Bill Spice Memorial Fund
The Bill Spice Memorial Fund benefits Buffalo Trace Council. All contributions will be place in the council endowment fund to ensure the Scouting movement continues to postively impact youth for many years to come. Thank you for your contribution in the name of such an important member of our Scouting family.
George William Spice
November 4, 1937 - June 24, 2021
George William “Bill” Spice passed away in Austin, Texas on the morning of June 24, 2021, due to complications from a stroke he suffered on June 14.
Bill served a long successful career in the Boy Scouts of America, including tenures as a Scout executive, area director, and the BSA’s director of high adventure. He truly left a legacy in all he did during and after his career.
In two of those positions, he left a legacy which has made an impact on uncountable lives.
As the Scout executive of the Buffalo Trace Council in Evansville, Indiana Bill was facing economic challenges and was looking for a fundraiser that would help both the council and the Scouts. He contacted Weaver Popcorn and the rest is history. Literally billions of dollars have been raised to support Scouts and Scouting via popcorn sales all over the BSA. Millions of Scouts and Scouters have been able to have a better Scouting experience, or even have a Scouting experience at all, because of Bill’s vision. Countless councils have been able to produce income that has helped them to continue to provide staff and services to communities.
Bill was the BSA’s director of high adventure and the general manager of the Philmont Scout Ranch from 1993-2000. During his tenure major improvements were made to the facilities, and business practices, at the Florida Sea Base, the Northern Tier, and at Philmont. Attendance at Philmont’s backcountry program sold out years in advance. After being threatened with closure soon after he arrived, the Philmont Training Center grew to its highest attendance levels to date, often reaching capacity, and opened year around for the first time. Bill’s relationship skills brought the Order of the Arrow and the high adventure base staff alumni groups into integral roles in the bases.
Bill was at the center of the transformation of the Philmont Staff Association. Rather than just tolerating a collection of former staff focused on the past, he saw the potential for a partner in advancing Philmont’s future and he embraced it. His conversations with Mark Stinnett laid the groundwork, and he helped recruit (and enthusiastically support) others to “take it from there.” Northern Tier had a successful alumni group for years, and they and PSA, again with Bill’s encouragement, launched a group at Sea Base. Later, they were joined by one at the Summit. Each continues to have a major impact on their bases and on Scouting. After his retirement Bill continued to support high adventure and led fundraising campaigns for new facilities including the Silver Sage Staff Activity Center at Philmont.
Among his many honors for service Bill was awarded the Order of the Arrow’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the Philmont Staff Association’s Silver Sage Award in 2008. Bill received the Silver Beaver Award from his council for his post-retirement Scouting service, and the St. George Emblem from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting for his service to Catholic Scouting.
Bill’s outgoing personality and presence will long be remembered by all who had the pleasure to know him.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandy, all of Bill’s family, and his multitude of friends who will miss him.