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Scouting in Massachusetts

Scouting in Massachusetts includes both Girl Scout and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organizations. Both were founded in the 1910s in Massachusetts. With a vigorous history, both organizations actively serve thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Scouting in Massachusetts
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By 1910, a scout like group, Boston City Guard, was founded by Frank O. Carpenter of the English High School. In June 1910, the American Boy Scouts started organizing the Department of New England which was operational in August or September under chief department scout General William H. Oakes and based in Boston.[1] On February 1, 2019, Boy Scouts of America started allowing all-girl troops to be formed. A number of all-girl troops have been formed in Massachusetts. [2]

Boy Scouts of America in Massachusetts todayEdit

Cape Cod and the Islands CouncilEdit

Cape Cod and the Islands Council
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersYarmouthport, Massachusetts
CountryUnited States

The Cape Cod and the Islands Council serves Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket with the headquarters in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. The Council owns two camps: Greenough Scout Reservation as well as Camp Richard. The Order of the Arrow lodge is Abake Mi-Sa-Na-Ki Lodge #393.

Mayflower CouncilEdit

Mayflower Council
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersMarlborough, Massachusetts
CountryUnited States
PresidentMichael Rotar
Council CommissionerMark Niedzielski
Scout ExecutiveBryan Feather

On March 28, 2017, Knox Trail Council and Old Colony Council voted to merge and create a new, combined council. The merger was executed on May 10, 2017; with the new council using the name 'Council 251' pending the selection of a new name. On August 30, 2017 members voted to become the Mayflower Council.[3] Mayflower Council is headquartered at the former Knox Trail Council office in Marlborough, Massachusetts and maintains the Canton, Massachusetts office of Old Colony Council as a satellite location.

The Order of the Arrow is represented by the new Tantamous Lodge #223; with the Owl as its totem.

Heart of New England CouncilEdit

The Heart of New England Council was created in 2018 with the merger of the Mohegan Council and the Nashua Valley Council. Mohegan Council and Nashua Valley Councils voted to merge on May 31 and May 30 2018, respectively.[4] The Heart of New England Council consists of four districts; Massasoit, Mill Town, Quinsigamond, and Wachusett; and serves 62 communities in Central Massachusetts.

On October 20, 2018, the Order of the Arrow lodges from the former Councils merged, creating the Catamount Lodge #230.

Heart of New England Council
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersLancaster, Massachusetts
CountryUnited States
PresidentRochelle Ray
Council CommissionerRobert Shamgochian
Scout ExecutiveTodd Lamison

The Council operates Treasure Valley Scout Reservation, founded in 1926 in Rutland, Massachusetts. Treasure Valley Scout Reservation serves as a summer camp for both Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts. Treasure Valley Scout Reservation consists of over 1600 acres of land expanding over the towns of Rutland, Spencer, Paxton, and Oakham, Massachusetts. The Council also operates Camp Wanocksett and Camp Split Rock.

Mohegan Council, founded in 1911, served Central Massachusetts in the southern portion of Worcester County, Massachusetts. Mohegan Council was one of the only Councils in New England to last over 100 years without a merger. The Order of the Arrow Lodge for Mohegan Council was Pachachaug Lodge #525, founded in 1957. The word "Pachachaug" is the Nipmuc[5] word meaning "turning point" because joining the Order of the Arrow can be a turning point for a scout's life. Pachachaug Lodge proudly served its home camp of Treasure Valley Scout Reservation, and annually gave over 3,000 hours of service there. As of 2017, Pachachaug Lodge had 350 dues paid members. In its history, Pachachaug Lodge had 3 members serve as the Northeast Region Chief of the Order of the Arrow. The totem of Pachachaug Lodge #525 was the Thunderbird.

Nashua Valley Council served north-central Massachusetts and was formed in 1965 from the merger of the Wachusett Council and the Fitchburg Area Council. The Order of the Arrow Lodge was Grand Monadnock Lodge.

Narragansett CouncilEdit

Narragansett Council
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersEast Providence, Rhode Island
CountryUnited States

Narragansett Council is based in East Providence, Rhode Island and serves part of Massachusetts, as well as all of Rhode Island and part of Connecticut. The council gained a significant foothold in Massachusetts through merger with the former Moby Dick Council in 2001, and increased its area through merger with the former Annawon Council in 2016. Council camps in Massachusetts include Cachalot Scout Reservation (Plymouth), Camp Norse (Kingston), and Camp Buxton (Rehoboth). The council also operates Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Rhode Island. The Order of the Arrow Lodge is Tulpe Lodge #102.

Spirit of Adventure CouncilEdit

Spirit of Adventure Council
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersMilton, MA
CountryUnited States
PresidentJack Klinck, Jr.
Council CommissionerJack Terrill
Scout ExecutiveChuck Eaton
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The Spirit of Adventure Council was formed from a merger of the Yankee Clipper Council and Boston Minuteman Council on July 1, 2015. As part of this merger, New Hampshire towns of the former Yankee Clipper Council were transferred to Daniel Webster Council headquartered in Manchester, NH.

