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Sea Scout Awards for Adults

Hi, I’m a historian at the Missouri History Museum, working to catalog a fantastic collection of scouting related materials for a noteworthy African American leader in St. Louis, Ivan C. James Jr. Mr. James founded three troops, was awarded countless honors from district coordinator to the silver beaver award–on down. But I’ve been having a very hard time finding resources that can help explain why Mr. James was in 1952 awarded the Explorer Silver award, as an adult in his thirties. He was a post advisor for two troops in St. Louis and himself was awarded the full slate of Explorer leadership ranks (implied by the pins in our collection) but all of this was done when he was well into his late twenties, early thirties.

Someone explained to me that there might have been some overlap, through a program called alumni scouting or even a parallel ranking system for adult leaders but without any definitive proof or literature I’m at a complete loss for how I can explain Mr. James’ achievements in the explorer program.

Sorry if this is off topic (by a dozen decades), I’ve really been exasperated by the lack of local records/archives. As a former scout I’ve been really thrilled to work with this collection and learn so much about these various scouting programs I never knew about.

The ageist policy if limiting rank advancement to those under age 18 was yet to be imposed by National. That didn’t happen until the 60’s.

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