Scouting in Arizona
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)
Campaign to Save the Bighorn Sheep
In 1936, the Arizona Boy Scouts mounted a state-wide campaign to save the Bighorn Sheep. The Scouts first became interested in the sheep through the efforts of Major Frederick Russell Burnham, the noted conservationist who has been called the Father of Scouting. Burnham observed that fewer than 150 of these sheep still lived in the Arizona mountains. He called George F. Miller, then scout executive of the boy scout council headquartered in Phoenix, with a plan to save the sheep. Burnham put it this way:
I want you to save this majestic animal, not only because it is in danger of extinction, but of more importance, some day it might provide domestic sheep with a strain to save them from disaster at the hands of a yet unknown virus.
Several other prominent Arizonans join the movement and a save the bighorns poster contest was started in schools throughout the state. Burnham provided prizes and appeared in store windows from one end of Arizona to the other. The contest-winning bighorn emblem was made up into neckerchief slides for the 10,000 boy scouts, and talks and dramatizations were given at school assemblies and on radio. The National Wildlife Federation, the Issac Walton League, and the Audubon Society also joined the effort.
These efforts led to the establishment on of two bighorn game ranges in Arizona: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. On January 18, 1939, over were set aside and a civilian conservation corp side camp was setup to develop high mountain waterholes for the sheep. The Desert Bighorn Sheep is now the official mascot for the Arizona Boy Scouts.
Recent history (1950-1990)
Scouting in Arizona today
There are two Boy Scouts of America local councils in Arizona.
Boy Scout Councils in Arizona today
Las Vegas Area Council
Formerly Boulder Dam Area Council, Las Vegas Area Council serves Scouts in Nevada, California and Mohave County, Arizona.
- Cochise District
- Old Pueblo District
- Santa Cruz District
- Spanish Trails District
- Camp Lawton has been leased from the US forest service since 1921 and has been continuously operated by the Boy Scouts of America, Catalina Council. It is located in the Santa Catalina mountains outside of Tucson, AZ.
- Double V Scout Ranch is located in Pima County, Arizona, and is leased from the Bureau of Land Management.
Grand Canyon Council
The Grand Canyon Council
serves Scouts in Arizona and New Mexico
. The Grand Canyon Council
offers Scouting programs to boys ages 7 through 18 with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Girls and boys ages 14 through 21 can be involved with Venturing a high adventure outdoor program or in Exploring a career based program. For more information visit Grand Canyon Council
- Apache District
- AZ Route 66
- Camelback District
- Coronado District
- Escudilla District
- Firebird District
- Four Peaks District
- Gila District
- Lake Powell District
- Mesa District
- Ocotillo District
- Old Capital District
- Picacho Peak District
- Pueblo District
- Salt River District
- San Tan District
- Silvercreek District
- Superstitions District
- Thunderbird District
- Verde District
- White Mountain District
- Zane Grey District
Camp Geronimo sits on 200 acres (0.8 km²) of forest and meadows, and is surrounded by over 5,000 acres (20 km²) of ponderosa pine forest at the edge of the Colorado Plateau. It primarily serves as a one week summer camp for Boy Scouts, but also has limited accommodations for families to stay the summer in cabins.
The camp has 29 campsites, 3 chapels, a lake, craft lodge, obstacle course, swimming pool, climbing tower, nature lodge, dining hall, rifle range, archery range, and a muzzleloading range. Every area has a department that teaches classes over the summer. Scouts enrolled in the summer program are able to take four classes at the camp, and can earn merit badges with their achievements.
The Spade Ranch house, located in Camp Geronimo, has been around for over 100 years. Every year during the boy scout summer camp, older scouts participate in high adventure activities. The Spade Ranch house was built by the Spade family on the basis of Webber Creek just beneath the Mogollon Rim. The Spade Ranch house is also the home to the Mogollon monster story, which is a classic traditionally told for every group of campers that come through each week during the summer camp.
- R-C Scout Ranch is located a half-hour east of Payson. It is the location of Cub Scout Resident Camp and many training programs. R-C Scout Ranch is available to Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs for camping, and offers cabins for winter camping.
- Camp Raymond is located outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, between the Kaibab National Forest and the Coconino National Forest, along the rim of Sycamore Canyon. Camp Raymond has 15 campsites and offers a variety of program areas, including Boy Scout Resident Camp during the summer, with 8 program areas and 31 merit badges. For older Boy Scouts, Camp Raymond offers C.O.P.E. and Mountain Man programs. The camp is named after Dr. R.O. Raymond, one of the first doctors in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the founder of the Raymond Educational Foundation. Dr. Raymond, along with many other community leaders, had the idea to create a permanent summer camp in northern Arizona. The site was purchased in April 1964 for $200 an acre. A Camp Development Committee was formed under the leadership of William Preston as soon as the purchase was finalized. They worked quickly to resolve water and sanitation concerns and opened the camp in the summer of 1964. The next big push for development at Camp Raymond was in the 1970s, when the Ranger house and Quartermaster-Trading Post building were constructed. The Handicraft shed and handicap shower facilities were added in 1988, and the pool in 1990. Today, Camp Raymond has 15 campsites, each with a wash stand, latrine, cooking area, picnic tables, and running water. Camp Raymond is available for Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs for Troop Camping, Family Camping and District Camporees. Camp Raymond has an Archery Range and National Rifle Association Shooting Range, including light rifle, and 2 shotgun skeet ranges.
- The Heard Scout Pueblo is located near 20th Street and Baseline Road in Phoenix, Arizona.The Heard Scout Pueblo hosts the Grand Canyon Council Cub Scout Day Camp every summer, and offers camping opportunities for Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops.
- Lake Pleasant Camp is an aquatics and nature based camp located at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant20 miles north of central Phoenix in Peoria, Arizona.
Great Southwest Council
The Great Southwest Council of the Boy Scouts of America is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and provides Scouting to youth in northern New Mexico, northeast Arizona, Utah south of the Colorado River, and the Durango and Mesa Verde areas of Colorado.
San Diego-Imperial Council
The San Diego-Imperial Council is headquartered in San Diego, California, and serves youth members and volunteer leaders through Scout units in San Diego and Imperial counties of Southern California, as well as a portion of Arizona. Desert Pacific Council was renamed to San Diego-Imperial Council on January 3, 2005.
Other Scout associations in Arizona
- 1st Arizona Baden-Powell Scouts Rover Troop 30 has established an Adult Scouter Group, a Rover Crew. This is an adult fraternal Scouting organization whose motto is simply "Service". As an organization, they are dedicated to support community projects and Troop 30's programs and equipment. Yet as a fraternal group of Scouters, they enjoy the activity of the "Open Air" and the fun of camping. The Crew believes that they can model the Patrol Method and Leadership Skills they expect their Boy Scout Group and Senior Scout Group to learn.
Girl Scouting in Arizona
There are two Girl Scout council offices in Arizona.
Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.girlscoutsaz.org
Sahuaro Girl Scout Council, Inc
Web Site: http://www.sahuaroGSC.org
Scouting museums in Arizona