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Scouting in Florida

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Scouting in Florida 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

Until 1948, some southern councils of the Boy Scouts of America were racially segregated. Colored Troops, as they were officially known, were given little support from 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. The National Office began a program of integrating local councils in 1940, which was largely complete in 1948.

Recent history (1950-1990)Edit

Boy Scouts of America in Florida todayEdit

There are nine Boy Scouts of America local councils in Florida. In addition, the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base of the BSA is located in Florida.

Alabama-Florida CouncilEdit

Alabama-Florida Council serves Scouts in Alabama and Florida, as the name implies, with the council office located in Dothan, Alabama.

Central Florida CouncilEdit

Main article: Central Florida Council

Central Florida Council #83 [1] serves Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, Volusia and Flagler Counties.

Gulf Coast CouncilEdit

Main article: Gulf Coast council

Gulf Coast Council #773 serves Scouts in Florida and Alabama, with the council office located in Pensacola, Florida. The council's name refers to the Gulf Coast of the United States.

OA lodge: Yustaga Lodge #385 whose patches can be seen here.

Gulf Ridge CouncilEdit

Main article: Gulf Ridge Council

Gulf Ridge Council #86 serves Scouts in West-Central Florida with the council headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

Gulf Ridge Council consists of 8 districts: Allohak District, Calusa District, Lake Region District, New Fire District, Thunderbird District, Timucua District, Tocobaga District, Withlacoochee District,

OA Lodge: Seminole Lodge #85

Gulf Stream CouncilEdit

Main article: Gulf Stream Council

The Gulf Stream Council serves youth in the eastern portion of South Florida from the Broward/Palm Beach line north to the Brevard/Indian River line and west into the eastern portions of Highlands, Glades and Hendry counties.

Order of the Arrow Lodge - Aal-pa-tah #237

  • Indian River District
  • Lake Shore District
  • Lighthouse District
  • Manatee District
  • Okeechobee District
  • Osceola District
  • Sailfish District
  • Trade Winds District
  • Treasure Coast District

Tanah Keeta Scout ReservationEdit

Camp Website

Tanah Keeta Scout Reseravtion is the Gulf stream council's main campground. The camp is about Template:Convert. The Council's O.A. lodge building is in the camp. The following names are the camp that are within Tanah Keeta Scout Reservation.

  • Camp Loxahatchee
  • Camp Clear Lake

Other CampsEdit

North Florida CouncilEdit

Main article: North Florida Council

The North Florida Council encompasses the 17 counties of northeast Florida. Through almost 7,000 volunteers the council serves over 57,000 youth in over 850 units. The North Florida Council owns, maintains and operates two camps: Camp Echockotee on Doctors Lake in Orange Park, and Camp Shands near Hawthorne.

OA Lodge - Echockotee Lodge

  • Alachua District
  • Black Creek District
  • Baden Powell
  • Great Muskogee District
  • Manatee District
  • Marion District
  • Mohawk District
  • Nassau District
  • Osceola District
  • River Bend District
  • Shawnee District
  • Suwannee District
  • Timucua District

South Florida CouncilEdit

Main article: South Florida council

South Florida Council serves Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. Their headquarters are in Miami Lakes. They have Camp Sawyer in the Florida Keys, Camp Everglades within Everglades National Park, and Camp Seminole in Davie.

OA Lodge: O-shot-caw Lodge.

Website: South Florida Council website

  • Buccaneer District
  • Calusa District
  • Fireball District
  • Hurricane District
  • Lighthouse District
  • Pine Island District
  • Pioneer District
  • Seminole District
  • Tequesta District
  • Thunderbird District

Southwest Florida Council Edit

Main article: Southwest Florida council

Southwest Florida Council serves Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Manatee, Sarasota, and parts of DeSoto and Hendry counties. It has 2 properties: the Price-Sanders Scout Reservation in Charlotte with the Dr. Franklin Miles Camp and Camp Gannett, and Camp Flying Eagle in Manatee.

''"The Southwest Florida Council was chartered in July 1929, and based on membership and units, it ranks 46th out of 306 councils in the United States. The Southwest Florida Council is a geographic area divided into four districts that include Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hendry, Lee, Manatee, Sarasota Counties. The Council has an executive board of volunteers and a staff of professionals."

