Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

 The Boy Scouts of America, 1910-2010 
Scouting in Post-War Nebraska  

Scouting continued to emphasize community service in the post-war era. The Boy Scouts of America held its first national "get-out-the-vote" campaign in 1952. Scouts have supported civilian defense awareness, fundraising for the Community Chest, and served as ushers at Cornhusker football games.
Source: Door hanger loaned by Rick Wolzen, Lincoln; posters loaned by Cornhusker Council, Boy Scouts of America

Lincoln scouts distributed bags to collect used clothing for Goodwill Industries.
Source: Loaned by Cornhusker Council, Boy Scouts of America

Scorecards, progress reports, and certificates documented scouts' fulfillment of the requirements to advance in rank or qualify for merit badges, awards, and honor societies. These are from the 1960s.
Source: 111546-32,29,26,31, Troop 68, RLDS Church, Lincoln, courtesy of Shawn Bachman, Lincoln

This poster from 1981-82 provides a way to record each troop member's progress through the Boy Scout ranks and the dates they received different awards.
Source: 11546-55, Troop 68, RLDS Church, Lincoln, courtesy of Shawn Bachman, Lincoln

Philip Kelly of Lincoln pursued a scouting career that took him from Cub Scout through Explorer Scout. His Cub Scout uniform includes bear, wolf, and lion pack patches, with arrow points signifying various accomplishments. A beanie was the typical Cub Scout headgear until it was replaced by a baseball-style cap in the early 1980s.
Source: 11291-54, 55, 35, Philip Kelly, Emporia, Kansas; 11640-415, Mike Brownson, Falls City, courtesy of Deb Brownson, Falls City


Philip Kelly's Boy Scout uniform includes the Webelos (or "Arrow of Light") patch on the left breast pocket, the top Cub Scout rank earned before graduating to a Boy Scout troop. Beginning in 1943 Boy Scouts could wear the "overseas-style" cap in lieu of the campaign or "Smokey Bear" hat. Kelly signaled his attendance at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico by wearing the distinctive white Philmont neckerchief and slide. Oklahoma oilman Waite Phillips donated the ranch to the Boy Scouts of America in 1938.
Source: 11291-56, 57, 58, Philip Kelly, Emporia, Kansas

Webelos neckerchief and Webelos ribbon with activity badges. Cub Scouting expanded the Webelos rank in 1977, available during the year prior to becoming a Boy Scout. "Webelos" is the mythical tribe to which all Cub Scouts belong and stands for "We'll Be Loyal Scouts." The ribbon was worn on the right sleeve of the Cub Scout uniform. The distinctive neckerchief includes the Webelos symbol, a modified fleur-de-lis.
Source: Loaned by Jan Salber, Lincoln

The Boy Scouts of America created a Senior Scouting program in 1935, which was renamed Exploring in 1949. Philip Kelly's Explorer uniform is a typical forest green example from the 1950s. It includes the Eagle Scout medal, the God and Country medal, and the Explorer silver award medal. Kelly and seven other members of Lincoln Troop 46 received the Eagle award on May 14, 1956. (Key to Kelly's merit badges)
     Exploring was restructured in 1998 to encompass Venturing (high adventure and sports-based activities) and Learning for Life (career education).
Source: 11291-46, 47, 48, 49, 60, Philip Kelly, Emporia, Kansas

"I don't know if this continues to be a record, but eight members of Troop 46 at the Grace Methodist Church received the Eagle award that night. . . . I have lost contact with all of the other Eagles, but I do remember that Mike Drake died shortly after that ceremony and his badge was buried with him."  -Philip Kelly, 1991.

Philip Kelly received this congratulatory letter from the chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America.
Source: 11291-72, Philip Kelly, Emporia, Kansas

Explorer Scouts had their own manual, this one published in 1955.
Source: 11291-1, Philip Kelly, Emporia, Kansas.

Nearly three thousand persons attended the first night of the Cornhusker Council's Boy Scout and Cub Scout Merit Badge Exposition at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds on November 8-9, 1946. Seventy-three exhibits showcased scout specialties. Popular exhibits included a model railroad, Indian lore and handicrafts, and a demonstration of canoe-making. An exhibit by Troop 43 showing flags, telephone equipment, and other signaling methods can be seen in the foreground.
Source: RG2183 PH:1946-11-09:2

 circus program
Beginning in 1931 the Cornhusker Council sponsored a "Scout Circus" at the University of Nebraska Coliseum to showcase the "benefits of character-building and citizenship training." The circus was still being held in 1950 when this photograph of a flag ceremony was made.
Source: Program loaned by Russ Votava, Lincoln; RG2182 PH:1950-11-24:1



  The Founders

  Early Decades

  Service and Sacrifice

       William E. Green

  Post-War Scouting

       Philip Kelly

  Honor Societies

  Camps, Camping

  "New Look"

  Scouts Build Canoes

  Pinewood Derby

  Scouting Memorabilia


back  next

back  next

NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top  |  Back  |  Next
Last updated 25 October 2010  

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2010 All Rights Reserved