History of Texas Trails Council

Click on map for larger versionTexas Trails Council was officially organized on January 1, 2003 following several months of meetings between the former Chisholm Trail Council and the Comanche Trail Council.  The boards of the two former council elected Pat Leadtherwood to serve as the first Council President and a special selection committee selected Ken Brown to serve as the first Council Scout Executive.  The question about whether or not to unify has been considered for 20 years.  At least twice in the past 15 years, the two councils had met and then turned down the opportunity to combine into one council.

A meeting was held on May 14, 2002 at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sweetwater, Texas.  The Council Key Leadership of the Buffalo Trail Council, Midland, TX; Concho Valley Council, San Angelo, TX; Chisholm Trail Council, Abilene, TX, met to explore the possibility of joining together to form one council.  Comanche Trail Council, Brownwood, TX, was not invited to attend this meeting.  Following this meeting, the Executive Board of the Buffalo Trail Council turned down the offer to consolidate into one council.

A second meeting was held June 19, 2002 at the First Coleman National Bank, Coleman, TX and Comanche Trail Council was invited this time to participate in the meeting along with Concho Valley Council and Chisholm Trail Council.  Following this meeting the Concho Valley Council's Executive Board voted, by only one vote, not to participate further into discussions about consolidating the three councils into one.

A third meeting was then held on August 6, 2003 at Hendrick Hospital, Abilene, TX with ten selected Scouters from Chisholm Trail Council and Comanche Trail Council to form a "Program Review Study Task Force" to look into the pros and cons of the two councils consolidating into one council with a new name.  The three task study groups reported back on Finance, Program and Administration.  That group voted to proceed with further studies and to have Town Hall Scouter meetings in several different communities in the two councils with representatives of both councils present to answer questions and give the pros and cons about consolidation.

As reported in the Brownwood Bulletin, August 29, 2003, from the meeting held at the Council Service Center in Brownwood, "Some scout leaders expressed concern that being included in a huge council would cause area Scout leaders to lose a voice in council decisions.  The prospect of aligning with a big city council (Ft. Worth) also brought concerns to the forefront that Comanche Trail Council and Chisholm Trail would lose their distinct West Texas culture."

Following the Town Hall meetings held in seven communities of the two councils, their respective Executive Boards and charter organizations voted on October 29, 2002 to combine the two councils into one council.  A transition team of 20 members from both councils met on October 30, 2002 in Brownwood to discuss the upcoming changes.  As Pat Leatherwood, stated at that meeting, "The decision was an emotional one."  The new council would be based in Abilene.

Council Shoulder Patch

Following a contest, held until November 15, 2002, to name the new council, the name "Texas Trails Council" was selected.
Texas Trail Council Shoulder Patch

Another contest was held to select the shoulder patch for the new council and that selection was done in 2003. This new patch had two ghost symbols in the background.  One of a buffalo head and one of the longhorn head.  Some features of the former shoulder patches of the Chisholm Trail Council and the Comanche Trail Council patch was incorporated into the design.  The first patches of 1,000 were made by Sunshine Emblems in Florida.  The new council budget was to be about $750,000. Members of the Texas Trails Council, wear the patch of the council on their left shoulder.  Symbolized on this patch is the colorful sunrise of a new Texas morning with an adventurer on the trail who is either coming or going.  Designed to represent both, this patch shows an adventurer on a new Texas Trail AND an adventurer coming off the old trail of either the Historic Comanche Trail or the Historic Chisolm Trail. 

Texas Jam

Texas Jam PatchThe first Texas Trails Council event ever, the "TTC "Jam" began with an invasion of the Flat Rock Park area of Hord's Creek Park, located west of Coleman.  The event was held the weekend of March 28-30, 2003.  There was fellowship and displays of Scoutcraft presented by troops from all over the new council.  Over 300 participants enjoyed the brisk, but sunny, weather, and several Cub Scout Packs turned up on Saturday to see the Scout skills on display.  On Saturday, the Scouts built quail habitats to stimulate growth of the local bird populations.

A special campfire was held on Saturday night filled with skits, songs and stories.  It became apparent to all who attended the weekend that the two former councils had indeed become one. On Sunday morning several individuals gathered ashes from the previous night's campfire to save as a memento of the new beginning of the Texas Trails Council.  Aivars Junkis and Blair Haynie organized the weekend.

