I can still remember my first day at camp in 1946 when I was assigned to tent #2 in Leatherstocking, just off the ballfield. It was named "Bedlam" and I hadn't thought of that until this moment. I also remember being frequently awakened that first night by the sound of the flushing bucket in the willy that was just behind the tent.
I started off as a camper in my home troop and for the first two years I spent the 3rd and 4th periods there. In 1948 I went for the whole summer; the first two periods as provisional and then with my home troop (101) when they arrived for the rest of the summer. I was staff in D3 in 1950 (Infirmary Aide and switchboard operator). 1951 I was a pot boy in D1 and got to know Shelly Weil and Karl Bernstein who later became APO fraternity brothers in Brooklyn College. Back to D3 in 1952 as an ASM with Fred Kutner as SM. In 1953 I was SM of the entire S camp valley (Shawnee, Sioux, Seminole, Sanohvet, Susquehanna, Seneca, etc.) and had over 60 campers to tend to with just two ASMs to assist. I was run ragged but it was incredibly rewarding.
Shelly Weil persuaded me to join him at Camp Wayne in PA as a counselor in 1954-55 but I did return to Camp Brooklyn every other Saturday for the All-Brooklyn Talequah Council Fire. After camp closed for the season, I brought my home troop up for a one week stay each of those years.
In 1958, after my Army discharge, I began taking my home troop to camp each summer and did that until 1969. We outgrew D3 and began self-sufficient wilderness camping at some of the greatest places, like near the junction of the Ten Mile and Delaware Rivers, or up behind Mahl's Pond, to name a few.
I was lucky to be a part of Troop 101 (27 years; 17 as SM) and the home troop environment was spectacular. But I must confess, that when I was a provisional camper and later a provisional SM, I found that the experience of mingling Scouts from different troops, neighborhoods and backgrounds very rewarding.
I retired to Vermont where I ski my tush off all winter and do a lot of hiking and kayaking in warmer weather. I live deep in a pristine pine forest but it will never match the pines down where the TMR meets the Delaware.