing on the banks of the Withlacoochee River, two small box stoves for heating, showers both indoor and outdoor, a campfire area, an outhouse latrine and four adjacent primitive patrol campsites. There are 5-mile (8.0 km), 8-mile (13 km), and 10-mile (16 km) hiking loops starting and ending at the cabin. These loops intersect with segments of the Florida National Scenic Trail which extends over 35 miles (56 km) to the north and 10 miles (16 km) to the south. Bigfoot Wilderness Camp provides a great opportunity for camping in a rustic, primitive "Old Florida" setting.

BWC has both Facebook and Twitter accounts that are updated weekly with photos and local conditions. Search for "Bigfoot Wilderness Camp, BSA" or "@BigfootCampBSA". The FB page also has a map of the hiking trails.

Timuquan Lodge[edit]

The Timuquan Lodge delegation in Washington, D. C., en route to the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Central Michigan University (1986)

The West Central Florida Council's Order of the Arrow Lodge is Timuquan Lodge 340, founded in 1946. The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society that recognizes youth and adult leaders who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives. The lodge is named in honor of the extinct Timucua Native American tribe of northern and central Florida. Timuquan Lodge hosted the S-4 OA Section Conference at Sand Hill Scout Reservation from April 17–19, 2009. Nearly 1,100 Scouts and leaders from throughout Florida and southern Georgia attended the event.

See also[edit]