More than 700 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers and area families pitched their tents for the weekend along the Ottawa riverfront to celebrate native W. D. Boyce, a founder of the Boy Scouts of America.
The weekend’s Forward with the Founder Celebration Camporee was the hallmark event in a series of activities over the last year marking the W. D. Boyce Council’s 50-year history in central Illinois. The BSA’s W. D. Boyce Council was formed in 1973 from the merger of three regional councils. The council’s name recognizes William Dickson Boyce, the Ottawa newspaper publisher who brought the Scouting movement to America and incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops and Venturing crews from across the state are gathered along Ottawa’s riverfront Friday and Saturday to celebrate the BSA’s origin story. Participants toured Ottawa’s Scouting Heritage Museum and honored W. D. Boyce’s contribution to Scouting in a memorable procession. The camporee also featured a daylong of programs and fireworks display Saturday night along the Illinois River.
“Post COVID, Scouting continues to grow as parents seek extracurricular opportunities that will make the biggest lifelong impact for their children,” said W. D. Boyce Council Scout Executive and CEO Ben Blumenberg.