Orange County Council

James E. West Fellowship: Make Your Own Legacy

Leave a Legacy and Support the Endowment Campaign to Strengthen Scouting’s Future.

Purpose of James E. West Fellowship

James E. West Fellowship award supports the future of Scouting in Orange County. How, you might ask? All gifts made to the Fellowship are directed to the OCBSA Endowment Fund. The principal of this permanent fund is not spent but earnings from investments provide income for Scout programs in perpetuity. In other words, it exists to “Secure the Future” of Scouting in Orange County.

Endowment funds are used to fund camperships to send deserving Scouts to camp along with maintaining and expanding camps and outdoor programs that are so important for the growth of our youth and their leadership experiences. “A week of camp life is worth six months of learning in the classroom.”

Endowments provide special training opportunities for youth and adult leaders. They are used for unexpected emergencies such as the recent fire that swept through IROEC. And, endowments are used for starting-up or expanding new or outreach programs such as Family Scouting, Exploring and Scouting for underserved communities.

Our current endowment fund goal is $25,000,000 by 2020, the Orange County Council’s 100th anniversary. Thanks to the James E.West Fellowship, legacy gifts, and special contributions, we have secured over $13 million toward that goal. Your support will help in these important efforts.

Who was James E. West?

James Edward West (1876–1948) was a lawyer and an advocate of children’s rights, who became the first Chief Scout Executive, of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), serving from 1911 to 1943. Upon his retirement, West was given the title of Chief Scout.

Among his accomplishments, West created the first edition of The Official Handbook for Boys, expanded the Scout Oath, negotiated the purchase of Boys’ Life, and secured the federal charter in 1916.

In 1993, the BSA created the James E. West Fellowship Award for individuals who contribute $1,000 or more in cash or securities to their local council endowment fund.

Who are members of the James E. West Fellowship?

Anyone who believes in Scouting and wants to contribute to preserve its future are members. Some have been honored out of thanks and gratitude for their leadership and contributions to Scouting.

Recognize someone special: An Eagle Scout, Outstanding Troop Leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, District Leader, Wood Badge Staff Leader, Order of the Arrow Chief or Advisor, family member, or a loved one. When you honor someone today, you will strengthen Scouting for the next 100 Years.


Upon receipt of the required $1,000 contribution, each awardee receives a signed certificate in an attractive display binder, the James E. West Fellowship Uniform Square Knot, and a lapel pin for civilian wear. Names of James E. West Fellowship members are added annually to the Heritage Society Honor Wall at the William Lyon Homes Center for Scouting headquarters.

How to Give

Payments can be made yearly, quarterly, or monthly, and can be made by check, credit card, or debit card. Donations can be deductible for income tax purposes.

For more information, contact us at (714) 546-4990 or email

“We only have a short time to live, so it is essential to do things that are worthwhile and do them now.” Baden Powell

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Building a $25 million Endowment: Securing Scouting’s Future

The Importance of Endowments

As an Orange County Council board member and an Eagle Scout, I want to share with you how the endowment enables us to sustain our unique blend of programs and permits us to offer exceptional facilities. Our endowment allows us to be confident that future generations will share in the benefits of the Scouting experience.

I frequently hear about the Council’s endowment when budgetary decisions are made. “How is it possible that the Scouts can’t afford to lower prices or hire more staff when the endowment is so large?” This is a good question—I have asked it myself—and I believe there is a good answer. Scouting in Orange County is very fortunate: though we cannot do everything we aspire to do, our endowment allows us to do many things that other non-profits only dream about, such as contributing to operating the Outdoor Education Center or developing the Scoutreach program. Because gifts to the endowment fund are invested, more income can be generated to ensure Scouting’s vitality well into the future. Endowment Fund principal can not be spent but the interest may be applied to specific projects.

The question of how to decide where to make philanthropic investments is a personal one. While I support many different charities, as I believe everyone should, my most satisfactory relationship as a donor has been with the Boy Scouts of America, and I want to say a little bit about the reasons that inform about my choice.

Shaping New Leaders

Young people benefit through many involvements Scouting youth have great fun activities where they learn character development, leadership and skills that will benefit them their entire life. Through Scouting, young people experience salesmanship, community service, community involvement, personal achievement and successes, and the need to take responsibility for themselves and others that depend on them. Your philanthropic gift today will be enormously leveraged for our future Scouts.

Shaping New Leaders

I recognize that by giving back, my successors will flourish as I did. For those of us who feel these ties, giving to Scouting is a way not just to support this special tradition, but to continue our participation in it. A strong endowment functions to sustain for future generations a Scouting community that, we hope, will shape, engage, and inspire them.

Preserving Camps

During difficult economic conditions, many non-profits are forced to pay for basic programming costs by cutting corners on maintenance and renovation. Camps suffer from neglect. With endowment growth, the Council is able to address past problems and avoid new ones. The endowment ensures that our camps capture the imagination of Scouts who arrive here in the future, just as it captured former Scouts imagination when they first visited.

The growth of the endowment fund makes all of this possible, enabling Scouting to fulfill its expanding mission to reach more young people. The endowment was built up over time by gifts from generations of Scouts, parents, and friends who felt a deep commitment to Scouting, please join me by becoming a James E. West Fellow or 1910 member.

Ron Draper

Eagle Scout ‘47

Board Member, Heritage Committee

Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America

Endowment Opportunities

Many opportunities exist for you, too, to join the Boy Scouts of America in making a dramatic difference in development of our young people.

Various categories exist for endowment recognition with the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. They are available at these minimum levels:

Second Century Society – Deferred Gifts
James E. West Fellowship – Cash or Securities
Bronze Member Level$1,000
Silver Member Level$5,000
Gold Member Level$10,000
Diamond Member Level$15,000

Sound Administrative Management

Your endowment gift is carefully administered by the Board Directors of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America. One of the main objectives of this plan is to see that income from any endowed gift is used exactly as directed by the donor — not just now, but “For Generations to Come.” Endowment Fund investment dollars raised from the principal of the fund are used to support operating functions of the Council.

Ways to Establish An Endowment

An endowment may be established with gifts of cash, stock, real estate, bonds and other personal property of value. The authority to accept gifts is vested in the Board of Directors of the Orange County Council. Endowment gifts may be established from a bequest in your Will. Further, an endowment may be established for the benefit of Scouting at your bank or trust company with the income payable to the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Tax Benefits

Donations for an endowment qualify for a charitable contribution deduction, and may, avoid capital gains tax. If the endowment is established through your Will, there may be a reduction of your state and inheritance taxes. The Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) community based organization. Tax ID 95-1727660. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable by law.

Contact Us

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your interests and objectives. Please contact us at 714-546-4990 or


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