The Silver Claw Patrol

    When one attends SWC, he or she receives a bear claw to verify attendance. Look around your district events and you will see Scouters wearing one or more. One exception, however, is when one serves as Scoutmaster of the SWC, the claw that is presented to him or her is not a bear claw but a Silver Eagle Claw.

Ever since the 1970 SWC, the Scoutmaster only serves one time in this role. Thereafter he or she usually serves on the following year’s staff. After several years, the SWC staff was becoming close to being all “old Scoutmasters” and not enough new Scouters. This had a danger of becoming a “select” staff and was not good for Scouting or SWC. Therefore, policy was made to restrict past Scoutmasters from serving on the SWC staff with the exception that the immediate past Scoutmaster would serve in an advisory capacity the following year. The past Scoutmasters therefore become “has-beens”!

If a “has-been” is still a member of a unit, he or she may still attend SWC as an active member of that unit’s patrol. However, many has-beens are not so connected, but are still active in various other positions. So they formed the Silver Claw Patrol made up of all the past Scoutmasters.

Their Charter is to camp as a patrol if they have no other patrol ties. They do not compete for awards with the other SWC patrols but do join in many of the activities and games just for the fun of it.

They are available for special service activities if the current Scoutmaster needs assistance. Several members do perform services and camp with the Silver Claws at the same time.

This had made a great patrol and freed up staff position opportunities for new Scouters through the years. Membership grows by one each year and one never ceases to be a Silver Claw—even when they are no longer active Scouters, change districts or councils, nor move on to that great Campground in the sky.

Silver Claw Patrol Roster
a.k.a. Past SWC Scoutmasters


Year Scoutmaster Year Scoutmaster
1 1968 Homer Powell * 26 1994 Steve Fisher
2 1970 Homer Powell * 27 1995 Russ Parker
3 1971 Sieg Gruener * 28 1996 Bill Bass
4 1972 Elton Adams * 29 1997 Don Prince
5 1973 Bill Craig 30 1998 Tom Sprayberry
6 1974 Tom Ogletree 31 1999 David Adams
7 1975 Bill Barber * 32 2000 Sam Johnson
8 1976 Jim Moody 33 2001 Terry Nunn
9 1977 Hank Thornburgh 34 2002 Dave Heusinger
10 1978 Henry Branton 35 2003 Ray Hopkins
11 1979 Dave Lipscomb * 36 2004 David Muller
12 1980 Bob Claunch * 27 2005 Pat Bonito
13 1981 Ron Roper 28 2006 Michele Parks
14 1982 Mike Fletcher 29 2007 Don Snyder
15 1983 Bill Hight 40 2008 Dave Parks
16 1984 Hart Gates * 41 2009 Tom Morin
17 1985 Malcom Bowles * 42 2010 John Keeshen
18 1986 Jim Vaughn * 43 2011 Warren Wright
19 1987 Ted Vinson 44 2012 Dennis Rowe
20 1988 Dan Worley 45 2013 Dan Wright
21 1989 Bill Collier * 46 2014 Paul Fitzner
22 1990 Eddie Gomez 47 2015 Dave Schimmel
23 1991 Cliff McMahan 48 2016  Trent Trees
24 1992 Bill Hill 49 2017  Bob Higgins
25 1993 Bion Jones 50 2018  Audrey Taylor {Elect}

* Deceased