as well as initiating semimonthly evening training
sessions to be held in the schools.
The Council then surveyed local organizations in
business, government, industry and the health-care field to locate
openings for Explorer Scouts who wished to volunteer for active
As a result the Bloomington Police Force
established an Explorer Post in which Scouts rid in squad cars on
regular tours; General Mills has an Explorer Post in their
computer section; Northwestern Bell in their secretarial department;
and North Memorial Hospital established an Explorers medical Post.
By 1971, the Explorer Career Scouting Program had
proven so popular, and had received so much publicity among teenagers,
that it was decided to open it to young women between 14 and 21 years
This new and significant event in Scouting became
instantly became popular, and the ranks of the Explorers expanded.
By 1976 there were about 4,000 Explorer Career Scouts in the Viking
Council, with the mix being about two-thirds young men and one-third
Explorer Career Scouts in the law
enforcement field wear light-blue shirts and dark blue jackets and
slacks to match the uniforms of their adult counterparts.
Explorer career Scouts in other fields wore ordinary dress or their
standard uniform of green shirt and slacks highlighted by a white web
bet, which was initiated in 1958.
In 1970, over 6,000 Scouts gathered at Bunker
Prairie Park near Anoka for a great Camporall in celebration of the
anniversary of the 60th anniversary of the founding of Scouting in
this country. Arch Pease of Anoka served as general Chairman of
this event and he was assisted with the logistics by members of the
Minnesota National Guard.
The Viking Council was
headed in 1970 by the senior vice president of Northwestern National
Bank of Minneapolis, Willis F. Rich Sr. He provided inspiring
the organization which now numbered over 30,000
boys and 9,000 adult volunteers.
In 1971 a unique event took place when then
Governor Wendell Anderson presented the William T. Hornaday medal,
Scouting's highest conservation award, to three teenage brothers from
Bloomington. Receiving the coveted award were Richard, Shreve
and Jay Gould. To earn the Hornaday Award the Gould brothers
conducted numerous conservation projects, and engaged in many
demonstrations and exhibits. These included the rearing of more
than 2,000 pheasants; hundreds of tree plantings; and the development
of a hardwood tree nursery. The award is very difficult to earn,
and this was the first time that three members of one family
Scouting had grown so rapidly that by 1971, the
facilities used for headquarters were inadequate, and a search began
for new Council offices. Committees were formed to review the
membership of the Council, and determine what location could best
serve the membership now aggregating over 30,000. After careful
review it was decided that the area around Highways 12 and 100 just
west of the city would be the best location. However, land there
was at a premium, so the idea of building did not move forward until
1973 when an existing building became available for purchase at 5300
Glenwood Avenue - just one block from the ideal site. The wheels
of progress turned quickly, and the building was secured, remodeled,
and the office opened in time for the National Meeting of the Boy
Scouts of America held in Minneapolis in May of 1973.
Throughout the history of Scouting in Hennepin
County, as the movement grew from 20 troops to close to 1,000 units in
1975, the fundamentals of Scouting had not changed. The idea of
character building, citizenship training and physical fitness are as
much a part of the program as they were when Baden-Powell first
developed the idea.
Scouting had reached its 67th birthday at the time
of this writing and the program in Hennepin County had grown strong
and thrived because of the solid groundwork laid by innumerable
concerned citizens of the community. Mindful of the past, and
grateful to many farsighted individuals, we look forward to the future
with great hope for an even stronger and more useful program for