Spirit of Alabama: Area Scouts celebrate 100 years

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910.  Just 12 years later the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts began here in West Alabama.

Tuscaloosa businessman J.T. Horne invited the scouts to meet on his expansive property in Cottondale.  The 150 acres that Horne let the Scouts use was perfect for camping and all the outdoor activities involved in scouting.

Wayne Harris, now the camp director, has been involved in scouting nearly all his life and said the things taught in scouting are as relevant today as ever.

“I think the program is very worthwhile, it taught a lot of good values to me and it continues to teach values,” Harris said.

About 10 years after the Scouts began using the camp, Horne donated the property to the Black Warrior Council. Since then and probably for always, it’s been known as Camp Horne.

Many activities Scouts took part in 100 years ago are still part of today’s programs, though there have been plenty of changes in that century.  Now, Scouts have expanded to include anyone interested in joining.  Avery Moye was one of the first girls to join the Scouts in West Alabama.

“My brother was in scouting since he and his friends could join when he was 12,” Moye said. “They joined a troop called Troop 316.  And it always seemed interesting, I really enjoyed it. And when he became closer and closer to getting Eagle, I was like, ‘hey, I want to do that.’ I was able to join scouting and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Moye said her troop has been welcoming and respectful, and she thinks boys and girls involved in scouting have similar interests — that’s why they’re Scouts. But she especially loves the opportunity to meet new people.

Zacc Gleason has been in scout for five years, and just a few weeks ago he attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank a scout can achieve.  He’s proud of that accomplishment but said he has even higher priorities.

“I think it’s important, I would almost say it’s not as important to earn Eagle as just learning how to lead in Scouts because the main part of Scouts is learning how to lead and be prepared for life and any situation that you come upon,” Gleason said.

The culmination of this year’s 100th anniversary is Black Warrior Council’s annual encampment at Moundville Archaeological Park on Oct. 28.

If you have a Spirit of Alabama you’d like to share, email spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

Categories: Featured, Spirit of Alabama