After years of begging, little brothers everywhere finally got to join Scouting in the 1930s. The decade opened with the creation of Cubbing, later Cub Scouting, and a program for younger boys that drew on Native American traditions and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for much of its flavor.
In the 1930s, America remained in the grip of the Great Depression, a crisis that Scouts addressed in 1933 by collecting 1.8 million items of clothing, household furnishings, food- stuffs, and supplies as requested by President Roosevelt.
The economic crisis didn’t affect plans for the BSA’s first National Scout Jamboree in 1935, but polio did. An outbreak forced the event’s cancellation just two weeks before it was scheduled to begin. Two years later, the rescheduled jamboree was held in Washington, D.C. The 27,232 attendees camped around the Tidal Basin in the shadow of the Washington Monument and enjoyed historical pageants, tours of D.C. landmarks, a three-game baseball series between the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox, and a review by President Roosevelt.
More than 600 reporters and photographers covered the Jamboree, including a Time magazine reporter who glimpsed the event’s significance: “The Boy Scouts of America is today no amateur movement but a full-grown U.S. institution, one of the most elaborately integrated, self-perpetuating social mechanisms in a nation which dotes on organization.”
In 1938, Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips donated 35,857 acres of his ranch near Cimarron, N.M., for the creation of a Boy Scout camp. After a further donation of 91,538 acres in 1941, the property would become Philmont Scout Ranch, the largest youth camping facility in the world. Early attendance at Philmont was light, with just 189 campers showing up the first season.
Across the land, as the Boy Scout summer camp program began to expand, many council camps that had not established the Order of the Arrow Lodges began to form their own Honor camper Societies. Locally, Camp Flying Eagle established the Tribe of Manatee in 1931.
In 1932 Judge W. T. Harrison was awarded first Silver Beaver in Sunny Land Council while Daniel L. Thorpe received the second.
A Nature Inventory was conducted at Camp Flying Eagle in 1933. Here’s what the inventory found: 52 species of trees/plants, 15 species of birds, 13 species of animals, 20 species of insects. This inventory was to grow tremendously during the next 75 years.
The first Sunny Land Council Camporee was held at Siesta Key13-14 Sept 1934.
The first Cub Scout Pack chartered in SW Florida and sponsored by the Sarasota Moose Lodge, occurred in November 1935. Mr. Cecil Maus was the CM, but the Pack number has not been verified. It probably was Pack 1 since it was the very first Pack in Sunny Land Council.
The Royal Palm Council was experiencing financial problems, and in February 1937 they found it expedient to merge with Sunny Land Council.
“Uncle,” Dan Beard, the National Commissioner and one of the founding fathers of the Boy Scouts of America, visited CFE in February 1939.
Sometime during the 1930s Fred Stewart agreed to be the caretaker for CFE in return for permission to live on property and to graze his cattle. He continued in this capacity until 1944 when a new such agreement between Sunny Land and Cliff Williams took effect.