The Blue Grass Council has a long, rich history with Scouting in Kentucky. As early as 1908, the first Kentucky Scout troop (and one of the first troops in the nation) was chartered in Frankfort as an extension of Britain’s Scout Association. When the Boy Scouts of America was formed on February 8, 1910, the Frankfort troop was given the distinction of being called Kentucky’s Troop 1. Today, the Blue Grass Council’s Troop 1 is recognized as one of the nation’s first 40 Scout troops to receive a charter in the BSA’s inaugural year.
To better serve the growing number of Scout troops in Kentucky, the BSA officially chartered the Lexington Council in 1917. The council name was changed to the Blue Grass Council in 1928. Originally, the council’s geographical territory only covered central Kentucky—the area known locally as the Blue Grass Region. However, as time went on, more territory was added: the council served Scouts all the way to the Cumberland Gap by 1963 and to Pikeville by 1979. Currently, the Blue Grass Council proudly serves Scouts in 55 counties throughout central and eastern Kentucky.
As the council grew, so did the need for a council camp to support Scouting’s emphasis on the outdoors. In 1923, the Rotary Club of Lexington donated land on the Kentucky River for a new property named Camp Offutt. This camp served Scouting well for years, but the number of Scouts was growing and eventually the council needed a larger camp. In 1943, Dr. P. L. and Gertrude McKee donated the initial parcel of land for what would eventually become the McKee Scout Reservation, affectionately known as Camp McKee. More land was added over the next decade, and the new camp welcomed its first official summer campers in 1959. McKee has remained an active Boy Scout camp every year since that time.
From the formation of the first troop in 1908 to the present day, Scouting has had a deep-rooted presence in Kentucky. Since 1917, the Blue Grass Council has continuously upheld the values and traditions of Scouting, working tirelessly to ensure that the greatest number of youth have the opportunity to experience the life-changing influence of the Scouting movement.
Read the full history of the Blue Grass Council here. Special thanks to Tim Brown.