The Dan Beard Council has a long history of providing life-changing programs to the young men of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. There have been a lot changes since the founding of the Scouting movement way back in 1910, but the character values of the Scout Oath and Law remain the same. One-hundred plus years later, the Scouting movement is the largest organized movement in the world and the largest youth organization in the United States.
The Dan Beard Council's story is one of mergers and changes, progress and growth, and outstanding individuals that gave of themselves for the cause of instilling good values in youth. We invite you to learn more about the development of the Scouting movement in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area - a history that begins even before the Boy Scouts of America itself was founded.
Daniel Carter Beard
Daniel Carter Beard was born in 1850 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In his youth, his family moved to 322 E. 3rd Street in Covington, Kentucky where Beard loved exploring the banks of the nearby Ohio River and the Big Bone Lick Creek region south of Covington. It was during these explorations, that Beard developed his great love for nature and outdoors living. In 1882, Beard wrote The American Boy’s Handy Book, a book which gives instructions and advice on animals, outdoors, knots, tents, fishing and more.
In 1905, Beard founded the “Sons of Daniel Boone,” an outdoor education and exploration program for young men. Boys were organized into “forts,” uniforms were based on the outfits of frontiersmen and in place of ranks or advancement, boys earned notches and top notches for achievements in a variety of interest areas. In 1910, Beard merged his organization (then known as the “Boy Pioneers of America”) into the fledgling Boy Scouts of America and became one of the first National Commissioners, serving Scouting for 30 years. The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge spanning the Ohio River and connecting I-471 in northern Kentucky to I-71 in Ohio was named in his honor and dedicated in 1981.
Mergers and Past Councils
The Dan Beard Council as we know it today is actually a merger of four original Councils that underwent many changes in their time.
- The first to form was the Fort Hamilton Council, founded in 1913, just three years after the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. The Fort Hamilton Council was headquartered in Hamilton, Ohio and the territory of the Council was defined as “Butler County Ohio with the exception of Middletown and Lemon Townships.”
- The Middletown Council was chartered in February 1917 in Middletown, Ohio. It began as a provisional (second-class) council, but became a first-class council in 1920.
- In 1918, the Covington Council was founded as a “first-class” or non-provisional Council serving the city of Covington, Kentucky exclusively.
- A fourth Council, the Cincinnati Area Council was formed to serve the city of Cincinnati though its inception date is not known.
- In January 1925, the Covington Council was re-organized as the Northern Kentucky Council, headquartered in Covington, Kentucky, and serving the counties of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton.
- Around the same time, 1926, the Fort Hamilton Council was renamed the Butler County Council. In February 1931, the counties of Bracken, Grant, and Pendleton were added to the Covington Council’s territory. The following year, 1932, the counties of Mason, Owen, Robertson and Fleming were added to the Covington Council.
- Meanwhile, in August 1928, the following territory was added to the jurisdiction of the Middletown Council: Warren County, Ohio, and Lemon, Liberty, Madison, and Union Townships in Butler County.
- In 1932, Union Township in Butler County was transferred to the Butler County Council’s jurisdiction from the Middletown Council. The territory of the Butler County Council was now Butler County, Ohio, with the exception of the city of Middletown and the Townships of Lemon, Liberty, and Madison.
- In 1933, the Middletown Council changed its name to the Mound Builders Area Council. A 1936 charter renewal application showed the Butler County Council’s name had reverted back to the Fort Hamilton Council.
- In 1941, the Northern Kentucky Council moved its headquarters to Newport, Kentucky. In May 1944, Gallatin County was added to the territory jurisdiction. In September 1951, the counties of Bracken, Fleming, Mason, and Robertson were transferred to the jurisdiction of Scioto Area Council, #457, Portsmouth, Ohio.
- In 1952, the Northern Kentucky Council moved its headquarters back to Covington and changed to Dan Beard Council.
- In January 1955, Liberty Township in Butler County was added to the Fort Hamilton Council’s territory from Mound Builders Council.
- In October 1956, the Dan Beard Council consolidated with the Cincinnati Area Council, Cincinnati, Ohio, to form the Dan Beard Council, #438, Cincinnati, Ohio. The territory of this consolidated council in 1956 was Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton counties in Kentucky; and Brown, Clermont, and Hamilton counties in Ohio.
- Effective January 1, 1959, Fort Hamilton Council, #448, Hamilton, Ohio, merged into Dan Beard Council, #438, Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Effective July 1, 1985, Mound Builders Area Council, #454, Middletown, Ohio, merged into Dan Beard Council, #438, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Dan Beard Council Today
Since the final merger of the Mound Builder's Area Council in 1985, the Dan Beard Council's territory has remained the same until this day. The territory at present includes Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton counties in Kentucky; and Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio.
In 2009, the council moved it's headquarters from 2331 Victory Parkway in East Walnut Hills to the new Scout Achievement Center in Evendale, Ohio, ushering in a new century of Scouting for the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. Serving over 30,000 families led by over 6,000 volunteers, the Dan Beard council has certainly grown from the early days of the Scouting movement and become a tradition of fun, achievement, and character development for families to enjoy for many years to come.