Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Huntington Beach Scout Cabin

The historic Troop 1 Scout Cabin in Huntington Beach's Lake Park was completed in 1924. Its construction was truly a community effort, with donations and support coming from seemingly everywhere.
I shot and developed the photo above in the late 1980s and gave copies to City Historian Alicia Wentworth and the Huntington Beach Historical Society. I've been amused to see it used in a number of places as a "historic image." I guess people think any black and white photograph must be really old.
Speaking of the Boy Scouts, I hope to see some of you in a few hours at Phil Brigandi's talk on "A Century of Scouting In Orange County" at the Orange County Historical Society.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Boy Scouts in HB back in the 60's, all boy scout groups in HB were part of the many far-right churches. Anyone could be a cub scout, we were recruited in the public schools of course, but many of us could not continue being boy scouts unless our entire family went to that church and gave them lots of $.

Thus the success of Indian Guides! Although part of the YMCA, this was the only group were you did not have to be a member of a christian church.

Chris Jepsen said...

I don't know what it was like in H.B. scouting in the 1960s. Maybe Phil will chime in with some details about the situation you describe.

Clearly, this was not the intent of Scouting when it started in H.B. Nor was it the case when I was involved for a short while in the 1980s.

ockid said...

That seems unlikely, as there were a lot of troops in Huntington Beach in the 1960s. The last year I have a full list of troops and sponsors in HB is 1960, when Troop was was still about the only show in town - unless you count the troop out in Ocean View.

In those days, most troops were sponsored by PTAs, service clubs, and mainline Protestant churches (for many years, there were more Scouts in Methodist-sponsored troops than any other sponsoring entity). The American Legion is also a big supporter.

There are certainly some larger troops that ask for a commitment (time or money) from parents, even today, but that is rare.

Some churches do connect their Scouting program closely to their congregation, but I even know of Mormon troops that have non-Mormon members.

Whatever troop "anonymous" had contact with in the 1960s, it was the exception, and not the rule.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I am not picking on Scouting today or at any time other than when I experienced it. I am sorry if you are offended by my comment. That was not my intention. It was actually to suggest a feature on the OC YMCAs and perhaps Indian Guides, because I love OC History Roundup! And I look back on the open spaces of OC and beauty of HB at the time with much fondness.

However, there is a duty to history to tell the truth. As Cornel West said during the Martin Luther King Jr commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 in Atlanta, King should be remembered as a man. Vital, with flaws like everyone, King was also a person who was considered a dangerous commie radical by the FBI. And I heard those words and much worse in ultra-white HB at the time. West said at the church where King preached from 1960 until his assassination in 1968. "I don't want to sanitize Martin Luther King Jr."

Perhaps we should take this discussion off line, but since phil/oc kid insists my memories are "the exception" I must insist that he is wrong. Vast social change was taking place at the time and HB was a quite *reactionary* part of that.

Who am I? I attended Wardlow Elementary school from the fall of 1963 before the Kennedy Assassination and before the school was even built through to the end of the decade.

I will not bore you with the details of my life, or the many differences between Scouting and Indian Guides at the time, but I will not sanitize MY history either. I state categorically that OC and HB was one of the most far-right, racist and sexist places in the US at the time.

ockid said...

This discussion seems to have verred off in a different direction. You made a factual claim that "all" Scout groups in Huntington Beach in the '60s were sponsored by "far right" churches. I replied that that was "unlikely," based on my research. I did not deny your personal experience, only your conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a landmark only a few blocks from home for me. My brothers were members of that troop during the 70's, (and its feeder Cub Scout pack #101, whose main sponsor was -still is, as far as I know- the Methodist Church on 17th St.) and were Eagle and Life Scouts.

However, it makes me pretty sad that one of those brothers, and my spouse as well, would now get kicked out if they wanted to be associated with Boy Scouts, because of their beliefs or orientation. For that reason, I'm steering my kids towards 4H.

Nathan said...

4H is good. Or Indian Guides.
The first guy really likes Indian Guides. At the YMCA.
It's fun to stay . . .

Anonymous said...

Sorry ockid, I overreacted. Thanks for your scholarship and attention to detail and to Chis for his excellent work on this blog. It is appreciated.