"The Council accomplishes its mission by making its program available to chartered organizations; existing organizations that have compatible goals. These groups include religious, educational, civic fraternal, business, labor, and governmental bodies. The Council supports chartered organizations by providing materials and certain facilities, such as camps. The Chartered Organizations organize the packs and troops." (Source - SWFL Council Website)

Council Website [2]

OA Lodge: Osceola #564, website [3]

Cub Scout Pack 4/Boy Scout Troop 4/Venturing Crew 4 - Cape Coral: [4]

  • Alligator District
  • Manatee District
  • Panther District
  • Two Rivers District

Suwannee River Area Council #664Edit

File:SWLkTalquin-Oct2007.JPG

The Suwannee River Area Council, active from 1924 to present, encompasses 13 counties in north Florida and south Georgia. The Council Service Center and central headquarters are in Tallahassee, Florida. Over the past 90 years or so, the Suwannee River Area Council has offered traditional Scouting programs at several camps. The first was Camp Orchard Pond, located near Tallahassee. Orchard Pond was a small camp, having only four campsites during its entire lifetime. It was used from 1927 to 1947, when it was sold. The council moved its summer camp operations to Camp Semialachee, also located near Tallahassee. Semialachee got its name indirectly from the union of "Seminole" and "Apalachee", two primary groups of Native Americans in the United States from the north Florida region. Camp Semialachee was kept until 1965, when camping was moved to Wallwood Scout Reservation, located just south of Quincy, Florida. The land for the new camp was donated by Dr. Charlie K. Wall and his wife Margaret as a gift to Scouting. The buildings and equipment were donated by various community leaders, Scouters, and organizations. The dedication of Wallwood came in 1964, the buildings were constructed in 1965, and the first camping season was the summer of 1966. Wallwood covers over 500 acres (2 km²) of land bordered on one side by a branch of Lake Talquin. The camp offers a variety of Scouting programs, including COPE, as well as opportunities for other civic organizations.

OA lodge: Semialachee Lodge #239

West Central Florida CouncilEdit

Main article: West Central Florida council

West Central Florida Council serves Pinellas County and West Pasco County. Two main Scout camps are Sand Hill Scout Reservationin Brooksville, Florida and Camp Soule in Clearwater, Florida. There is also a smaller facility at Bigfoot Wilderness Camp near Dade City, Florida. West Central Florida Council was originally chartered as the Pinellas Area Council in 1917. When the Pinellas Area Council accepted West Pasco County in the 1970s, the council changed its name to the current title. Over 20,000 youth are served by the West Central Florida Council.

The West Central Florida Council's Order of the Arrow Lodge is Timuquan Lodge 340. Timuquan Lodge is hosting the S-4 OA Section Conference from April 17-19, 2009. This conference is open to all Arrowmen in Section Four of the BSA Southern Region. This includes all of Florida (except the panhandle) and southern Georgia. More than 1,200 Scouts and leaders are expected to attend.

West Central Florida Council is divided into four distinct Districts to best serve the youth of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties.

  • Calusa District (Northern Pinellas County): Is named after the Calusa tribe native to Southwest Florida. More than 55 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Venturing Crews serve areas including Safety Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, and Tarpon Springs.
  • Osceola District (Central Pinellas County): Is named after Osceola, a famous war chief of the Seminole tribe. More than 35 Packs, Troops, and Crews serve areas including Seminole, Pinellas Park, and Largo.
  • Skyway District (Southern Pinellas County): Is named after the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that crosses the mouth of Tampa Bay. More than 80 Packs, Troops, and Crews serve areas including St. Petersburg, Tierra Verde, Pasedena, Pass-a-Grille, and Treasure Island.


Sand Hill Scout ReservationEdit

Sand Hill Scout Reservation is a Scout camp of over Template:Convert in the west central Florida region, located near Brooksville, 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, repelling tower, swimming pool, large athletics fields, 10 improved campsites (complete with shelters, water, latrines, and hot water shower facilities), handicapped accessible campsite and facilities, 2 primitve campsites, chapel, large dining hall, trading post, camp medical center, activities shelters, nature center, 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 lives 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 since the early 1980s. Sand Hill is also home to the Brooksville Raid Civil War reenactment every January.

Sand Hill Scout Reservation map

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 SouleEdit

Camp Soule serves the West Central Florida Council. It is located on Template:Convert 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 five improved campsites, nine 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. Camp Soule has served the West Central Florida Council since the 1930s.

Camp Soule map

Camp BigfootEdit

Bigfoot Wilderness Camp is a hidden gem at Green Swamp, east of Dade City, Florida. It is located within a Template:Convert wildlife preserve owned by the State of Florida - Southwest Florida Water Management District. The facility includes a Template:Convert cabin with electricity and indoor plumbing, two wood stoves for heating, an outdoor shower, a campfire area, and primitive patrol campsites. There is a Template:Convert hiking loop starting and ending at the cabin. This loop intersects with a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail extending over Template:Convert to the north and Template:Convert to the south. Bigfoot Wilderness Camp provides a great opportunity for camping in a rustic, primitive "Old Florida" setting.

