Council History

Council Historian PatchConnecticut has had its fair share of Boy Scout councils since 1910, with a total of forty. Today the youth of Connecticut are proudly served by five councils; four (Connecticut Rivers, Connecticut Yankee, Greenwich, and Housatonic) are located within the state of Connecticut. The fifth, Narragansett Council, serves the community of Pawcatuck, Connecticut, in addition to Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

 

Connecticut Yankee Council was formed in 1998 through the merger of Quinnipiac Council and Fairfield County Council. The origins of these two Councils are illustrative of Connecticut’s great Scouting history of the earlier councils that made up the current council.

 

Quinnipiac Council

 

The merger took place in 1998 forming the modern day Connecticut Yankee Council, between the Hamden based Quinnipiac Council (#74) and Fairfield County Council (# 68). Quinnipiac Quinnipiac CouncilCouncil can trace its roots to the earliest council in the state, the New Haven Council (#74), founded in 1913. In 1921 the council name was modified to New Haven Area Council, and in 1929 the council name was changed yet again to Southern New Haven County Council, while still being based in New Haven. New Haven's hosting duties ended in 1935 when the council changed its name to Quinnipiac Council located in Hamden. With the motto "Cherish the Wide Earth" the council continued operations in Hamden until the 1998 merger. During its run as Quinnipiac Council, it also picked up another council in 1978, Meriden based Central Connecticut Council. This council started in 1915 as Meriden Council # 71 and kept that name until 1929 when the council became known as the Central Connecticut Council # 71.

 

Fairfield County Council

 

The Fairfield County Council was itself, the result of a number of earlier council mergers. The town of Norwalk first hosted the Norwalk Council # 75 in 1917. In 1932, this became the Central Fairfield Council. In 1935 there was a name change to Mid-Fairfield Council. This name lasted until 1952 when another merger took place creating the Mauwehu Council # 75. With the formation of Mauwehu Council the council banner left Norwalk for Ridgefield. In 1972, the various scout councils in Fairfield County consolidated to a single council. At this point, Mauwehu Council #75 joined up with Pomperaug Council #65 and Alfred W. Dater Council # 78, forming Fairfield County Council #78. The new Fairfield County Council also returned to Norwalk and ran from 1973 to January 1st 1998 before becoming a part of the modern day Connecticut Yankee Council #72. Obviously there were other earlier councils involved with Pomperaug Council & Alfred W Dater Council. Pomperaug Council was based in Bridgeport. Council Scouting got it's start there as simply the Bridgeport Council # 65 in 1915. In 1936 the name Pomperaug was adopted and the council continued on until the three-way county consolidation in 1972. The other part of what became Fairfield County Council was Alfred W. Dater Council but its origins go back to the Stamford Council #78, established in 1916. This council continued there until 1939 when the Alfred W. Dater Council name was adopted (still Council #78) but with the headquarters moving to Glenbrook. The Glenbrook based council continued on from 1939 until the three-way merger 1972

 

The following is an alphabetical tour of predecessors to Connecticut Yankee Council

 

Alfred W. Dater Council

 

Alfred W. Dater Council #078, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The council came about from a name change of Stamford Council in 1938. Alfred W. Dater served as the first president of the Stamford Council until his death in Alfred W. Dater Council1937. He also served as the First Chairman of the National Sea Scouting Committee and was a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award. Link to obituary here. On December 2, 1938, in honor of his 22 years of service to Stamford Council, the council was renamed in his honor: Alfred W. Dater Council. In 1947, John Sherman Hoyt, one of the founders of the BSA, donated 18 acres of land in Norwalk to be used for short term camping. The camp was named Five Mile River Camp. As Scouting was celebrating its 40th anniversary in February 1950, the council celebrated with the paying its last mortgage payment on Camp Toquam. The council reported that it was serving 3,269 boys and adults and plans to build their own Scout headquarters in Glenbrook section of Stamford. The building was sponsored by the Union Memorial Church and financed by donations from the Lions Club and by selling a portion of the Five Mile River Camp. The purchase of the Williams Training Center in the late 1950s was made possible by the selling of the remaining portion of Five Mile River Camp. Ponus Lodge #521 of the Order of the Arrow was established in 1956. The council celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1967 with 2,620 registered scouts. Alice Sanford donated 173 acres of land in West Redding to the Council in 1966 (link to deed here), and it was soon named Hoyt Scout Reservation. A Training Cabin was built on Hoyt Reservation in 1968 based on a donation by Marjorie Sells Carter; the cabin was dedicated to her late husband, General Arthur Carter.  In 1971 the council reported 3000 registered scouts and plans were being developed for the merger of the council in 1972. The Boy Scout councils of Alfred W. Dater, Mauwehu, and Pomperaug voted to consolidate their operations into a new council. In 1972 the council ceased operations and the new council, Fairfield County Council began its history.

 

This link has more history of the Alfred W. Dater Council.

