Scouting and Guiding in Maine
Early History of Boy Scout Councils in Maine (1910-1960)
Boy Scouting started early in Maine, with two local councils in operation by February 1915. The first second class council was in operation by 1916, and by 1917 three second class councils existed, in Auburn Council, Bath Council and Saco Council. South Portland Council began in 1918, as did Waterville Council, but that council apparently only existed for a year. Bangor Council, Old Town Council and Portland Council were begun in 1919 in those localities, while in that same year Auburn Council, Bath Council and Saco Council all ceased to exist. Old Town Council ceased to exist in 1920, while Oxford County Council was formed, with its headquarters in South Paris, Maine.
In 1921, South Portland Council ceased to exist, while a new one Biddeford & Saco Council blossomed once again in Saco. Bangor Council opened Camp Roosevelt, believed to be the first council camp in Maine, the same year. Portland Council changed its name to Cumberland County Council in 1922, no doubt reflecting its expansion beyond the city of Portland (Portland Council had probably absorbed South Portland Council's troops upon its demise the previous year). No organizational changes appear to have occurred in 1923, but big changes would occur the next year.
In 1924, the leaders of Bangor Council took a step similar to that taken by Portland Council in 1922; they changed the council's name to one more reflective of the region served--Penobscot Council--with the change effective at the New Year. Meanwhile, Scouting in the Saco area again took a down turn, with Biddeford & Saco Council ceasing to exist. Oxford County Council also ceased to exist in 1924.
In September 1925 organizers formed a council headquartered in Rockland--Pine Tree Council. Camden was added to this council in 1928, but then Pine Tree Council was absorbed into Cumberland County Council in 1929. The latter council had been growing quite nicely already, as it had added eight towns in Oxford County in May 1929. Also added in 1929 were units in Sagadahoc, Franklin, and Kennebec Counties, as well as those in parts of Knox, Lincoln, and Somerset Counties. Five more towns in Knox County were added in 1930.
Organizers in Saco tried again in 1927, forming York County Council, which also included units in Biddeford and North Berwick. Units in Somersworth, New Hampshire joined York County Council in 1929, but that town moved to New Hampshire's Daniel Webster Council in 1932.
In 1929, Penobscot Council changed its name to Katahdin Area Council, possibly reflecting its growth to encompass all of the northern part of Maine. Although there are references to the council being named "Katahdin Council" on Camp Roosevelt patches, it is generally believed that "Area" has been a part of the council name since its inception.
After two decades of growth and consolidation, by the BSA's twentieth anniversary in early 1930, there were just three councils in Maine--Katahdin Area Council, headquartered in Bangor; Cumberland County Council, headquartered in Portland; and York County Council, headquartered in Saco. The 1930s would see the final changes in council organization: at the end of 1932 Cumberland County Council changed its name to Pine Tree Council; and in 1935 York County Council merged into Pine Tree Council. That merger left Maine with the two councils present there today--Katahdin Area Council in Bangor and Pine Tree Council in Portland.
Recent History of Boy Scout Councils in Maine (1960-Present)
Boy Scouting in Maine
Girl Scouting in Maine
There are two Girl Scout council offices in Maine.
- Abnaki Girl Scout Council, Brewer, Maine http://www.abnakigsc.org
- Girl Scouts of Kennebec Council, South Portland, Maine http://www.gskc.org