Eastland Mall is proud to recognize the Boy Scouts of America Buffalo Trace Council as our Nonprofit of the Month for August.
It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to help others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential. The values that are instilled are found in the Scout Oath and Law.
WHO THEY ARE
The Boy Scouts of America charters local councils to serve specific geographic areas in the US. Currently, there are 307 local councils serving various communities.
Buffalo Trace Council was chartered in 1915 and is charged with serving the needs of Scouting's community in 15 counties of Southwest Indiana and Southeast Illinois. Over 250 packs, troops, teams, crews and posts are registered through our council, with a membership of more than 16,000 youth and adult participants!
EYKAMP SCOUT CENTER
The Eykamp Scout Center is located at 3501 E Lloyd Expressway in Evansville, Indiana and opened in 2005. The Scout Center is your source for information, literature, videos, advice and guidance about all things Scouting. Located in the Scout Center is the John & Kay Gaither Scout Shop, your one stop shop for all your Scouting needs. The Scout Shop is an official BSA distributor, fully stocked with uniforms, handbooks, camping equipment, recognition items, badges and much more. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Central Standard Time.
The Buffalo Trace Council is led by an Executive Board. The board meets quarterly and the officers of the board meet in between. Each year the council's major business is conducted at an Annual Business Meeting, to which all Chartered Organization Representatives are invited. Here the board adopts a budget and formulates a plan of action for the upcoming year. The council employs a Scout Executive and a staff who serve the Scouting community. The council is divided into three geographical districts and one special initiative division, Scoutreach. Each district is provided with a professional staff member who works hand in hand with an appointed commissioner and chairman, as well as a host of volunteers who operate the best Scouting programs we can to help the youth in our service area become solid upstanding citizens and leaders.
THE HISTORY OF THE BUFFALO TRACE
On many Indiana maps there is a line cutting across the southern part of the state labeled the “Old Buffalo Trace” or the “Vincennes Trace.” This Trace is a travel way, a road as well engineered and durable as any built today. Modern roads, such as a portion of Highway 56, are built along its route.
The Trace appears on the earliest maps of the area and was the common route used by pioneers to cross the state. The Trace was created by buffalo. Countless thousands of buffalo once migrated along the route. The Trace began in the east at the Falls of the Ohio where the buffalo converged to cross the river at its shallowest point. It stretched northwest all the way to present day Vincennes where the buffalo dispersed to cross the Wabash River for the open prairies of Illinois.
Early pioneers found the Trace to be a godsend. The trail varied from 12 to 20 feet wide and had already been used for centuries. In very few other areas of the country did people find such an easy travel route. Early settlers often booked passage on riverboats as far as the falls (now Louisville) then unloaded and set off west along this trail.
The trace has a rich history:
- In 1786, George Rogers Clark marched 1000 men to Fort Sackville at Vincennes over the “Buffalo Trace.”
- It was the first “western” mail route, carried weekly by two men traveling the 130 mile route by foot.
- In 1804 it became an Indian Treaty line.
- In 1807 a British spy, believed to be conferring with the Indians before the Battle of Tippecanoe, was captured on the trail.
- In 1812 the trail was considered of such importance that mounted troops of “rangers” began patrolling the trace to protect travelers.
- In 1819 one tavern owner along the route documented more than 5000 travelers enroute to Missouri.
- By 1820 the first stagecoach line was established to run the length of the trace from New Albany to Vincennes.
Today, the Buffalo Trace is fading into obscurity. The line is left off most modern maps and on the ground there are fewer places where the Trace can be followed. Once as important as major interstates today, the Buffalo Trace is a fascinating and important part of our history.
Buffalo Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America is proud to preserve part of our area’s rich heritage by perpetuated the name “Buffalo Trace”, but more importantly, by maintaining a new “trace” for young people to follow in developing character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership.