This article is the first part of an ongoing series of features on Scouting in LaFollette / Campbell County.
The Boy Scouts of America’s LaFollette Council was established in 1921, just 11 years after the BSA was founded in 1910. The nearby and larger Knox County Council had formed in 1915, and later became the Great Smoky Mountain Council (based in Knoxville), which today includes Scouts and leaders in Campbell County. Future articles in this series will include stories of the people and places that are part of Scouting’s history in LaFollette / Campbell County.
History & The Future
The LaFollette Council was officially “chartered” (registered with the National Office of the Boy Scouts) from 1921 to 1923. Certainly, Scouting grew and stayed active in LaFollette / Campbell County since then, but the LaFollette Council group did not renew its registration with the National Office at that time. It was fairly common at the time for councils in small cities to form briefly, being chartered/sponsored by local businesses, churches, and civic groups, and then later merging into a larger council.
The 100th anniversary of the LaFollette Council will be celebrated in a number of ways throughout 2021. The goal is to honor the many Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders from LaFollette / Campbell County in these past 100 years.
LaFollette Boy Scouts Today
Troop 310 in LaFollette, sponsored by Cedar Hill Baptist Church, started in 2015, and Chris Thacker has been Scoutmaster from the beginning. The Troop will be supporting the activities during the LaFollette Council’s 100-year celebration throughout 2021. Others volunteer leaders serving the Troop include Assistant Scoutmasters Jack White and Claude Roberts, along with Crystal Thacker, the vice chair of the Troop Committee. Former Assistant Scoutmasters are: Bill Mathias, Paul Harmon, and Chris Perry (who earned his Eagle Scout as a youth, and still serves on the Troop’s Eagle Scout review board). Logan Hickman, also an Eagle Scout, helped guide the Troop in its early days. Today Hickman serves as the 2021 President of the Great Smoky Mountain Council, to which the LaFollette Troop belongs.
About the Great Smoky Mountain Council
In 1963, LaFollette / Campbell County Scouts and their leaders became part of the Great Smoky Mountain Council, based in Knoxville. Today the Council serves 10,000 young people via its 3,300 registered and trained adult volunteers, who work with 393 Cub Scout Packs, Scout BSA Troops, STEM Scout Labs, Explorer Posts, and Venture Crews chartered to neighborhood churches, community organizations, and civic clubs in East Tennessee. The Council’s goal is to prepare our youth to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of Scout Oath and Law. For more info: https://www.easttnscouts.org/ https://www.facebook.com/eastTNscouts
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization includes approximately 2.2 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 800,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories.