The story of the Boy Scouts in the foothills of western North Carolina is one of innovation, strong leadership, and persistence in the face of enormous challenges. From its beginnings in the small community of Kings Mountain in 1908, the Scouting movement in the eleven counties overseen by the Piedmont Council gave opportunities for learning and growth to many young North Carolinians in the mid-twentieth century.
Scouting’s achievements in the western North Carolina foothills owed much to the efforts of R. M. “Bud” Schiele and his wife, Lily. Their managerial skill and cultivation of local support from businesses, churches, and community leaders were critical to the growth of Scouting.
Boy Scouting in the North Carolina Foothills, 1908–1958 recounts the many changes that affected Scouting over the years, from increasing urbanization to wars to the civil rights movement. It focuses especially on the Piedmont Boy Scout Camp, active on Lake Lanier from 1925 to 1981. Little-known documents from local archives and the recollections of former Scouts, many now in their seventies and eighties, bring the story to life.
Harvey Hamrick is a retired pediatrician living in Chapel Hill with his wife, Ann. In the 1950s, he spent five summers as a counselor at the Piedmont Boy Scout Camp near Tryon, North Carolina. The process of researching and writing this book was a creative outlet for his occasional unfocused energy—a benefit much appreciated by Ann.