Camp Workcoeman

Forming a Countywide Council

Torrington’s renewed interest in Scouting in the late 1920s, along with a full-time Council Executive, attracted some attention from the national office in New York. The ten-year initiative to bring all troops in the nation under a local council was nearing its end. In the first six years of that plan, the number of First Class Councils more than doubled. That was the same program that brought the National Council’s field staff to Torrington in 1920, to organize a First Class Council. George Fisher, deputy Chief Scout Executive, inspected Workcoeman during the summer on 1928. While he made some positive comments, he revealed his true intentions at both a Rotary Luncheon and at a council meeting, where he promoted the idea of establishing Torrington as center of a countywide council.

A larger territory meant that the Torrington Council would take responsibility for the troops dispersed throughout Litchfield County. In addition, the council and its executive would also be in charge of forming new units in communities without Scouting. This could entail increased travel expenses and possibly hiring an Assistant Council Executive. While Winsted might provide additional financial support, the fifteen other towns would probably not.

Given the likelihood of increased expenses and the lack of prospective revenue, most Torrington volunteers were wary of the proposal. On the other hand, Scouters from Kent and Warren showed unbridled enthusiasm, especially with the prospect of support from a local, trained, member of the professional staff. As in Torrington, the proposal did not receive a great deal support in a dozen other communities. Regardless of what the National Council thought, many volunteers in the farm villages and small mill towns felt they were doing just fine without a local council. The Scouters delayed until December, when the National Council issued an ultimatum. If the council did not expand to include all Scouts in Northwest Connecticut, the National Office would not renew the Torrington Council’s Charter, and National would dissolve the organization.

The image below shows the Dining Hall, now the kitchen, in the late 1920s.

Dining Hall (late 1920s)