Golden Gate Area Council - History

At 6:30 PM on Monday, April 27, 2020 the stakeholders for the Alameda Council, the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council and the San Francisco Bay Area Council overwhelmingly approved to merge the three Scout councils into a single new entity called the Golden Gate Area Council.  The official merger date of the new council was Monday, June 1, 2020 and the first leaders of the council were Scout Executive John Fenoglio and Council President Dan Walters. 

Originally the vote of the stakeholders was scheduled for March 30, however due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the in-person meetings were canceled and ballots ultimately mailed to each of the voting members with the new date.

The discussions to merge the councils actually started back in 2012 when the leaders of the Mt Diablo Silverado council approached the San Francisco Bay Area council about a possible merge.  Those initial discussions ultimately ended on August 29, 2012 with a no merge vote.  However eight years later, those discussions again were the topic of the day due to the vacancies left by the Scout Exec positions in the SFBAC and MDSC Councils.  National guidelines require that Councils review possible merging when Scout Executive positions are vacated as a way to possibly save money.  This time, the merge made sense.

The merging of these three great councils into one, united over 19,000 youth members in Cub Scouts, ScoutsBSA, Venturers and Sea Scouts from six Bay Area counties into one strong council with over 7000 dedicated adult volunteers along with five Scout Camps.  The camps of the Golden Gate Area Council are comprised of Camp Royaneh (est. 1925), Camp Wolfeboro (est. 1928), Camp Herms (est. 1930), Rancho Los Mochos (est. 1944) and Wente Scout Reservation (est. 1959).

The three service centers of the council continued to be operated with one in Alameda (1714 Everett St), one in San Leandro (1001 Davis St) and one in Pleasant Hill (800 Ellinwood Way).  The Pleasant Hill office became the new headquarters of the combined council.

Although our new council is called the Golden Gate Area Council, our history with the Boy Scouts of America actually started some 104 years earlier in 1916 when our original legacy councils were formed.  The original eight scout councils of the Golden Gate Area were the following:  Berkeley Council (formed 1916), Oakland Area Council (formed 1916), San Francisco Council (formed 1917), Alameda Council (formed 1917), Napa Council (formed 1917), Contra Costa Council (formed 1922), Solano Council (formed 1922) and the Luther Burbank Council (formed 1923).

The first council shoulder patch (CSP) for the GGAC was designed by Venturer Melody Fewx which was selected from more than 70 entries by the various youth of the council.  

The diagram below gives a basic pictorial overview as to the merger history, name changes and council identifiers for each of the original legacy councils along with the Order of the Arrow Lodges associated with the councils.  

Over the years these various councils merged to form larger councils in order to broaden the reach of Scouting and provide more program for the youth in both the cities and suburbs.  


Golden Gate Area Council Merger Brochure

Golden Gate Area Council Legacy Councils and Order of the Arrow Lodges

GGAC – Golden Gate Area Council / Yerba Buena Lodge

SFBAC – San Francisco Bay Area Council / Achewon Nimat Lodge

OAC – Oakland Area Council / Machek N’Gult Lodge

SFC – San Francisco Council / Royaneh Lodge

MDSC – Mt. Diablo Silverado Council / Ut-in Selica Lodge

MDC – Mt. Diablo Council / Oo Yum Buli Lodge

BCCC – Berkeley Contra Costa Council

ALC – Alameda Council / Kaweah Lodge

SC – Silverado Council / Swegedaigea Lodge

How to verify an out of Council Merit Badge Counselor.

First, try to connect the Scout and counselor in Scoutbook. If that is successful, the counselor is registered and qualified. If unsuccessful, go to the counselor’s home council and search for their Advancement Administrators. Most will have an email address for either the Council Advancement Committee or Professional Advisor. Send an email asking if the counselor has been registered and qualified for the merit badge(s) in question and the status of their Youth Protection Training. Ask California councils if the counselor has completed AB506 training and LiveScan. The unit leader’s “blue card” signature verifies their counselor credentials verification.


Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow