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Cascade Pacific Council History

Scouting Since 1916

On January 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was born. Scouting in what is now the Cascade Pacific Council was officially founded on July 13, 1916. Below is a bit about the history of the Boy Scouts of America and our very own Cascade Pacific Council.

Our First 100 Years

History of Cascade Pacific Council

1916: On July 1916, the Portland Council of the Boy Scouts of America was organized. Mr. W.W. Cotton, Council President recommended the employment of James A. Brockway as the first Scout Executive of The Portland Council.

C.S. Jackson, publisher of the Oregon Journal, gave two rooms for office space. He promised free use for a second year “if it was shown the Boy Scouts (Council) was self-supporting.”

The Portland Council’s first annual financial report posted receipts of $2,081.43; $11.25 had been contributed by the Rose Festival Association.  Expenses had included $45.00 for a typewriter and $8.00 for office chairs.

1918: The Portland Council opened Camp Chinidere, along Wahtum Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest.  Unfortunately, the log lodge and camp burned down in 1925.

1925: Camp Millard was organized on 300 acres on Eagle Creek in Clackamas County which was donated to the Portland Council by the Millard family.

1925:  G. H. Obertueffer became the second Scout Executive for Portland Council.  Through the years, he came to be affectionately known as “Chief Obie.”  That year, the council served 2,061 youth.

1926: Some 480 acres of coastal property, south of Cape Lookout, on the Oregon coast was purchased for $21,000.  This site is now known as Camp Meriwether.

1931: “Cubbing” was born in the council when two unregistered Cub packs were discovered and “adopted” on a trial basis. Cubbing became an official part of Scouting in 1935.

1935: The  Mt. St. Helens Council, comprised of the four southwest counties of Washington, merged with the Portland Council to become the Portland Area Council.  Later, the Mid-Columbia Deschutes Council, which included Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Klickitat counties, also merged with the Portland Area Council.

1937: A $25,000 bequest from the Ned Baldwin estate was given to the council which  was later modified to allow the purchase of property east of the Cascades.

1947: The first Camp Baldwin was built on Ramsay Creek, west of Dufur.  Later, in 1962, a new Camp Baldwin was built on 320 acreage known as “The Dufur Mill.”

1952: 170 acres of land, east of Mt. Scott, was purchased for a training center.

1954: 240 acres of forest land was given to trustees.  Selective logging on it provided funds to develop Camp Cooper.

1955: In June of 1955, Camp Spirit Lake was built on land leased from the U.S. Forest Service.

1956: The council acquired a 99 year lease on 120 acres near Battleground, Washingtion for what is now known as Camp Lewis.

1958: On March 10, 1958, after decades of renting office space in the Stage Terminal Building on SW 5th and Salmon, the council opened its own modern Service Center between 1st and Front Avenue (now Naito Pkwy – which still serves today as council headquarters.

1965: the council name changed to Columbia Pacific Council.

1969: The BSA allows young women ages 14 to 20 to join special-interest Explorer posts.

1971: Young women were admitted to full membership in Exploring, and the upper age limit for Explorers was raised to 21.

1972—BSA opens troop committee positions to women.

1976: As part of the U.S. Bicentennial observance, the council sponsored a “Town Hall” meeting at which President Gerald R. Ford was the key speaker. BSA opens the Cubmaster position to women.

1980: On May 18, 1980, the council lost Camp Spirit Lake due to the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.  A portion of the insurance money helped to create Camp Discovery at Scouters’ Mountain.

1988—BSA opens the Webelos Den Leader position to women, along with all other Scouting positions in all Scouting programs, including allowing adult women associated with a Boy Scout troop to be elected to the Order of the Arrow honor camping society.

1993: The Cascade Area Council, in Salem, merged with the Columbia Pacific Council to form the current Cascade Pacific Council.  The change brought many opportunities to the council, including Camp Pioneer, which sits near the base of beautiful Mt. Jefferson.

2006: The council celebrated its 90th Anniversary.

2010: BSA celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, and continues our strong legacy of providing outstanding programs and outdoor opportunities to children and young adults.

2018: Cub Scouting opens to girls as well as boys. 

2019: BSA begins allowing troops for Scout-age girls (11-17). 

2026: Camp Meriwether will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

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