First Summer at Kunatah (Mike Drillinger)

May 12, 2016

     My first summer at Kunatah I went Provisional.  Since my day is recent past and not ancient history, there were many "home troops" at Kunatah.  I quoted "home troops" because often these troops were more provisional in nature than real home troops.  What I mean is the troop came to camp under a home troop number but was often comprised of boys from all over that home troop's district.


    The scoutmasters who would take these troops for several weeks, and sometimes the whole summer, were very incredible men.  Our own Dave Lelonek is one of these incredible people, and he was surely a positive role model for many scouts.  His immediate predecessor was Marty Levine, who was a legend in his own time (on many levels both positive and negative - I have many more good memories of camping with his troop than I do bad memories).

    I have fond memories of my first provisional scoutmaster.  He took us on a 50-Miler around the reservation.  He turned the adversity of a very wet summer into opportunity by ordering us onto the ball field with soap to shower and then providing footballs to play tackle in the puddles on the field.  He and I became friends years later when we would meet up at Bakers in Yulan by mere coincidence when we both would come back to TMR for summer visits.

    I would like to ask the group to share memories of camp scoutmasters of legend.  The most legendary man I had the privilege to know was Max Weber of Queens.  Max brought a troop of underprivileged boys to Kunatah for two weeks every summer for some 25 years.  Max was ancient when I met him, but I am told he always appeared to be old.  Bruce Desandre of Aquahonga fame use to do an excellent imitation of Max Weber telling God "put the Indian Cliffs over there, Lord, the boys would like it there."

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Ten Mile River Scout Museum

1481 County Road 26

Narrowsburg, NY  12764

845-252-2063