Western Massachusetts CouncilEdit

The Western Massachusetts Council was created on June 28, 2008 with the merger of Great Trails Council and Pioneer Valley Council. Geographically, it is the largest BSA council in Massachusetts serving Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties and the town of Stamford, Vermont. The council operates Scout office-service centers in Westfield and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and year-round camping facilities at Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation in Russell. It formerly operated Chesterfield Scout Reservation in Chesterfield, Massachusetts.

The Western Massachusetts Council is divided into three districts:

  • Appalachian Trail District
  • Metacomet District
  • General Knox District

Order of the Arrow – The Pocumtuc Lodge of the Western Massachusetts Council was formed by the merger of Memsochet Lodge 507 (Great Trails Council) and Allogagan Lodge 83 (Pioneer Valley Council)[6] on September 28, 2008. Pocumtuc Lodge serves the BSA summer camp at Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation, with OA days occurring on Wednesdays during summer weeks. During OA days, Brotherhood conversations are done and there is lodge fellowship.

George W. Magee Memorial Trust FundEdit

The George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund is a Massachusetts-based trust whose proceeds are used to support the purchase and improvement of the camps operated by BSA Councils in Massachusetts.[7]


George W. P. Magee was a theatrical agent and manager who most notably managed Boston's Grand Opera House from the 1890s through 1916. Being very involved in the community, he saw Scouting as a program making significant positive impact on the lives of young men. He turned this belief into a permanent commitment to Scouting, by establishing a trust upon his death. [8]

George Magee died in 1939, with France Cornell and Frederick W. Cook becoming the original Trustees of the fund. It took nearly 5 years, until 1944, for the fund to reach the minimum level for income to be distributed ($500,000). In 1944, the fund distributed $11,000. Upon the death of Mr. Cornell in 1961, the Old Colony Trust Company became the sole corporate trustee of the fund.


As of 2004, the fund had a market value of approximately $7.3 million, with an annual distribution of $210,000. Over its lifetime, the fund has contributed over $6.2 million to hundreds of projects, impacting over a million youth, at various Boy Scout camps. Funds are held by the Private Bank at Bank of America, the current successor of the Old Colony Trust Company, and they are advised by a committee composed of local Scouting professionals and volunteers. Many Massachusetts camps conduct a "Magee Night" competition or other similar event to celebrate Mr. Magee's contribution, and it is quite easy to find buildings named after Mr. Magee or with plaques bearing his name.

Councils requesting money typically make proposals to the advisory committee, stating the purpose of the project, the amount being requested, and any moneys being provided through other sources. Only Councils located in Massachusetts are eligible, although as the will reads the camps that benefit may be located elsewhere in New England.

Girl Scout Councils in MassachusettsEdit

There are three Girl Scout councils serving Massachusetts, one of which is headquartered in Rhode Island.

Girl Scouts of Central and Western MassachusettsEdit

Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts serves 15,000 girls in 186 communities. It was formed by a merger in early 2008 of three councils: Girl Scouts of Montachusett Council, Girl Scouts of Pioneer Valley, Girl Scouts of Western Massachusetts.

Headquarters: Holyoke, Massachusetts and Worcester, Massachusetts


Girl Scouts of Eastern MassachusettsEdit

The historic Ephraim Hammond House in Waltham. The estate is now owned by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serves more than 45,000 girls and 17,000 adults in 177 Massachusetts communities and South Hampton, New Hampshire. It was formed February 1, 2008 by a merger of three councils: Girls Scouts, Patriots' Trail; Girl Scout Council of Southeastern Massachusetts; Girl Scouts of Spar and Spindle Council.

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Service CentersEdit


Former Girl Scout CampsEdit

Girl Scouts of Rhode IslandEdit

This council supports Massachusetts girls in Bellingham, Blackstone, Attleboro, Fall River, North Attleboro, Plainville, Somerset, Swansea, Westport, Wrentham, Millville, Rehoboth and Seekonk.

Former Girl Scout CampsEdit

Scouting museumsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Page 413-416. The Boy Scout Movement. New Boston: A Chronicle of Progress in Developing a Greater and Finer City, Volume 1. Boston 1915, Incorporated, 1910. Accessed on January 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Staff. "Six new Boy Scout Troops for Girls Launch in Region". Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  3. ^ Covino, Carlene. "Council 251 Becomes Mayflower Council". Mayflower Council | BSA. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  5. ^ Brooks, Lisa (2018). Our beloved kin : a new history of King Philip's War. p. 175. ISBN 978-0300196733. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. ^ "The Path To Pocumtuc". Virtual Patch Collection.
  7. ^ 60 Years of Scouting Support: The George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund. George W. Magee Memorial Trust Fund. 2004.
  8. ^ Last Will and Testament of George W. P. Magee. June 25, 1938.

External linksEdit