Scouting in Iowa

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Scouting in Iowa has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

BSA Councils serving Iowa.

Early history (1910-1950)[edit]

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) began in Jewell, IA due to the generosity of Mrs. Carrie A. Strong. Mrs. Strong had resided in Jewell and moved to California, but due to her interest in the town even after relocation, she gave the town of Jewell its first step in Scouting. In 1916, Mrs. Strong came back to Jewell for her annual visit went before the City Fathers to tell them that she would provide the fund to buy and build a Scout House on, and give $1000.00 to construct a building suitable for The Scout program. A parcel of land was bought from H. K. and Christian Gronbeck on Octobera feed" 14, 1916, for the sum of $840.00. The building was let to Peterson Builders for The Scout House 240by 48 feet and 12 foot high; the completed cost for the building was 935.00. The First Scout Master was Reverend Norstad, and is assistants were professors from the then Jewell College. F. H. Ferbitz became Scout Master in October 1923 with 28 Scouts under his leadership. At that time they formed 3 patrols: Eagles, Owl and Crow. Cameron Severson was scribe and Howard Robson was treasurer and wrote newspaper articles. A Fife and Drum Corp was also started at that time and the grounds were cleaned and the building painted. A Basketball League was formed which consisted of four teams. After the Basketball games the boys would have what they referred to as " a feed"; these feeds were paid for by the continued contributions of Mrs. Strong up to the time of her death November 27, 1923.

Recent history (1950-1990)[edit]

During the 1950s and 60s eastern Iowa was home to the Buffalo Bill Council spanning an area from Dubuque to Muscatine; the council office was located in Davenport. The summer camp (Mineyata) was outside of Dixon on the Wapsipinican river and featured a canoe base, swimming pool, and lodge hall; the Order of the Arrow Lodge was the "Golden Eagle" Lodge, No. 313.


There are eight BSA local councils serving Iowa.

Hawkeye Area Council[edit]

Hawkeye Area Council serves Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Johnson, Linn, and Washington counties within Eastern Iowa. Hawkeye Area Council provides programming for males ages 7–20 and females ages 14–20 in the areas of leadership development, citizenship building, and career education.

Former districts[edit]

  • North Star District
  • Temaque District
  • Wapsiketa District
  • Wauhawk District
  • Exploring Division

Illowa Council[edit]

Illowa Council serves Scouts in Illinois and Iowa.

Mid America Council[edit]

The Mid-America Council offers programs in 58 counties in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The Council has several camps, including the Little Sioux Scout Ranch.

Mid-Iowa Council[edit]

The Mid Iowa Council serves the area of the state capital, Des Moines.[1]

Mississippi Valley Council[edit]

This council is headquartered in Quincy, Illinois, and is served by Black Hawk Lodge #67; this council serves Scouts in Illinois and Iowa.

Northeast Iowa Council[edit]

The Northeast Iowa Council is headquartered in Dubuque, IA and serves the counties of Dubuque, Delaware, Clayton, and Allamakee, as well as the cities of East Dubuque and Bellevue. Camp C.S. Klaus is the resident summer camp facility of the Northeast Iowa Council, and is located just west of Colesburg, Iowa.

Winnebago Council[edit]

The Winnebago Council serves Scouting in 17 counties located in North Central Iowa.

Sioux Council[edit]

Sioux Council serves Scouts in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota.

Girl Scouting in Iowa[edit]

Map of Girl Scout Councils in Iowa

There are two Girl Scout Councils in Iowa, realigned from nine former councils.

In the 1970s the Caravan Trails Girl Scout Council owned Camp Strother in Eldon, Iowa.[1]

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois[edit]

As part of a national realignment the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois formed in April 2007 by combining four former councils, it serves some 20,000 girls.

The website for the new council is

Council headquarters is in Rock Island, Illinois with service centers at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dubuque, Iowa, Waterloo, Iowa, and West Burlington, Iowa.

The former councils are:

  • Conestoga Council of Girl Scouts
    Waterloo, Iowa
  • Girl Scouts of Little Cloud Council, Inc.
    Dubuque, Iowa
  • Girl Scouts of Mississippi Valley
    Rock Island, Illinois and Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Girl Scouts of Shining Trail Council, Inc.
    West Burlington, Iowa


The council has three camps:

  • Camp Liberty (formerly Camp Conestoga) is 340 acres (1.4 km2) in New Liberty, Iowa. It was established in 1947.
  • Camp Little Cloud is 154 acres (0.6 km2) in Epworth, Iowa.
  • Camp L-Kee-Ta established in 1945 is 150 acres (0.6 km2) in Danville, Iowa
  • Camp Tahigwa was in Dorchester in Allamakee County, Iowa and had 315 acres (1.3 km2). Tahigwa was established in 1967; this camp was sold in 2017.

Currently, Camp Liberty is the designated resident camp program for girls throughout eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Camp Little Cloud and Camp L-Kee-Ta are used by troops and groups for events and both day and overnight outdoor adventures.

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa[edit]

As part of the national realignment, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa was created in October 2007 from the merger of five councils.

The five former councils are:

  • Girl Scouts of Lakota Council
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
  • Moingona Girl Scout Council
    Des Moines, Iowa
  • Nishnabotna Girl Scout Council of Southwest Iowa, Inc.
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Girl Scout Council of North Iowa
    Mason City, Iowa
  • Sioux Trails Girl Scout Council
    Sioux City, Iowa[2][3]

The website for the new council is

Headquarters is located in Des Moines, Iowa. Service centers are located in Des Moines, Iowa, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Mason City, Iowa, and Sioux City, Iowa.

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa covers 74 counties including 71 in central and western Iowa, one county in Nebraska, and one and one-half counties in South Dakota.

The Leadership Centers are located at:

10715 Hickman Rd Des Moines IA 50322

1860 Madison Ave Ste 3 Council Bluffs IA 51503

601 S Illinois Ave Mason City IA 50401

1515 Zenith Dr Sioux City IA 51103


The council operates five residence camps.

Former camps:

External links[edit]