Brooklyn Scout Camps (Bernie Lerner)

June 8, 2016

     The only divisions in the '30's were in the army.  At Brooklyn Camps; we were all Camps, in name, song, battle and reality.  There were many distinguishing features of the 100-man camps, total independence, continuity of staff and traditions from year to year, separate waterfronts, etc., but the most basic feature was the individual camp mess-halls.  Every camp, including Talequah, ate 3 meals together, apart from all other camps. Everything that went with the meals: the assemblies, flag-raising, patrol (table) cheers, songs, Swiss Navy duties, etc., defined a camp.  Still does.

    
     Camp names were never hyphenated at camp.  My 1935 Accaponac camp photo, with the camp banner as background, has it as one word.  The Council Ring (the Brooklyn HQ publication), did hyphenate the names on the map of the camp locations, but that was for the home folks.
    
     I never heard of a Camp Prairie or Keiutale.  Camps Connetquot. Wapoga and Waramaug did not survive into the 30's.  The Council Ring yearly maps should give you all of the name changes.  However, from 32 (at latest) through 36, the number and names of the camps did not change.  You can check Knocko Naverson's and my own Memories of the Camps in the 30's, published 15 years ago.  If you don't have copies, ask.
    
     It's Camp Tanawedah. not Tanawadah.  Camp Apelachi was the Scouter's camp; it was an "extra", and was not normally considered as one of the scout camps.
    
     Years ago, I gave out copies of a taped interview with Nick Dale in which he recited all of the camp names from memory.  He held the record; he did it in ten seconds.
    
     On second thought, I don't really think that Talequah qualifies as a "camp".  Like Knocko, I had the privilege of being on headquarters staff, and its structure was not a camp.  More like a corporation.  We all had jobs, and bosses.  Of course, the junior staff level was composed of some of the best that the camps and scouting had produced, which made for a memorable season.  The difference was that there were no campers in residence, and no kids, no camp.  Talequah maybe should be in a separate category:  Utopia for Men?

 

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