Scouting began, in Wilmington, as early as October 1911. However, Scouting as a major youth program, in this area, really began in September 1914 when Odis B. Hinnant arrived as the new director of the YMCA’s boys’ department. Mr. Hinnant would serve as the Scouting Commissioner until his departure from Wilmington in April 1926.
On Friday March 17, 1916 the 5 Wilmington troops held their first annual banquet at the YMCA building. Following the banquet the Wilmington Council, BSA was organized with B. A. Merritt as its first president. This was a second class council which meant that it did not employ a paid professional scouter.
On October 4, 1926 Floyd Griffith started as the first Scout Executive of the newly renamed New Hanover County Council. The council charter was received on July 18, 1927. On September 29, 1928 the charter for the renamed Wilmington Area Council was received and on July 1, 1929 the Cape Fear Area Council was formed.
At that time the council area included New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen Counties. Robeson was added on September 8, 1929, Scotland in May 1930, Hoke and Sampson in March 1931 and Cumberland on July 19, 1931. Sampson was transferred to Tuscarora Council in September 1932. At the November 18, 1948 Cape Fear Area Council Board meeting, at the request of Cumberland County Scouters, approval was given that “As of December 31, 1948 the Northern District (Cumberland County) would cease to function as an organized District of the Cape Fear Area Council.”
The name Cape Fear Area Council and Cape Fear Council were used both in print and on council issued items such as patches. The November 8, 1970 council annual meeting approved the name change to Cape Fear Council, BSA. However, the change was not made official until 1989.
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