top of page

Stanley A. Harris

Stanley Austin Harris was a leader instrumental in the early Scouting movement, particularly with respect to the interracial Scouting program.  His involvement began in 1908 when he became the leader of a group of boys using the British system, and was recognized by them as a Scoutmaster in Kentucky.  With the establishment of American Scouting, he received his commission as Scoutmaster and in 1912 was made a special national field commissioner (a volunteer position) and organized troops throughout the state of Kentucky.

In 1917, he became a professional Scouter as national field commissioner , supervising "the 14 States of the south where the bulk of the Negro population is located."  In 1918, he presented at the all-Southern Scout Executive conference at the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Patten Hotel.  In 1919, he led the School of Instruction for Scout Executives at Camp Raccoon and he also assisted in the 1919 council Scoutmaster's Training Camp at Camp Raccoon.  With the establishment of Regions in 1920, he was assigned for the territory that included Regions 5 and 6, with special responsibility for Region 5.

Until 1921, Harris's headquarters were in Memphis.  City directories reflect that he lived in Chattanooga (1660 Hixson Pike) from 1922-1927.  He was the founder and director of the interracial service in 1926.  He later moved to North Carolina.

In 1935, he wrote a letter reflecting on his own involvement in Scouting.

In May 1942, Stanley Harris received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the Tuskegee Institute.  In July 1942, the Opportunity Journal of Negro Life published an article about Mr. Harris.

In 1947, upon his retirement and 30th Anniversary of service to Scouting, leaders from across the country wrote him letters which were compiled into this book (warning: large file).  At that time he was assistant to the director of operations.

Mr. Harris was born on October 31, 1882 in Johnson County, Tennessee.  he attended Aaron Seminary at Montezuma, NC from which he graduated in 1899.  He received a bachelor of arts degree from American University at Harriman, Tennessee in 1903.  Following 4 years in business, he entered YMCA work in 1907.  At the time he entered the Scouting profession in 1917, he was Boys Work secretary for the state of Kentucky.  he served as district governor of Rotary and as the first president of the Chamber of commerce of Boone, NC.

He was married to Mary S. Harris.

bottom of page