OUR TEAM WAS FOUNDED IN 1944
In December 1944, Ewing Young Explorer Troop #631 was founded and chartered in Portland by Donald Stow Sr. This original organization had no Search & Rescue ties, but was a simple Explorer organization as an extension of traditional Boy Scouts. 631 was the number chosen by the team in honor of the hull number for the SS Ewing Young, a liberty ship built in 1942. The original organization thrived, and moved about the city over the decades. Eventually landing at David Douglas Highschool as a bagpiping organization.
In 1960, a search took place for a young boy near the Bear Paw Forest Camp on Mt Hood. A call was put out to Boy Scouts and similar teams capable of searching the wilderness, Post 631 answered the call. Shortly after that, the mission statement and path of the organization altered forever with a complete focus on Search & Rescue related activities. Over the past 60+ years of SAR, thousands of members have come through the ranks of this post. Explorer Post 631 has evolved to one of the premier SAR teams in the pacific northwest, and among the oldest continually operating teams in the region. Dozens of fellow teams have been formed and dissolved in the region while we continue strong. With our Explorer Post roots, dedication to the development of youth members of our community remains part of the bedrock foundation of the organization. In the early 2000’s the Explorer Post was dissolved, finalizing our separation from Boy Scouts of America. We briefly adopted the name Northwest Oregon Search & Rescue before ultimately forming Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR). The organization we are today has changed significantly from our origins, but we steadfastly maintain a dedication and focus to youth development.
MCSOSAR is a 100% volunteer, unpaid 501(c)3 non-profit organization operating under the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. We cherish and continue our history of youth development by reserving all Officer positions over our general membership to high-school-aged members.
Our organization is staffed by 100% unpaid, very dedicated volunteers. The general membership is made up of both youth and adult members as young as 14 years old. We currently have an active roster of approximately 100 volunteers, and are always seeking additional support. Our history, and our mission statement expresses a continuing dedication to support young adults, by fostering a sense of community service, developing self-confidence, self-reliance, ownership, responsibility, and leadership skills. Each year our members dedicated thousands of man-hours to help make the remote areas of Multnomah County, and the Pacific Northwest, safer for those who live and recreate here.
Our unit fits into a unique niche in the SAR community by continuing our dedication and emphasis on youth development and leadership created from our origins as an Explorer Post. The general membership has been directly supervised, trained, and managed by our youth officers (age 15-18) for over 60 years. These positions include:
The President and Vice President oversee our general membership. This includes all searchers, recruits, and some non-operational support staff. These are the highest ranking positions, elected into their rank by the membership, and reserved for youth leaders.
Team Leaders and Assistant Team Leaders are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of their team's training, and well-being of the members. These officers lead field teams on live missions, and handle real world operations independently. Officers are elected into their position by the membership, and act as leaders and role models for incoming recruits and certified searchers.