HISTORY OF THE TEN MILE RIVER SCOUT CAMPS (CONTINUED)
THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS CAMP
It was during Roosevelt's visit in 1933, that his lessons in Scouting brought the President to the idea that the Ten Mile River Camps would be an ideal proving ground for part of his recently organized Civilian Conservation Corps. He saw how the Corps, whose founding was also the fruit of his Scout training, could be utilized for the building of roads, fire trails around the boundaries of the camp property, and communication lines from camp to camp.
This idea began to take shape within two months, when, on October 12, 1933, work commenced on erecting C.C.C. Camp Ten Mile River, No. S-85, near the outlet of Turnpike Pond. Many local men were involved as foremen over the young men who made up the Corps. The C.C.C. camp operated forseveral years until the program was terminated in April 1936 and the camp buildings were turned over to the Boy Scouts.
THE "RED DOT" TRAIL IS BLAZED
In the mid-1930s, two particular individuals from the Brooklyn Camps, Morty Hyman and Nick Dale, initiated an ambitious project to connect the entire reservation with a trail system, which would pass through each camp. They had previously blazed the White Bar Trail in the Brooklyn Camps. Thus, the Ten Mile River Trail was begun. It was difficult work for in many areas the forest and brush were very dense, but work continued until the "Red Dot Trail" was completed. In the same era, the hike sites along the trail were also developed. Each site had, and most still has, three lean-tos, a latrine, and a pump or piped spring. The T.M.R. Trail is, to this day, maintained along its 42-mile length by various Scouting groups and interested friends.
THE CAMP CONSOLIDATION
From 1928-1937 each of the five Borough Councils comprising New York City Scouting operated independently with camping facilities totally independent of each other. In 1937, the Boy Scout Foundation of Greater New York consolidated to put management under one head for greater efficiency and uniformity in programming. At this time the office of Chief Camp Director was established. In March of 1938, Alfred C. Nichols Jr., who was one of the foremost camping men in the Boy Scouts of America, filled this office. Under his leadership, the Ten Mile River Scout Camps enjoyed a steady and healthy growth. The five Borough camp directors now reported to Mr. Nichols instead of their Borough Councils. In 1938, the new reservation-wide staff took over the former C.C.C. camp on Turnpike Lake for their headquarters.
Camp Kernochan, named in honor of Justice Frederic Kernochan, a Judge of Special Sessions and avid Scouter, was dedicated in 1939 and paid for by his friends.
DEVELOPMENT OF HOME TROOP CAMPS
“Al” Nichols strongly encouraged home Troop camps, not provisional camps, which was the norm at T.M.R. at the time, and changes starting occurring all over the reservation. In 1939 the Brooklyn Camps converted from 100-boy campsites to 32-boy campsites under four major numbered (and later named) Divisions.
Alfred C. Nichols, Jr.