Greater Saint Louis Area Council
The Greater Saint Louis Area Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America located in the states of Illinois and Missouri. They can be found online at http://www.stlbsa.org/ The council is based in Saint Louis, Missouri, and serves Scouts in the Saint Louis Metro area, southeast Missouri, and southern Illinois.
The Saint Louis Council was formed in 1911. The name changed to Greater Saint Louis Area Council in 1995 after a merger with two nearby councils. Historically, the council has covered the Saint Louis metropolitan area. However, through multiple mergers with other area councils the GSLAC territory has grown to cover large portions of eastern Missouri and Illinois.
|1911||Saint Louis Council (312) formed.|
|1923||Webster Groves Council merged into Saint Louis Council (312).|
|1927||Cairo Council (116) renamed Ambraw-Wabash Council (116).|
|1928||Jefferson & Marion County Council (685) divided across National Trails Council (139) & Ambraw-Wabash Council (116).|
|1929||Acis Council (121) renamed Decatur Area Council (121).|
|1933||Belleville Council (114) renamed Belleville Area Council.|
|1936||Belleville Area Council (114) merged into Kaskaskia Council (114).|
|1936||Mineral Area Council (294) divided across Southeast Missouri Council (305) and Saint Louis Council (312).|
|1953||Ambraw-Wabash Council (116) renamed Buffalo Trace Council.|
|1955||Buffalo Trace Council (116) divided to Kaskaskia Council (114), Decatur Area (121), Southern Indiana (156), and Wabash Valley Council (166).|
|1966||Kaskaskia Council (114) merged with Mississippi Valley (122) become Okaw Valley (116).|
|1993||Southeast Missouri Council (305) merged into Saint Louis Council (312).|
|1994||Egyptian Council (120) merged into Saint Louis Council (312).|
|1995||Saint Louis Council renamed to Greater Saint Louis Area Council.|
|2009||Okaw Valley Council (116) merged with Trails West (112) to become Lewis and Clark (114).|
|2017||Lewis and Clark (114) merged into Greater Saint Louis Area Council (312).|
|2019||Lincoln Trails Council (121) merged into Greater Saint Louis Area Council (312).|
The Greater Saint Louis Area Council is made up of twenty-three (23) local districts:
- Arrowhead Serving Macon, Moultrie, Shelby, and portions of Christian counties in Illinois.
- Big Muddy Serving Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Perry, Pulaski, and Union counties in Southern Illinois.
- Black Gold Serving Clay, Fayette, Jefferson, Marion, Washington, Wayne, and part of Clinton counties in Illinois.
- Boone Trails Serving St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties in Missouri.
- Cahokia Mounds Serving most of Madison and Bond counties in Illinois.
- Cherokee Serving Dunklin, Pemiscot, Mississippi, New Madrid, and parts of Scott and Stoddard counties in Illinois.
- Community Outreach Not directly associated with a geographic area. This district provides Scout Outreach to students in communities with limited volunteers to lead packs and troops.
- Egyptian Serving Franklin, Hamilton, Saline, and Williamson counties in Illinois.
- Gravois Trail Located in South St. Louis County and the Fenton area. It consists of the southern edge of the Rockwood school district, as well as the Lindbergh, Bayless, Hancock Place, Mehlville, and Afton school districts in Missouri.
- Illini Serving the East St. Louis, Alorton, Brooklyn, Madison, Centreville, and Cahokia school districts in Illinois.
- New Horizons
- North Star
- Ozark Trailblazers
- Piasa Bird
- River Trails
- St. Clair
The Council is served by four Order of the Arrow lodges: Shawnee Lodge, which serves the Greater St. Louis Metro area, Anpetu-We Lodge which serves southeast Missouri and southern Illinois, Nisha Kittan Lodge which serves southern Illinois and Woapink Lodge which serves central Illinois. After Greater New York Councils combined its five lodges into one in 2013, the Council is the only BSA council that is home to more than one Order of the Arrow Lodge. Upon completion of the mergers of the early 1990s, it was decided that the council was geographically too large to administer one Order of the Arrow program. The decision was made to merge the Ney-a-Ti lodge, from the Egyptian Council with the Anpetu-We Lodge, and make two lodges within the council. Before the Lewis and Clark Council merger, GSLAC submitted a resolution to National to change the "One Lodge, One Council" policy.
The Order of the Arrow existed at Camp Lewallen prior to the Anpetu-We Lodge. Jonito-Otora (Beaver Club) Lodge No. 100 was chartered to the Southeast Missouri Council on April 5, 1937. At that time, the Order of the Arrow was not endorsed by the Boy Scouts of America, and Jonito Otora was disbanded in 1939 in favor of a similar organization called the Golden Sun. The Golden Sun Honor Society was an integral part of Camp Lewallen. The Golden Sun Warrior Circle still remains and is used as the Ordeal ceremony ring. The Golden Sun was disbanded in 1956 to allow the rechartering of an Order of the Arrow Lodge. The Order of the Arrow was by this time endorsed by the National Council as the official honor camping society, and all councils were encouraged to comply. The Southeast Missouri Council was allowed to keep the number 100 for its lodge number, but the youth members chose to change the name to Anpetu-We, meaning "rising sun". This was a tribute to the former Golden Sun Honor Society. The Anpetu-We Lodge was chartered on March 5, 1956.
Anpetu-We Lodge is divided into five chapters aligned with GSLAC districts:
- Big Muddy
The Shawnee Lodge was formed in 1930 and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2020. At first it was known as the Osage Lodge. By 1931 when the first "President" was elected it had been discovered that another lodge had the same name. The name was then changed to "Shawnee", after the tribe that had inhabited the neighboring territory. The "thunderbird", which means eagle, was adopted as the Lodge totem. When the St. Louis Council became of size to adopt the district system in 1939 the Lodge had a membership of about 1,000 and chapters were established.
The year 1965 marked the start of a new era of the Shawnee Lodge, with the dedication of S bar F Scout Ranch at the Fall Reunion. Camps Sakima and Famous Eagle were opened in the summer of 1966 with the generous help of the Order of the Arrow. Since then, Spring Conclaves have been held at Beaumont Scout Reservation and Fall Reunions at the S bar F Scout Ranch. In 1969 Camp Gamble was completed by the Order and it was opened in 1970.
It is a large lodge of over 3800 registered members and often draws 2,000 members to its annual Fall Reunion. Shawnee also is one of our nation's most active lodges. The Shawnee Lodge has done countless major service projects for the Greater St. Louis Area Council as well as providing camp promotion every year.
The Shawnee Lodge is made up of nine chapters. Each chapter represents a district within the Greater St. Louis Area Council.
- Boone Trails
- Gravois Trail
- New Horizons
- North Star
- Ozark Trailblazers
- River Trails
Nisha Kittan Lodge
Nisha Kittan Lodge is divided into six chapters:
- Black Gold
- Cahokia Mounds
- Piasa Bird
- Soaring Eagle
On April 2, 1957, Woapink Lodge was accepted and rechartered into the Lincoln Trails Council with a working OA program based out of Camp Robert Faries located on the shores of Lake Decatur. Even though 1957 is when they officially rechartered, our lodge is considered to have actually been "established" in 1955. That’s when Lincoln Trails Council acquired its first group of ranked arrowmen brothers proudly wearing their OA insignia during council activities. The lodges name Woapink is from the language of the Delaware Indians which in translation means "opossum" or "the wild beast".
Woapink Lodge is divided into two chapters: