NORTHWEST GEORGIA COUNCIL, BSA
A BRIEF HISTORY
Out of the Boer war in South Africa in the late 1890’s and the genius of a British General, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, came the Boy Scout movement, which now embraces all the democratic world and represented in this area by the Northwest Georgia Council, Boy Scouts of America.
As a result of a good turn by an English Boy Scout to a Chicago publisher, William D. Boyce, the Boy Scout program was brought to the United States by Mr. Boyce in 1909 and on February 8, 1910, was incorporated in the District of Columbia.
Prior to that date, the program of Scouting had caught the imagination of many leaders of boys throughout this country and troops had been organized in a number of communities by men who were using the literature published by the British Boy Scout Association. The organization of the Boy Scouts of America; the establishment of a national office in New York City in January, 1911; the development of literature and a plan of organization under the dynamic leadership of Dr. James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive; all gave impetus to the movement in this country and it spread rapidly with the organization of local councils and the recruiting of prominent local citizens in these communities to give leadership to the program.
The movement was not long in reaching Georgia. Already boys and leaders of boys had been reading books on Scouting and discussing its methods. The first official Scout troop in Dalton, Troop 1, was chartered to Mr. W. M. Sapp, Scoutmaster on March 14, 1911. The original charter (#2466 and signed by James E. West himself) currently hangs in the Dalton service center along with a picture of the original Troop 1 members. Another NWGA troop, Troop 12 in Adairsville, was chartered in 1915 and remains the oldest continually-tenured troop in the council.
The petition for charter was applied for the 14th day of July 1933 in the Supreme Court of Floyd County, Georgia. This petition was granted for a period of fifty years with option for renewal the 19th day of August 1933 by James Maddox, Superior Court Judge, Floyd County, Georgia and filed August 19, 1933 and recorded in the office August 31, 1933 by Mary Sue Beyer, deputy clerk.
The Northwest Georgia Council comprises an area of Bartow, Polk, Floyd, Chattooga, Whitfield, and Gordon Counties. Murray and Catoosa Counties were transferred to Cherokee Council, Chattanooga, TN in the early 1980’s. Murray County was transferred back in 1995.
The legal incorporated name of the council is: The Northwest Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Inc. George B. Smith, Joel Sulzbacher, Sr., and T.E. Clements were the incorporating officers. The petitioners’ attorney was E.J. Clower.
Prior to the organization of the council, the area was served by the Atlanta Area Council. Scout Executive of the Atlanta Area Council was the late W.A. “Dobbie” Dobson, a native of Dalton, GA. Mr. Dobson became a Scoutmaster at Lindale in 1921 where he taught school.
Scout Executives of the Northwest Georgia Council have been the late A.P. “Pat” Patterson, the late Freeman E. Self, the late Harold E. Westin, the late Harry L. Wheeler, the late F.T. “Pete” Parham, Michael J, Bernhard, J. Richard “Dick” Thralls, Charles J. “Chick” Harvey (1994-2009), Lamar Perry, Jr. (2009-2015), Jeff Brasher (2015-2019) and the current Scout Executive, Matt Hart.
Original office location was in the city auditorium of Rome from 1933-1968, occupying space on the 1st and later 2nd floor. The office was located in a house at 11 E. 5th avenue for three years. The 4,800 square foot service center was built on US Hwy 27 North in Rome and used for 10 years. The council office was then moved to the third floor of the First Union Bank, 501 Broad Street in Rome. In 1998, a second office/Scout Shop was opened in Dalton at 202 S. Hamilton Street. In 2003, the office was moved into the Suntrust Annex building, 100 E. 2ndAvenue. After 16 years at the 2nd Ave location, the council office and Scout Shop relocated to a newly renovated location at 1013 North 5th Avenue Suite 1 Rome, GA.