The Explorer program was authorized by the National Council in 1933.  Most Explorer Scouts were older boy patrols in troops in the early days of Scouting.  There were stand alone groups scattered across the United States, but they did not become a part of this council until after World War II.

Explorers in Concho Valley Council

At the end of 1945, Concho Valley Council had 28 Sea Scouts, 19 Air Scouts and 56 Explorers.  By 1950, there were 517 Explorers registered in Scout troops and 359 registered in 25 stand alone units. Exploring peaked out in the 1960’s when some 780 Explorers were registered in 55 Explorer posts.  At the end of 2000, that number had dropped to only 102 Explorers in 17 posts, almost all in special career posts as part of the Learning for Life program.

Rendezvous were popular for Explorer posts in the ‘60s and one was held at Amistad Lake on October 18 and 19, 1969.  Another one had already been held in Junction.  An Explorer Program Conference was held in connection with the Amistad Rendezvous.  Over 100 Explorers and their leaders met in Del Rio during the Rendezvous to plan out the council’s program for the year.  They planned an Explorer Olympics, to be held in Ft. Stockton in January; a Big Bend Rio Grande Canoe Trip in April, an Explorer Trap Shoot in Eagle Pass and the next Annual Planning Conference in October of 1970 in Del Rio.

The Rendezvous on Lake Amistad included skiing, sailing, canoeing, canoe jousting, gunwale jumping and trap shooting.  Winners of the events were: 1st—Post 277 of Eagle Pass; Joe Turner, Advisor; 2nd—Post 7 of San Angelo; Luke Allen, Advisor; 3rd—Ship 1 of Ft. Stockton; Jim Noland, Skipper; and 4th—Ship 22 of San Angelo; Billy Willig, Skipper.  Ship 1 was presented an award for traveling the farthest distance and Post 7 was recognized for having the most members present.  A new post at Uvalde brought their girl associate members.  They soon discovered that they did not have enough time to travel to Big Bend for the planned activity on April 4, 1970, so changed the activity back to one that they have been having in the past, the South Llano Canoe Trip.

Ship 22, San Angelo; Ship 122, Ozona; Ship 212, Eagle Pass; Ship 310, San Angelo; Post 6, San Angelo; and Post 44, San Angelo, all gathered for a Council Explorer Field Sports Tournament at Lake Nasworthy on March 20, 1971.  Some 44 Explorers, Sea Scouts and adults attended this one day event.   An Explorer Bivouac was held in February of the same year with some 45 Explorers from six units participating in ping pong, checkers, chess, tug of war, log throw, archery, trapshooting and rifle marksmanship.  That summer a group of Scouts and Explorers went to the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base.

One of the more popular events for Explorers was the Explorer Olympics held at Ft. Hood, TX, in 1978, hosted by the South Central Region.  Six posts from the council participated in the weekend event.  They were Posts 27, 47, 340, 25, 271 and 213.  The Explorers stayed in Army tents, watched military demonstrations, ate Army chow and participated in many events.  The Olympics was again held in 1979 with some 1,200 Explorers.  Twelve Explorers and adults made the trip this time traveling in the Council van.  One of the features of the weekend was a smorgasbord featuring bear, buffalo, elk, rattlesnake, dove and many other kinds of “wild” meal.

Explorers from the council have participated in the Austin Aqua Festival’s 100 mile canoe race, the Law Enforcement Academy, the National Law Enforcement Conference and many district Explorer events.  The council found that Explorers were too busy working, dating, keeping up a car, sports and school to become involved in council and national activities.

Explorers in Comanche Trail Council

At the close of 1946, Comanche Trail Council had 93 Explorers, 25 Sea Scouts and 26 Air Scouts.  The first known Explorer Post in the council was chartered to the Brownwood Rotary Club in January of 1945 and was Post 11.    Later that year a post was chartered to the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Post 13, Brownwood, with Sam Fowler as the Advisor.

By the end of 1947, the council only had 8 Posts, Ships and Squadrons with 139 boys registered.   Most of the older boys were still in patrols in their Scout troops.  By the end of 1948, that number had dropped to 5 units with only 90 active members.

Twenty Explorers and leaders attended Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico in July 1958.  Joe Lee Dupuy and Bob Slaughter were the leaders of the group.

Exploring continued be only a small part of the council program until Career Exploring became a part of the movement in 1959.  Scouts who decided to remain in their Troop were again called Boy Scouts and not Explorers so many of them switched to Explorer Posts. The council expanded rapidly in this area and had 22 Posts with some 256 members by the end of 1961 with an Explorer Cabinet and special activities just for Explorers.  These events included an Explorer Olympics and a Winter Camp after Christmas at Camp Billy Gibbons.

Five Explorers from the council participated in a cruise to Hawaii aboard a ship of the Military Sea Transport Service.  They did not know at the time whether it would be the U.S.S. Mann or the U.S.S. Breckenridge.   They were to sail from San Francisco on August 11 and return on August 27.  They would have a three-day shore leave in Honolulu.  Those selected from the Comanche Trail Council were David Self, Stephenville; John W. Fowler, Brownwood; Bernard Clegg, Breckenridge; Gerald L. Ebell, Comanche; and David Cleveland, Comanche.  The trip was sponsored by Region 9 of the Boy Scouts of America.

A special trip was planned for Explorers to go on a canoe trip in Canada during the summer of 1965. Twenty-four Explorers went by chartered bus to the Region Ten Canoe Base in northern Minnesota.  The trip cost $125 and they left on July 24 and returned on August 8.  Roland McFarland, District Executive went with the Explorers on the trip.

Post 10 of Ranger entered the Highland Lakes Canoe Race in August of 1963 and came in 23rd place after a one hundred miles of canoeing in five days. Another crew from Post 5, San Saba, participated in the canoe race in 1964.

The next summer Senior Scouts and Explorers went on a Council sponsored trip to Philmont.  In the years following, Exploring began a steady decline and dropped back to 14 Posts and 144 boys by the end of 1969.

In 1969 girls were allowed to join special interest Explorer Posts and the council saw another surge in interest through 1972 when  the year ended there were 19 Posts and 249 youth.

Updated: September 5, 2003
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