Cub Scout Stampede

Cub Family Camp - Youth PatchNot to be outdone by the Boy Scouts, the Cubs held their first combined event for the new Texas Trails Council on the weekend of May 2-4, 2003, at Hord's Creek Park.  It was a family campout with the entire family invited to participate.  Packs did their own planning and preparing of meals which many felt brought the packs closer together.  Webelos had a special program Friday night with Indian dancing, provided by the Otena Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, and Saturday morning with events such as knot tying, first aid, erecting of wall tents, and a 4 man tug of war.

The events for everyone on Saturday afternoon centered around the theme of "Stick Horse Rodeo."  Events include Doc Holiday's Medicine, Jail Sheriff, Judge Roy Bean, The Outlaw Josey Whales, Barrel racing, Egg racing, Rescue racing, Bronc riding, Pole bending, Steer roping, Lead line, BB's, Archery, Arts and crafts, and some Branding.  The weather was perfect for the weekend and fun was held by all 500+ participants both old and young alike.  Pam Barnes and Bob Rider were in charge of the weekend.

Council Newsletters

Masthead of Texas Trails News
The first issue of the Texas Trails News was published in February 2003.  The eight-page paper included stories on the new leadership of the council, the various events of the old Chisholm and Comanche Trail Councils, as well as promotion for the two summer camps, Camp Tonkawa and Camp Billy Gibbons.  The editor was Aivars Junkis, who also agreed to serve as the webmaster for the council's web site "texastrailsbsa.org."  The newsletter was scheduled to come out quarterly, and starting with the second issue in May 2003.  The newsletter also started appearing on the council's web site.  You can view all past issues of the newsletter at:  http://www.texastrailsbsa.org/Council/texas_trails_news.htm

 Texas Trails e-News

The Texas Trails e-News became the official newsletter of the Texas Trails Council as of December 2008.  An updated version is suppose to be available roughly four times a year, about once a quarter. The newsletter is available to everyone with internet access and the council has a computer that volunteers may use to access the newsletter. Starting with the first issue the newsletter was only available on-line and was not be mailed or emailed and there would not be a PDF version to download or print.  You may view the first issue of the e-News at:   Volume 1, Issue 1 - Mar 2008 - Nov 2008

First Annual Recognition Banquet

The first Annual Recognition Banquet of the council was held Thursday, February 13, 2004 in the dining hall of Camp Tonkawa.  It was attended by some 70 Scouters from the seventeen county area of the council.  Following dinner, the James E. West Award was presented to Mrs. Janet L. Griffin and Silver Beavers were presented to Vince Araiz, Kent Barnett, and Ray Easterling.  The banquet is still being held in the dining hall at Camp Tonkawa.

Scout Shop Closed in Brownwood

In a letter to the members of the Council Executive Board, the Council Executive Committee said "Over the past two years the Executive Board and Staff have made many hard and emotional decisions in order to reduce expenses and increase service throughout the council.  The executive committee voted to close the Scout Store and not the office in Brownwood because of low usage and negative income over expenses.  To better serve the Scouts of our council with their uniform and advancement needs, a 1-888 number has been setup for mail orders and an on-line system is being developed in order to provide scouting accessories to be purchased over the internet and delivered to your front door. With gas prices on the rise this form of purchasing will be the most economical for our members as well as the council."  The Council Executive Board approved the closing of the Scout Store in Brownwood at their December 15th Council Board Meeting.

The Scout Shop was due to close for the Christmas holidays on December 23, 2004, but due to circumstance of losing the employee that ran the office, the Scout Shop actually was closed on December 15th.  All the merchandise and some office equipment was moved to the office in Abilene following a formal inventory taken on December 28, 2004.

Internet Rechartering

Electronic recharting of a unit became a reality in the Texas Trails Council in the fall of 2005.  It was a Web-based method for units to renew their charters from any online location.  Units entered the information themselves.  When completed, the unit roster was submitted to ScoutNET and a Unit Charter Renewal Report Package was printed.  The unit then acquired the signatures for the application and sent it, along with the rest of the package, any new youth and adult applications, and all fees to the council.

Kent Brown served as the first Scout Executive of the Texas Trails Council from 2003 to September 9, 2009.  David Angle became the second Scout Executive of the Texas Trails Council on January 2, 2010.

Here you will find additional information on the Texas Trails Council:

| Eagle ScoutsSpirit of the Eagle Award | Silver Beavers | North Star Award | District Award of Merit |
| Peneteka OA Lodge | | Map of Council  | Council Presidents  | Council Executive | Other Executives |
| Newsletter - "Texas Trails News" | Timber Tag Training | How Two Councils Were Consolidated |
| James E. West Fellowship Awards |

Last Updated:  November 15, 2015
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