A Camper's Day at Brooklyn Scout Camps 61 Years Ago - 1948 (Karl Bernstein)

In 1948, I was a third year camper who loved every minute of every TMR day! In those years, the camp was divided into 4 two-week periods and I attended the first 3 periods. The day began with Reveille blown by the camp bugler at 7:15. As today, Scouts washed up etc. in the latrine shared by 2 or 3 campsites and marched off to breakfast in the dining hall. After breakfast, all Scouts went back to their sites for a cleanup period. Beds had to be made, cabins and tents swept and the entire campsite made ship shape. At the end of cleanup, campsites were inspected and the best campsite of the day got a watermelon at lunch. Following cleanup, there were 2 “opportunity” periods where 1st class Scouts went off to merit badge classes while Tenderfoot & 2nd class Scouts remained in the site to work on their requirements with the provisional ASM & SM. There were very few home troops in camp in those years. Lunch was at noon after which every Scout returned to his site for a “siesta” rest period. After siesta there was another period for advancement. At 4 PM, all activity stopped and the bugler blew “swim call”. The entire camp including staff would go to the waterfront for a half hour general swim. After swim, Scouts would return to their sites to shower and dress in full uniform for dinner. There was always a formal assembly and flag lowering before dinner. After dinner was reserved for either troop or camp wide activities; there being a camp council fire the 1st Saturday night of the period and an “all Brooklyn Council fire” the 2nd. The day was timed by the camp bugler. All activities were announced with the appropriate bugle call. Taps was 10 PM. All Scouts had to be in their cabins or tents and lights out. The days were exciting and fulfilling and everyone fell asleep quickly.