Scouting and Guiding in New Hampshire

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Scouting in New Hampshire has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Early history (1910-1950)

Originally, the Boy Scouts of America chartered the Manchester Council in 1912 to serve Southern New Hampshire. In 1929, the Daniel Webster Council was chartered to cover a more substantial portion of the state.

Recent history (1950-present)

Originally, Daniel Webster Council operated Camp Manning in Gilmanton Iron Works, and Camp Carpenter in Manchester. In 1945, Camp Carpenter became the official Scout camp for Daniel Webster Council. In 1969, the council, under the leadership of Max I. Silber, established the Lawrence L. Lee Scout Museum at Camp Carpenter, to recognize the council's longtime Scout Executive. In 1972, the Daniel Webster Council acquired Hidden Valley Scout Reservation from Norumbega Council in Massachusetts. Hidden Valley is located in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire. In the late 1980s, Camp Carpenter became a Cub Scout camp during the summer months. In the early 2000's, Hidden Valley was renamed the Griswold Hidden Valley Scout Reservation. It was divided into two camps: Hidden Valley and the new Camp Bell.

Hidden Valley and Camp Carpenter are run as traditional Scout camps with full dining facilities and a wide variety of program areas and activities. Camp Bell is run with a higher emphasis on strengthening the Patrol Method. Campers do their own cooking in their sites, and participate in day-long activities as patrols. Camp Bell has a different variety of activities from Hidden Valley, including their "living history areas," and a different set of merit badges are available.

Camp Bell is actually on the property that was Camp Manning, which after being sold by the Daniel Webster Council to private owners, changed ownership several times and had previously existed as a camp run by various organization such as the YMCA who called it Camp Leo. Camp Bell was named for a local attorney who was instrumental in reacquiring the property for the Daniel Webster Council.

Boy Scouting in New Hampshire

There are two Boy Scouts of America local councils in New Hampshire.

Girl Scouting in New Hampshire

There is one Girl Scout council office New Hampshire.

Girl Scouts of Swift Water Council, Bedford, New Hampshire

Scouting museums in New Hampshire

In 1967, prominent Scouter Max I. Silber sought to display several articles that he had acquired from his many Scout trips around the world. Amongst other artifacts, Max had been given many personal effects of Scouting founder Baden-Powell from his widow, Lady Olave Baden-Powell including original drawings, and writings from the founder. Max and his good friend Council Executive Lawrence L. "Larry" Lee discussed the idea of displaying the collection, and they decided to build a small museum at Camp Carpenter in Manchester, New Hampshire. The site selected was previously the location of the camp's dining hall which had burned down years before. Before the museum was finished, Larry died, and it was decided that it was only fitting to name the museum after him. The Lawrence L. Lee Scouting Museum opened its doors in 1969.

In 1978, the museum needed to expand, and it was decided to also build a library where the large collection of Scout books could be displayed and used as a place to learn about Scouting's vast history. The Museum Committee elected to name the library after Max, who on top of his great dedication and service to Scouting around the world was the catalyst for the museum's founding.

The Lawrence L. Lee Scouting Museum and Max I. Silber Library are run by a volunteer staff and committee who keep the museum open every Saturday, and each day in July and August. They take pride in the fact that they never have had to charge for admission.

Scouting by County

Hillsborough / Merrimack / Rockingham /

See also