River Hawk History

History of Scouting in Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County Seal

There were troops as early as 1910 – Troop 4 of Brooklyn United Evangelical Church started meeting by March 1911 (SM Stacy)

An organizational meeting was held in Annapolis on September 19, 1912 in the State House when Maryland Governor Goldsborough hosted Baltimore Scout Executive Eddy to discuss with prominent Annapolitans the idea of bring the scouting movement to Annapolis.  The SM of the troop was Professor E. S. Krantz from the US Naval Academy.

On January 16, 1913, the Evening Capital published an article stating that a meeting was held in the Comptroller’s office.  It was announced by Commodore William H. Beebler, president, charter had been granted to form the Annapolis Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  Contributing member dues were $1 per year and sustaining member dues were $5. 

[More research is needed.  There is an article from 1919 that talks of a new SM of Troop 1 of Annapolis, Mr. Walton B. Childs, who was in favor of plans for the renewal of the work of BSA. Otherwise, there is little recorded between 1913 and 1917.]

By 1917, other councils had been chartered in Frostburg, Westminster, Salisbury, and Frederick.  At this time, Baltimore Council covered just the City of Baltimore. 

As most of Anne Arundel County was considered rural and therefore lumped into county districts. 

[More research is needed.  There is an article from the Baltimore Sun in 1944 that first mentions Anne Arundel District, but we don’t have much more information.]

Baltimore Council – from its formation in 1911 through 1923/25 the council went through a number of name changes and territory adjustments and finally became the Baltimore Area Council.  Originally chartered in 1911, for the entire state of Maryland, the council was aptly named the Maryland Council of the Boys Scouts of America.

Around 1923 is when the southern part of Anne Arundel County became part of the Baltimore Area Council.  In 1923, when the name was transitioned to Baltimore Area Council, the territory lines that exist today were established.

In 1918 Camp Linstead, in Severna Park, opened.

[Needs more research regarding Camp Linstead and the time between the late teens and the 50’s.  There are references to troops in Brooklyn Park and Curtis Bay in the late teens, but not sure where they fit.]

In 1953, the Southern District was form from the Anne Arundel District.  There was also a South Shore District in Anne Arundel County until 1967, when it was integrated into the Southern District.

In 1957, there were 95 units with 3,600 boys in scouting in Anne Arundel County. 

In October 1968, the Southern District held their final “Together Dinner” at Pasadena United Methodist Church.  The principal speaker for the dinner was Cmdr. Thomas Keane USN (ret.) who was active in scouting most of his life.  The dinner was attended by 125 people including Thomas Dimeler, Scout Executive of the Western Service Area of the Baltimore Area Council. 

In January 1969, the Southern District was divided into parts.  The northern half of the district became known as Four Rivers and the southern half became known as The Capitol District.  The Four Rivers District was formed by merging portions of the former “Francis Scott Key District” with the northern portion of the Southern District.  The district took its name from the Four Rivers that made up its boundaries, the Patuxent, the Patapsco, the Magothy, and the Severn. 

The Capitol District, also created in 1968, was also formed from the former “Southern District,” and included the remainder of southern Anne Arundel County. 

There were 262 units and 7,300 boys in scouting when the Southern District was divided.  With the split Four Rivers had 175 units and 5,100 boys, while The Capital had 87 units with 2,200 boys.

Donald Betts became the first District Chairman of Four Rivers District, while James Foster was the first District Commissioner and Kenneth Hesterberg was the Scout Executive.

As of July 1, 2022, Baltimore Area Council merged Four Rivers and The Capitol Districts to once again encompass all of Anne Arundel County into the River Hawk District.  Today the newly combined district supports 37 Cub Scout Packs, 57 Scouts BSA Troops, 7 Crews, 1 Ship, and 1 Club. 

                                        Name Evolution

The Maryland Council of the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on May 9, 1911 headquartered in Baltimore, MD.  By 1917, additional local councils were charter in Annapolis, Frostburg, Westminster, Salisbury, and Frederick.

In 1923, the boundaries of the council were redefined and it became known as the Baltimore Area Councl.


Districts were Central, Western, Northern, Southern, Northeastern, Southeastern Districts (all of which were Baltimore City)

1925 to 1935

12 City Districts

Western, North Western, Hamilton, Harford Road, Belair Road, North Eastern, Central, South Central, Northern, Southern, South Eastern, Lone Scouts

Cubs and Sea Scouts were added in 1930 as well as county troops (Howard, Anne Arundel, Harford, Carroll, Baltimore)


New Divisions (we know as Service Areas) made up of the following districts:

Division A            Belair Road, Harford Road, Northern, North Eastern, South Eastern

Division B             Central, North Western, Southern, South Western, Western

Division C             Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford County

Division D            Anne Arundel County, Howard County

Colored Division (segregated troops)


1936 to 1949

Baltimore City Districts: Harford-Belair, North Eastern, South Eastern, Northern, Central, Southern, North Western, Western, South Western, Monumental (segregated), Sea Scouts

County Districts: Anne Arundel, Carroll-Howard, Harford, Gunpowder, Patapsco, Ranger, North Point, Chesapeake (segregated), Sea Scouts

1949 to 1954

District 1 (central Baltimore)

Dan Beard District (future Trailblazer)

Francis Scott Key District (future Constellation)

Wells – McComas District (future Shot Tower)

North Point District (future Chesapeake)

Gunpowder District (future Delaney)

Patapsco District (Catonsville/Patapsco Valley corridor)

Ranger District (Woodlawn to Glyndon)

Anne Arundel District

Harford District

Monumental District (segregated covered Baltimore City)

Chesapeake District (segregated covered Baltimore County)

1955 to 1968

“Pie” city/county combined districts

Arrowhead District – Northwestern Baltimore city and county and Carroll County

Loch Raven District – Northern Baltimore city and county

Old Glory District – Southwestern Baltimore city and county, Howard County

Eastern District – Eastern Baltimore city and county

Southern District – Anne Arundel county, Brooklyn and Curtis Bay area

Harford District – Harford county

1969 to 1993

A return to the city/county separation

Constellation (SW Baltimore)

Trailblazer (NW Baltimore)

Shot Tower (SE Baltimore)

Parkway (NE Baltimore)




National Pike



Four Rivers

The Capitol

Exploring (sometimes its own district)

1994 to 2022

Thurgood Marshall (formerly Babe Ruth) – West Baltimore

Hopkins – East Baltimore

Chesapeake – Baltimore County south of Route 40

Dulaney – Central Baltimore County

Arrowhead – Baltimore County west of Falls Road

National Pike – Howard County

Carroll – Carroll County

Harford – Harford County

Four Rivers – Northern Anne Arundel County

The Capitol – Southern Anne Arundel County

Reginald F. Lewis District (formerly Scoutreach District)

Pathfinders District (Venturing, Learning for Life, Exploring)


Ft. McHenry District (formerly Hopkins and Thurgood Marshall)

Gunpowder Falls District (formerly Dulaney and Chesapeake)

River Hawk District (formerly The Capitol and Four Rivers)


National Pike