 

Bridgeport Council

 

Bridgeport Council #065 was founded in 1915 and changed its name to Pomperaug Council in 1936.

 

Central Connecticut Council

 

Central Connecticut Council #071, headquartered in Meriden. Council came about from a name change of Meriden Council in 1929. The council ceased to operate in 1978, when it was absorbed by Quinnipiac Council.

 

Central Fairfield Council

 

Central Fairfield Council #075, headquartered in Norwalk. Council came about from a name change of Norwalk Council in 1933. 

 

Fairfield County Council

 

Fairfield County Council #068, headquartered in Norwalk was created in 1972 with the merger of three councils: Mauwehu, Pomperaug, and Alfred W. Dater. The council ceased operations when it merged with Quinnipiac Council to form Connecticut Yankee Council in 1998.

 

Mauwehu Council

 

Mauwehu Council #075, headquartered in Ridgefield, came about from a name change of Mid Fairfield Council in 1952. The council ceased operations when it merged with two other councils to create Fairfield County Council in 1972. Where did the name Mauwehu come from?

 

Meriden Council

 

Meriden Council #071 was founded in 1915 and changed its name to Central Connecticut Council in 1929.

 

Mid Fairfield Council

 

Mid Fairfield Council #075, headquartered in Norwalk. Council came about from a name change of Central Fairfield Council in 1935. 

 

New Haven Council

 

New Haven Council #074. With the Scouting movement starting in the United States in 1910, the New Haven Register reported on August 21, 1910 that the Lion and the Arrow Patrols were forming. New Haven Mayor Frank Rice, City Librarian Willis Stetson, and Judge Albert McClellan Matthewson strongly supported the scouting movement and in 1912 founded the New Haven Council. In 1913 the council was reorganized as a Second Class Council. Two years later, in 1915, the council was incorporated as a First Class Council and hired Gilbert N. Jerome as the first Scout Executive. In 1929 the council changed its name to Southern New Haven County Council.

 

Norwalk Council

 

Norwalk Council #075 was founded in 1917 and changed its name to Central Fairfield Council in 1933.

 

Pomperaug Council

 

Pomperaug Council #065, headquartered in Bridgeport. Council came about from a name change of Bridgeport Council in 1936. The council ceased operations in 1972 when it merged with two other councils to create Fairfield County Council .

 

Quinnipiac Council

 

Quinnipiac Council #074, headquartered in New Haven until 1961 when it moved to Hamden. Council came about from a name change of Southern New Haven County Council in 1935. The name Quinnipiac comes from the Indian tribe which occupied the area. Originally formed in 1912 as the New Haven Council. After years of growth and expanding outside the boundaries of New Haven, the council name was changed to Southern New Haven County Council in 1929. In 1935, the council name was changed to Quinnipiac Council. The council absorbed the Central Connecticut Council in 1978. In 1997 the council voted to merge with Fairfield County Council. After 75 years in existence, the council ceased its operation on January 1, 1998 and became part of the Connecticut Yankee Council. The council is most notable for its operation, which was a model for the rest of country. In 1943, Elbert K. Fretwell, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA described Quinnipiac Council as an example to councils all over America for the high quality of the scouting program being provided. Camp Sequassen was opened in 1927 and was eventually rated a double A camp. Link to Camp Sequassen history here. In 1962 the council hosted the first of many successful International Camporees. On July 4, 1962, scouts from 14 countries assembled at Camp Sequassen.

 

Southern New Haven County Council

 

Southern New Haven County Council #074, headquartered in New Haven. Council came about from a name change of the New Haven Council in 1929. Though a county system of government was not used in Connecticut, the name was used to represent the geography of the council. In 1935 the council name was changed to Quinnipiac Council.

 

Stamford Council

 

Stamford Council #078, headquartered in Stamford. An article in the Stamford Advocate, 1941 Tercentenary Edition, stated that on March 22, 1912, the city's first Boy Scout Troop was being formed at the St. John's Episcopal Church, Troop 5. By 1918, unofficial Wolf Cub packs appeared in Stamford. As with most early Boy Scout Councils, they usually formed after local organizations started organizing scout troops. Local citizens met on March 23, 1917, to discuss Scouting in both Stamford and Darien. In June, their application to the Boy Scouts of America was accepted and the Stamford Council was born. The council opened its first camp on property in Long Ridge during the summer of 1920. In 1922, the council camp, now named Camp Toquam was located in Hunting Ridge on Holly's Pond and moved two years later to Lake Mamanasco in Ridgefield. The council incorporated on March 6, 1924. During 1926 and 1927, plans were developed to buy property for a larger camp ground. A new Camp Toquam opened its 1928 season on the Shores of Dog Pond in Goshen. In 1937, Alfred W. Dater died. Dater was council president from the first day and was instrumental in the organization of Boy Scouts in Stamford. On December 2, 1938, the Stamford Council was renamed in his honor as the Alfred W. Dater Council. See above for more information and history on the Dater Council.