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Lone Scouts of America (LSA) was a Scouting organization for American boys that operated from 1915 until it merged with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1924. The LSA was founded by W. D. Boyce, a Chicago newspaper entrepreneur and the same William D. Boyce that incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. Boyce felt that the program of the BSA did not help the rural boy who could not find enough other boys to form a troop or a patrol. James E. West, the first Chief Scout Executive of the BSA, disagreed with Boyce's concept, believing that the 4-H program was fulfilling the role. After Boyce left the BSA, he started the Lone Scouts of America and incorporated it on January 9, 1915. Boyce became the executive officer or Chief Totem and Frank Allan Morgan became the editor of Lone Scout. In October of 1915, Boyce appointed all of his paperboys as members of the LSA and published the first issue of the Lone Scout magazine.

The LSA program was inspired by the Lonecraft program of the British Boy Scout Association and by Ernest Thompson Seton's Woodcraft Indians program that used American Indian themes. No adult leaders were required in the Lone Scout program, and there were no age limits. By November of 1915, over 30,000 members were reported. Lone Scouts who lived near each other could form a "local tribe", while others could form a "mail tribe" and communicate by post. Tribes could join together to form "wigwams". Tribes elected officers such as chief (president, initially called captain), sachem, (vice-president), scribe (secretary) and wampum-bearer (treasurer). By October of 1916, the LSA reported 133,000 members. By popular demand, a uniform was created in 1917 and the Lone Scout Supply Company was formed.


Through the Lone Scout newspaper, published by W. D. Boyce's company, boys were encouraged to write articles, stories and cartoons for Lone Scout, and several prizes and contests were announced. Many tribes started their own local "tribe papers" this later became part of a program that became the Authorized Lone Scout Amateur Publications (ALSAPs).


By December of 1920, financial difficulties forced Boyce to publish the magazine on a monthly basis and increase the price. The last issue of Lone Scout in April of 1924 announced the merger with the BSA.




Lone Scouts of America second and third degree booklets.

Lone Scouts

Eagle Scout Resource

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