The Ottawa Scouting Museum is located in Ottawa, Illinois. It is a privately owned, not-for-profit organization administered and operated by volunteers. The Ottawa Scouting Museum was founded to promote and preserve the colorful and proud traditions of Boy Scouting, Girl Scouting and Camp Fire, via exhibition of the past of these organizations with memorabilia from its vast collection and the development of a variety of educational programs for all youth. The OSM has no affiliation with local or national councils and does not receive any city tax dollars for operation. The OSM building belongs to the City of Ottawa and has been leased to The Ottawa Scouting Museum Association for 25-years.
The Ottawa Scouting Museum opened in Ottawa, Illinois, debt-free, to the public on December 6, 1997, after nearly five years of preparation and dedication on the part of many community volunteers and businesses.
Operation of the museum is maintained through admission fees to the museum, gift shop sales, rental of a meeting room, watchband calendar sales, and proceeds from our annual Founder’s Weekend (see Calendar or Special Events for more info.). We are open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., all of these hours are currently staffed by volunteers.
In June of 2002, we very proudly opened a new exhibit area in the museum. Commonly referred to as the North Wing, this area has a re-creation of a room in the W. D. Boyce home in Ottawa (created using a family photo of Boyce in this room), a small theater to show videos we have in our collection, a nature area, a Native American display, as well as others.
The Ottawa Scouting Museum has an aggressive activity program consisting of 13 events for youth, a For Adults Only program (most sessions are free to the public), a Trail Ways System and annual fund raising events.