In 1941, as America prepared for possible war, Scouts distributed 1.6 million posters advertising Defense bonds and stamps and collected 10.5 million tons of scrap aluminum and 50 tons of wastepaper. When war came, their efforts increased. In the hours and days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Scouts set up first-aid stations and emergency kitchens, helped evacuate civilians, served as messengers, and manned 58 air-raid sirens around Honolulu.
Throughout World War II, the BSA responded to 69 government requests for assistance. Scouts collected 210,000 tons of scrap metal, 590,000 tons of wastepaper, and enough milkweed floss to make nearly 2 million life jackets. They distributed millions of government posters, created 184,000 victory gardens, and planted nearly 2 million trees to replace those harvested for the war effort. The Scouts were so effective that the War Department stopped one wastepaper drive when storage facilities were overwhelmed.
When Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II, Scouting went with them. Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops flourished in all 10 internment camps, although conditions made some Scout activities—like the 14-mile hike required for the First Class rank—all but impossible.
As the 1940s opened, Irving Berlin created the God Bless America Foundation, donating all royalties from performances of his most famous song to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Today, those royalties benefit a BSA local council in New York.
In 1942 the Tribe of Manatee was dissolved and Calusa Lodge Order of the Arrow established to take its place.
World War II, with its food-rationing, brought many new problems to the running of summer camp at Flying Eagle. Each camper had to bring his ration book and a quarter pound of sugar. No one could be found to serve as a camp cook, so the Scout Executive’s wife assumed the duties, in spite of the fact that she had a 15-month-old baby to look after. She probably had no problem finding a baby sitter!
Buying food for the camp involved removing exactly so many blue stamps and so many red stamps from each camper’s ration book. Then, armed with a bag full of these stamps, trips to every store in every town within a ten-mile radius, she was lucky if she found the items in the quantity she needed to feed the camp population.
Since the Manatee River flowed through the camp it was only natural that group swimming and other aquatic activities be conducted there. However, when an epidemic of dysentery broke out in 1939, it was determined that the water in the Manatee was polluted and the river was closed to swimming. It remained closed until the summer of 1942. Summer camp in 1940 was held at Myakka State Park, and at Bear Point on Lake Childs near the town of Lake Placid in 1941. The Manatee Health Department cleared the river for swimming for the 1942 Summer Camp, but it was again condemned for swimming in 1943. That year Sunny Land held its summer camp at Camp Flaming Arrow.
This perennial problem caused the Council to begin explorations to construct a swimming pool for Camp Flying Eagle. Their efforts culminated in May 1959 when the Burgstiner Construction Company broke ground for the new pool.
Electricity finally came to CFE in 1947, and in 1949 Sunny Land Council and Calusa Lodge hosted the Area J (entire state of Florida) Order of the Arrow Section conference.