Lone Scouts

Lone Scout brochureLone Scouts have been around since 1915 when William D. Boyce organized the Lone Scouts of America (LSA).  He had noticed that rural boys were being left out of Scouting because they did not live near a town or could travel to a Scout Troop in the nearest town.  As a Lone Scout, a boy could enjoy Scouting.  They had a whole set of requirements they could meet on their own.  They had, in addition, a strong program of writing and correspondence. W. D. Boyce was the Chief Totem.

Lone Scouts could achieve recognition in three ways in the Lone Scouts of America program:  Degree Work, Literary Achievement, and Promoting the Organization.  On the left the the first booklet, published on October 30,1915, to help a Lone Scout earn the First, or Lone Scout, Degree.

We have been able to find where many boys in West Texas were Lone Scouts and at least ten of them achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.  Records of Lone Scouts in West Texas only existed after the program became an official part of the Boy Scouts of America in 1924 and local councils registered the boys in their council.  Prior to 1924, they were registered with the Lone Scouts of America and followed the achievement program of the Lone Scouts of America.

By early 1924, Boyce determined that he could no longer subsidize the organization, so he merged it with the Boy Scouts of America in March.  There were 490,000 Lone Scouts in 1922, but only about 45,000 of them transferred to the Boy Scouts of America.  The BSA had to recruit them and that was not an easy task in the rural areas. And in many parts of the country, including West Texas, local councils had not been formed. 

Many of the Lone Scouts lived in Canada, Puerto Rico and in other countries.  By 1930, the Lone Scout program had dropped to about 4,000 members in the Boy Scouts of America.  Lone Cub Scouting and Lone Scouting still exist today, as official programs of the Boy Scouts of America, but there are only a few hundred members now.  However, boys being home school can be Lone Scouts.  There are many other reasons that a boys are eligible to become Lone Scouts including children of American citizens who live abroad, exchange students who live outside the United States, boys with disabilities, boys in rural communities, sons of migrant farm workers, boys who have jobs that conflict with troop meetings,  boys who have alternate living arrangements with parents who live in different communities and boys who are unable to attend unit meetings because of life threatening communicable diseases. 

Every boy must have an adult, 21 years of age or older, who meets the adult membership requirements and agrees to serve as the boy's Lone Scout friend and counselor. Since being merged with the Boy Scouts of America, and after 1926, the boys followed the regular Boy Scout Advancement program.  Prior to that time, they had their own achievement recognition program

Achievement Recognition

 There were seven Degrees and the Degrees made up the Lodges of LSA.  The first three Degrees make up the Tepee Lodge. The Totem Pole Lodge was made up of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Degrees.  And then the Sagamore Lodge was made up of those who competed the Seventh Degree. 
Lone Scout 1st Badge The Degrees were:
  • First Degree - Lone Scout Degree
  • Second Degree - Woodcraft
  • Third Degree - Lone Eagle
  • Fourth Degree - Lone Bachelor Degree
  • Firth Degree  - Lone Woodsman Degree
  • Sixth Degree - Lone Hunter Degree
  • Seventh Degree - Pioneering, Woodcraft or Camping

To look at all the requirments for the First, or Lone Scout Degree, you can go to the following pages of the booklet:

| 2-5 | 6-9 | 10-13 | 14-17 | 18-21 | 22-25 | 26-29 | 30-31 |

We do not know who, if any Lone Scouts, followed or completed the Degrees of the Lone Scouts of America.  But we do have a list of the ten Lone Scouts who became Eagle Scouts in West Texas.  They are:

Name Town Date of Eagle Council
Harvey Blailock Sweetwater, TX 8/2/1929 Buffalo Trail
Thomas Hoover Brownwood, TX 4/24/1937 Comanche Trail
Bill Bradley San Angelo, TX 7/25/1938 Concho Valley
Doyle Sollock Rule, TX 12/2/1939 Chisholm Trail
W. T. Harris III San Angelo, TX 6/27/1945 Concho Valley
Sei Dyo Crystal City, TX 9/19/1945 Concho Valley
Jimmy Clay Burns Sweetwater, TX 5/16/1952 Buffalo Trail
Ernest J. Herman, Jr. Abilene, TX 9/10/1962 Chisholm Trail
Aaron J. Miles Barksdale, TX 1/23/1985 Concho Valley
Mark D. Miles Barksdale, TX 1/23/1985 Concho Valley

Lone Scout Brothers Did Well

Mark and Aaron Miles - Lone ScoutsThe two Miles boys, Aaron and Mark, became Lone Scouts because there was no troop in Barksdale and they lived some ten miles out of town toward Rocksprings.  They worked on their advancement at home and went to summer camp at Camp Fawcett with Troop 227 of Rocksprings, TX.  Camp Fawcett was located just a mile north of Barksdale.  They also participated in Camporees and in 1984 went with the Concho Valley Council's contigent ten day canoe trip to Bissett, Canada where they canoed over 110 miles.  There they qualified for the World Crest Award and the 50 Miler Award as well as the privilege to wear the special "Northern Expedition" polar bear patch of the BSA National High Adventure program. 

Both Scouts became members of the Wahinkto Lodge of the Order of the Arrow.  Although Lone Scouts could not become members of the OA, they did, through dual registration with Troop 227 and were elected by that Troop's Scouts. Both brothers were very active in lodge activities.  Aaron Miles was to later became a Vigil member of the lodge in 1985.

1928 Lone Scout Application

Here is a list of the known Lone Cubs and Lone Scouts that were a member of the Comanche Trail Council as recreated from their Lone Scout history files and a Lone Scout Rally held in Cisco, TX in 1927

| Lone Scouts of Comanche Trail Council  |  Lone Cubs of Comanche Trail Council | Lone Scout Rally - 1927
 | Lone Scout Conference in Dallas - 1927 |

Updated:  January  6, 2005

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