Scout Columns In Local Papers

Concho Valley Council

Starting in 1917 and continuing through 1931 there appeared at various times a Scout column in the local papers.  In San Angelo, for instance, starting on January 21, 1917, there was a column called "SCOUTCRAFT" which ran for three different times that we know of.

Starting again on March 25, 1926, a column titled "OUR BOY SCOUTS" appeared in the San Angelo Daily Standard until it was replaced on July 4, 1926, by "SCOUT NEWS - BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA."

Scout column masthead

"SCOUT NEWS - BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA" also appeared in Eagle Pass DAILY NEWS from April 6, 1931 until May 18, 1931.  The weekly news about Scouting in Eagle Pass was written by Joe Belden, a Scout of Troop 7, who was presented his Eagle Scout badge on June 19, 1931.  He continued to write this weekly column through 1931 except that after June, it appeared under the simple heading of "SCOUT NEWS."

Scout column masthead

The "Scout News" was given a new look on April 1, 1928, and on November 11, 1928, was changed to "BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA"  which was still being published in the paper through 1931 on mostly a weekly basis.

Scout column masthead

Appeared in Sunday’s Edition

Most of the columns would appear in the Sunday paper, usually in Section 2; however, it did not appear every week.  Sometimes the column would run every Sunday for weeks at a time and then would suddenly stop for a couple of weeks or even a month or two; usually this happened during the summer months and around Christmas.  Occasionally we found that the column missed the Sunday paper and would appear in the Monday evening paper.

First Columns

The first columns were written by leaders but starting on March 25, 1926, a story written by J. G. Bunyard of the Owl Patrol was the first column written by a Scout.  Bunyard described his experiences at a patrol leaders' training course held at Christoval in a letter written at the request of B. W. Draper, Scout Executive.  The following day a letter by Allie Wooldridge of the Lion Patrol was published in the column.  Then on April 12, 1926, two troop scribes wrote about the happenings in their troop and from then on the scribes of each troop contributed to the column, giving a rundown of the activities of their troop meeting the previous week.  Later, the happenings of the Zocahs and the Sea Scout Ship were added to the weekly column.  Not every scribe contributed a story every week to the column.

Unique Names

After a while, unique names and troop names were added to the column.  Such names as "Troop 1, the friendly troop", "Old Troop 8", "Troop 4, the Happy-go-lucky Troop", "Lucky Troop 7", and "The Lone Star Troop 6" found their way into the column.  Then, when a troop won an award because of a contest or field meet, their name would reflect the award such as the "Loving Cup Troop 1", "King Totem Troop 3", "Troop 2 the Queen Totem Troop."

After Troop 1 dropped the name "the Friendly troop," it was later picked up by Troop 4 which became "Friendly Troop 4" as did "Troop 2, The Friendly Troop."  Brice W. Draper, the Scout Executive, had a column in the section too, usually it was the first thing to appear, promoting an upcoming event or two, or announcing the winners of a contest.  One year, 1930, he featured a point of the Scout Law for each month of the year.

Rocksprings Record

Starting on April 5, 1929, and running through 1930, there appeared in the "Rocksprings Record," published at Rocksprings, Texas, a column that appeared from time to time labeled "Boy Scout News" and "Scout News."  Most of the items that appeared in this column came from the "Council Clippings" published by the Southwest Texas Council, with headquarters in Uvalde.  Being as Mayor V. A. Brown was active in the council at that time, most of the stories dealt with Camp Fawcett.

Scouts Publish Council Newspaper

The Executive Board, Concho Valley Council, in August, 1936, sanctioned the publication of a monthly newspaper devoted entirely to Scouting, starting in September.  The newspaper was issued the last week of each month and consisted of four pages of tabloid size, five columns wide and sixteen inches in length.  The purpose of the paper was to feature news and pictures of all Scout activities throughout the council.  The paper was financed through advertising and was delivered free by Scouts to all members of the Council as well as the Boy Scout Sustaining Club.

The editor was Jack O. Stone, Assistant Scout Executive of the council.  The publicity committee of the council was responsible for the paper and was composed of John B. Brewer, M. M. Phillips and Earl Yates, all of San Angelo.

