Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Highlights of BSA National Capitial Area Council (NCAC) History (1911 – 1921)

  • On June 21, 1911, several community-minded citizens met inside the Willard Hotel, located in the District of Columbia, to organize the troops that were already meeting in the area, and to give direction to this movement. This “Organizational Meeting” as it was called by its incorporators, (Edward Stephens, Stanley Willis, and William D. Boyce - the American who first went to England to meet with Lord Baden Powell and find out more about this program called Boy Scouting - formed “The District of Columbia Council, Boy Scouts of America”.
  • In March, 1919, a special recognition was given to the District of Columbia Scouts for their courage and loyalty displayed at the Women’s Suffrage Parade. Approximately 400 Scouts participated, which was almost half of the entire Council Scout membership. But the Scouts more than outnumbered the police that were assigned to the event. Their primary duty was to help hold back the crowds with tier staves to let the women march by. However, the large crowd soon turned unruly. In certain parts along the parade route, some men began attacking the women. Fifty or so of the largest Scouts, with their long staves, were corralled to aid the women by protecting them from the jeering crowds. Some of the women had been bloodied by their own pickets and signs. A Scout distinguished himself by coming to the aid of an African American policeman who was overwhelmed by one section of the riotous crowd.
  • When World War I broke out, the Boy Scouts were ready to go. In fact, they were the largest uniformed body in the country with 280,000 members. The Army only numbered 200,000 at the time. The Scouts, locally and nationally, performed countless hours of service in communications, material collections, fund raising, distributions and public relation for the war effort.
  • By the end of 1919, there were 2,386 registered Scouts and 93 Boy Scout troops.
Taken from NCAC Capital Comments – February Edition.

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