"Big Ed" Henderson coordinates the USSSP's Internet Scout Patch program and manages our various database submissions including the Activities, Scout Camp and ScoutSite Search Databases. He is also content Webmaster for ScoutCamp.org and wrote the forward for SCOUT CAMPS USA 2nd Edition. Ed has over 25 years experience on Scout Summer Camp staffs, most recently as Program Director of West Tennessee Area Council's Camp Mack Morris in the Summer of 2001. He is a five time graduate of BSA's National Camp School, and has attended training at the Philmont Training Center as well as completing is Wood Badge Ticket as a part of Flint River Council's SE-132 course as a Buffalo. His interest areas continue to focus on Scout Camp Administration and Trading Post Management as well as Chartered Relationships, Chaplaincy and Religious Awards of the B.S.A. He is an active member of the National Lutheran Association of Scouters.
An Eagle Scout with 92 Merit Badges, Ed is a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow and a member of Alpha Phi Omega. Before moving Ed was Scoutmaster of Troop 12 in Griffin Georgia for eight years with a number of his scouts earning the Eagle rank and some earning appointments to top colleges and the West Point Military Academy. As a volunteer he has also served as District Advancement Chairman and District Commissioner. He has also been both an Explorer and Venture Crew Advisor and has started several Cub Scout Packs. He is a District Award of Merit recipient as well as having received the Catholic Bronze Pelican Award and the O.A.'s Cheerful Spirit Award. In Scouting he also received the Congressional Award, the William T. Hornaday Certificate, the Explorer Leadership Award, and as an adult the Scouter's Key.
In 1997 Ed moved to Kansas City where he joined the staff of SCOUTER.com and was Associate Editor for SCOUTER Magazine, writing a column called the Chaplain's Aide and serving as Catalog Manager. He left that organization several years later and began writing the same column as well as becoming Senior Editor for Scouter's Digest Magazine (honorpub.com) and helping to create the Honor Bookstore on-line catalog. Currently he is also writing a series of Boy Scout Council histories by state for the free bi-weekly e-mail newsletter called the Scouting E-Zine. He is also an active participant on a number of Scouting forums including AOL: Scouts and Scouts-L.
For over two decades Ed has taught an annual Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Clinic, helping over 1100 scouts complete the badge across the Southern Region. He is an active member of SOSSI (Scouts on Stamps Society International). Every year Ed has been on Summer Camp Staff, no matter if he was serving as Chaplain, Business Manager, Medic, Fine Arts & Technology Director (other camps call it Handicrafts) or Program Director he has always taught Space Exploration Merit Badge which he says is his favorite. Some of the Summer Camp innovations Ed has achieved include creating a computer based camp class management and reporting system, creative an experiential learning Nature Lodge facility full of actual exhibits, experiments, programs, and interpretive trails in partnership with dozens of state and federal agencies. He is a facilitator for NatureQuest, Project Wild and Project Learning Tree and has taught Scoutleader and Camp staff sessions on using those resources to help teach Merit Badges. He is also a certified course director of both the N.R.A. and the National Archery Association. Currently he is writing a series of Program Resource Books focusing on various Program ideas for camps. At camp, he has operated a long running Dining Hall program called WBSA Camp Radio. For nearly a decade he served as Treasurer for the Georgia Chess Association and continues to lobby for a Chess Merit Badge in Scouting after seeing the success in his annual "Check it Out Make!" Chess Tournaments at Scout Camps.
Outside of Scouting Ed is a volunteer with the American Red Cross as an Instructor for both First Aid & C.P.R. His troop has hosted a number of Blood Drives using some very creative promotional ideas (drop him a line for the complete list). He is also a member of the Red Cross's National Disaster Team (DSHR) and has volunteered for weeks at a time at Hurricane, Flood, and Earthquake Disaster sites across the United States. Ed also has been active in his community as the Board Chairman of the Spalding County Library Board and a member of the Regional Library Board for over a decade. Promoting the "Scouting Around the Library" program of the American Library Association.
Ed has been a reporter for several newspapers and hosted a radio talk show on WWGC where a number of Scouting topics were covered over the years. In Washington D.C. he interned for Congressman Newt Gingrich and has managed or served on the staff of several state and federal political campaigns and later serving as a election poll manager and a political commentator for WKEU Radio. President George Bush nominated Ed to serve as Field Operations Director for Southern Georgia for the 1990 Census. For nearly a decade, Ed has participated in the National Outdoor Retailer Association, attending their conventions in Salt Lake City where he tests, reviews, and reports on new Camping and Cooking equipment of Interest to Scout Leaders.
Very recently, after more than 30 years as a youth and a volunteer, and a writer for several Scouting Publications, Ed took the next step in his Scouting journey, joining the professional staff of the Capitol Area Council in Austin Texas as the District Executive of both the Green Dickson and Pioneer Districts, serving the Texas Counties of Bastrop, Lee, Fayette, DeWitt, Lavaca, and Gonzalez - more than forty communities and none with a city population of more than 6,000 citizens. Ed is excited about the chance to work with some great volunteers in Southeastern Texas to make rural Scouting a success.
Ed can be reached at BigEd@usscouts.org or AOL Instant Messenger: Big Ed BSA (2/2002)