The first issue of the paper came out on September 29, 1936, and was called the CONCHO VALLEY NEWS.  The lead story was about the Scout Roundup that was to begin on October 1st.  A picture of the 77 Scouts and leaders that attended the Texas Centennial tour during August was featured on the front page.  Another story on the front page told about the 10 log cabins that were washed down the river during the San Angelo flood of September 17.  There were additional stories about summer camp, a new field Scout Executive, Andas R. Smith; the upcoming 1937 National Jamboree; and a contest to name the new publication.

Floyd Dodson
Floyd Dodson

The winner of the "naming the new publication" contest was Floyd Dodson, a second class Scout of Troop 7 of San Angelo.  Dodson later became an Eagle Scout in 1938.  His name was THE WEST TEXAS SCOUT NEWS, which appeared on the masthead of the October 27, 1936 issue.  The blond-headed Scout, who was a swimmer and had joined Troop 7 only in May of that year, won his choice of a free week at Camp Louis Farr the next summer or $10 credit on his National Jamboree fee for 1937.  Twenty-three Boy Scouts contributed 120 probable names for the publication.

The last known issue of the paper was one dated December 12, 1938, which was Volume 2, Number 10.  A photo on page three of this issue had the headline "Boy Scouts Accept 35,857 Acres in Kit Carson Country From Mr. and Mrs. Waite Phillips."  The new camp, called Philturn is now known as Philmont Scout Ranch and Explorer Base!

Houston Harte, publisher of the San Angelo Standard Times spearheaded the publication.  He organized a Press Club that was made up of all the unit reporters in in San Angelo.  The publication was discontinued during World War II.

Paper Starts Up Again

He met with a group on March 11, 1949, in the Virginian Room of the St. Angelus Hotel to reorganize the new Concho Valley Press Club.  The Club was made up of unit reporters from San Angelo and from the different towns, plus members of the editing staff.  The San Angelo section of the club met every Tuesday afternoon on the stage in the back of the new section of junior high after school to accept assignments and receive tips on journalism.

The first issued of the paper came our on April 6, 1949, and was titled “The Spur” of the Concho Valley Council.  Michael Horwitz was Supervising Editor.  Scoutmasters could subscribe to the paper for 50 cents per year.  Individual Scouts could also subscribe to the paper.  It was printed every month except for June, when they received it at camp. We do not know how long this paper existed as we have a copy of only the first issue.

At some point in time “The Spur” ceased publication, for on August 26, 1968, a new legal size paper, folded in half, called “Concho Valley Scouter,” published its first issue.  The following month, the Council, mailed out 1,184 copies and the paper had doubled in size.  The name was changed to “BOY POWER” in January 1971.  The paper was published each month and the Council has copies through June of 1973.  The last paper was printed on an 11x17 inch sheet of paper and folded in half.  Each of the resulting pages had three columns of print.  Jack Moore had just become Scout Executive of the Council.

The paper underwent another change in September 1973 when the name was changed to the “Echoes ...Scouting News Worth Reporting.”  Then in October 1977, it simply became the “Echoes” with the “Scouting News Worth Printing” moved to the same line as the date.  The “Echoes” was published every month until 1990.  Frank Hilton was editor of the paper from 1974 through 1990.

When postal rates got too high, the newsletter went to an every other month publication.  This continued in this format until 1995 when it started coming out only a few times a year, and finally in 2000 only one issue was published.  In 2001, a January and September issue was published and mailed out to all their Scouters. No issues were published in 2002.  Three issues were  published in 2003, April, September and December.  The name of the newsletter was changed to "Scouter" with the April issue.  The September issue was dated "Fall 2003" and the December issue was dated as "Winter 2003."  You can view this issue by going to HERE.

To view the back issues of the Concho Valley Council newsletter from September 1998 to 2009, click HERE which will take you to the newsletter web page of the Concho Valley Council.

The first newsletters of the council were typed up on manual typewriters, then typed on electric typewriters and finally on a computer.  Photographs have appeared in the paper since its beginning, and the newsletters have provided a rich resource of the history of the Concho Valley Council.

Material for this story was taken from "Panjandrum A History of Scouting in the Concho Valley Council 1911-2001," by Frank T. Hilton, 2001

Last Updated:  February 17,2009
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