Southern Sierra Council History
In March 1914, L. S. Robinson organized Troop 1, the first troop in the council, and possibly the first in California. One of the First Scoutmasters was Arthur H. Meyer.
In 1919 a group of men met in Bakersfield and organized Bakersfield Council. At that time Scout troops populated in Taft, Delano, Wasco, and other outlying communities totaling approximately 450 boys. W. J. Schultz was the first president of the Council and Roland Dye was the first Scout Executive.
The Bakersfield Council became the Kern County Council in 1921. In the 1920s a popular good turn was “Stop the Puncture”. Scouts all over the County removed nails and other metal debris from the roads because the damage they would do to tires. They piled the collection of sharp objects in store windows to show what Scouting was worth to the community. 1922 was the first Annual Dinner that is currently held the last Saturday in January.
In the 30’s Kern County Council acquired the Kern River Country Club. It was eventually sold to Kern County to fund building a Council Office. In 1936 The first Cub Scout Pack was organized in Taft.
The current Council office at 2417 M. Street was built in 1952. The Kern County Council started being confused with the local Kern County Government. Inyo and Mono Counties also joined the Kern County Council so it was time to change their name. There was a contest in February 1965. Scouts, Scouters, and anyone with a good idea used their creativity to come up with the new name of the Kern County Council. The best entries were taken to the Executive Board for a final decision. January 1, 1966, we became the Southern Sierra Council. At this time it was also appropriate for the Council newsletter “Kern O Gram” to change to “Sierra Scouter”.
To be continued….
Historical Fun Facts!
Districts have come and gone in Southern Sierra Council, here is a list of them all: Trailblazer, Meridian, Bear Mountain, Sunset, North Kern, Inyo/Mono, Exploring, Tejon, Desert, Pathfinder.
The Golf Tournament originally started in 1977.
1976 Women were first allowed to serve as Cubmaster or Assistant Cubmaster.
1978 The cub scout program had 5 Scouting Ranks – Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, AOL.
1983 over 400 people attended the Southern Sierra Council annual dinner
In 1987 there were 9000 registered Scouts in Southern Sierra Council.
1988 the front of the Council office was remodeled to a Trading Post.
Tiger Cubs joined the ranks in 1982. Tiger Cubs changed to Tigers in 2015.
1997 there were 507 baseball players on 34 teams.
Membership Drives have had the names “The Mining Company” and “The Pumping Company”
Lion Badge was first seen in the 1960s. The rank was discontinued in 1967 when the WEBELOS program was introduced. The current Lion rank started as a Pilot Program in the Fall of 2016 and became an official rank for kindergarteners in 2018.
A History of Boy Scouting in Kern County
1905-1952 can be found Here