Girl Scout of the USA in Florida todayEdit

Eight Girl Scout councils exist in Florida though this will shortly drop to 7.

Proposed Council for the Florida PanhandleEdit

The merger of two current councils is tentatively set for May 2009.

  • Girl Scout Council of The Apalachee Bend, headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida[5]
  • Girl Scouts of Northwest Florida, headquartered in Pensacola, Florida[6]

Girl Scouts of Citrus CouncilEdit

Girl Scouts of Citrus Council serves over 17,000 girls in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties in central Florida. It was established in 1956.

Headquarters: Orlando, Florida
Website: http://www.citrus-gs.org/

Camps

  • Celia Lane Little House in Orlando.
  • Mah-Kah-Wee Program Center is Template:Convert near Chuluota.
  • Riverpoint Program Center is Template:Convert with a 19th century lodge
  • Melbourne Scout House

Girl Scouts of Gateway CouncilEdit

Girl Scouts of Gateway Council servers over 25,000 girls in 16 northern Florida counties (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Levy, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee and Union).

Headquarters: Jacksonville, Florida
Website: http://www.girlscouts-gateway.org/

Camps:

  • Camp Kateri is Template:Convert and two lakes
  • Seminole Springs is adjacent to Camp Kateri
  • North Fork is Template:Convert which is under development as a new camp

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast FloridaEdit

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida serves more than 10,000 girls in 10 counties (Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry, and Collier).

Headquarters: Sarasota, Florida
Website: http://www.girlscoutsgulfcoastfl.org

Camps:

  • Camp Honi Hanta
  • Camp Caloosa

Girls Scouts of Southeast FloridaEdit

A new council formed by the merger of Girl Scouts of Broward County and Girl Scouts of Palm Glades Council.

Headquarters: Jupiter, Florida
website: http://www.gspgc.org/ (temporary)

Girl Scout Council of Tropical FloridaEdit

The Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida serves some 16,000 girls in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.

The first troop in Monroe was formed in 1921 and the first in Dade county in 1923. The council was chartered in 1929 and its founder is Judge Edith Atkinson.

Headquarters: Miami, Florida
Website: http://www.girlscoutsfl.org/

CampsEdit

Camp Wesumkee belongs to the Girl Scouts of the USA, and is part of the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida [7], serving Miami, Florida. It is located on West Summerland Key in the Lower Florida Keys, covering over Template:Convert of Atlantic ocean front.

Camp Wesumkee is for experienced campers, offering opportunities for canoeing, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, and nature observations in tidal pools. There are fields for tent use, and 11 chickees with bunk beds for six people each. The chickees have screen walls with shades for privacy. The Galley and Wheelhouse have kitchens and dining/activity areas. There are also fire circles and picnic tables.

The camp hosts the Winter Star Party, usually in February, for amateur astronomers.

Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Wilma in 2005 both affected the camp. All structures were damaged to some degree, and storm surge left sand piled up across the camp.

Camp Choee in Miami serves mainly as a day camp, though it has over-night capabilities, accommodating over 250 day campers across its Template:Convert. Facilities include a large air-conditioned building with kitchen, pool with bath house, craft lodge, fire circles, and four air-conditioned cabins. The original cabins were destroyed during Hurricane Andrew; the replacement cabins have their own toliets and showers, and house 16 people each. The camp is in a fairly urban location, and is made up of open grassy areas and pine scrub.

Camp Mahachee is located in a rich tropical hammock (ecology), and serves as both a day camp and an over-night camp. It covers over Template:Convert, has 8 cabins housing 10 people each, and areas for tents. There are also several fire circles, a butterfly garden, and a natural coral rock "maze."

Coral Gables Little House is on the register of historical places. It's located near Venetian Pool, and is used for day activities and meetings.

South Miami Little House is used for troop meetings and camping, accommodating 20 people over-night or 40 people for day activities.

Girl Scouts of West Central FloridaEdit

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves more than 28,000 girls in 8 Florida counties (Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter). It is a new council formed by the merger of Heart of Florida Girl Scout Council and Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council.

Headquarters: Tampa, Florida
Website: http://www.gswcf.org/

International Scouting units in FloridaEdit

Cuban Scouting in exile exists to this day in Miami as part of the Boy Scouts of America, where Cuban-American Scouts are instrumental in annual Lincoln-Martí celebrations.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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