Scout Honor Societies

Order of the Solo Hiker - Founded in 1941 in the Alameda Council at Camp Stephens. The group formerly met three times a year for social and business meetings. There have been no inductions since the 191st Solo Hiker. The council last held its own summer camp at Camp Cedarbrook in 1998, but continued to hold weekend camps there until 2004. Camp Cedarbrook was sold by the foundation that owned it in 2006. The Order of Solo Hikers still exists as an alumni association of its previous OSH inductees, but only holds reunions on major anniversaries. Approximately two-thirds of the recipients are still living. . Since 1941 they inducted a total of 191 regular members and 14 honorary members. The quest (ordeal) was a performance of scouting skills and hiking stamina. The actual quest that had to be completed was quite emotional and somewhat challenging. Professional scouters were made ex Officio members. The group was founded by Council Executive Don Barley who learned about it from the then Council Executive of the Phoenix Council (a Mr. Young) where it apparently also existed in the 1930's. The first Solo Hiker was Jack Greig (July 9, 1941) who they refer to as "The Trail Blazer". There is no membership patch but their society symbol is a bear which appears on their neckerchief. Each member is given a bear claw which they make into a necklace to wear. Each member also receives a hat & T-shirt with the group logo. To become a member you had to attend their camp at least five years with two of them on staff or as a unit leader. The minimum age requirement varied through the years but was last set at 18 because of National Health and Safety factors. They had by-laws and elected officers.

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(Information updated courtesy of Charles A. Howard-Gibbon | Alameda Council Scout Executive)

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