The Scout camp in Willits was simply known as Willits Scout Reservation from 1959 until 1978. In 1979 the San Francisco Bay Area Council Executive board officially renamed the camp Wente Scout Reservation in honor of longtime board member and BSA supporter Carl Fredrick Wente.
Carl F. Wente was born in Livermore on the family ranch in 1889 to Carl H. and Barbara Wente, the founders of Wente Winery. Although his younger brothers Ernest and Herman would continue the family business making wine, Carl F. became involved in the banking industry at a young age when he quit high school after only one year to become a messenger for the Central Bank in Oakland. The following year he returned to Livermore to join the staff of the First National Bank of Livermore of which his father Carl H had a controlling interest. Carl F. rose quickly in the banking world and in 1918 joined the Bank of America taking on leadership roles and managing banks in the Central Valley. In 1934 he was called to Oakland to assume the Presidency of the Central Bank where he had been a messenger. In 1943 he returned to the Bank of America as a Senior Vice- President before retiring in 1949. However that retirement would not last long as in 1952 Wente was called out of retirement to become President of the Bank of America, a position he would hold for two years while the Bank searched for a long term President.
Wente was an ardent supporter of Scouting for years and served on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Council starting in 1950 as the finance chair. In 1954, Wente received the Silver Antelope award by the National Boy Scouts of America for his service to the Western Region and in 1959 he received the Silver Beaver award from the San Francisco Council for his service to scouting and the community.
Carl F. Wente died in 1971 at the age of 81 and he and his wife Jesse left a trust to the San Francisco Bay Area Council which continues to provide monetary funds to help support Scouting and the camp which bares his name – Wente Scout Reservation.
Order of the Arrow