HISTORY OF THE TEN MILE RIVER SCOUT CAMPS (CONTINUED)

THE ORDER OF THE ARROW


Until the mid-1950s, the Order of the Arrow elected and inducted its members exclusively at T.M.R. Its activities outside of summer camp included monthly chapter meetings and social or service events. The O.A. became a home-troop based organization starting around 1953. Camp chapters became district chapters and elections were shifted to home Troops in the city. Over the next several years, Scouts elected by their home Troops in the city had the option of being inducted on a weekend by the district chapter or presenting their letter of election and being tapped out and inducted during one of the four two-week camp periods. This choice was phased out at the end of the 1950s, basically ending Order of the Arrow participation in the camp program.


THE BIG CAMP REORGANIZATIONS OF THE 1950S


By the middle of the 1950s Ten Mile River was organized differently than it had been at it's founding. Instead of eleven 100-boy camps around Rock Lake comprising "Brooklyn Camps," there were now four distinct camps known as Kunatah, Kotohke, Chappegat, and Ihpetonga. On Crystal Lake, the original Camp Manhattan was now Camp Keowa and Camp Rondack; while the old "Queens Camp" known as Camp Man was now Camp Kernochan, Camp Lakeside, and Camp Central. On Lake Nianque the original "Bronx Camps," known as Divisions "A," "C," and "E" were now Family Camp (or “Zumi Village”), Camp Nianque, and Camp Stillwaters respectively. Only Camp Aquehonga remained essentially unchanged by this time. However, despite the name and organizational changes, the reservation still had the same basic boundaries and very much the same Borough loyalties to the camps, which had existed since the beginning.


Camp Kotohke closed after the 1956 season. Its waterfront was not accessible by emergency vehicles and the camp itself was difficult to reach at the end of a long road.


The Council was also actively purchasing parcels of land bordering the Ten Mile River property so as to increase the potential of the physical operation. In 1959, the old Half Moon Lake Hotel property was purchased giving the Greater New York Councils full ownership of Half Moon Lake. This would later become new Camp Aquehonga and the "Barta House.”


THE B.S.A. 50th ANNIVERSARY CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT CAMPAIGN


By 1960, home Troops in increasing numbers attended Ten Mile River under their own leadership. Newconcepts were developed under the title of “self-reliant camping.” Instead of sleeping in cabins or leantos and eating in dining halls, Scouts would sleep in tents in their campsites and cook their own food.


To fund the huge capital expenditures required, in 1960 the Greater New York Councils conducted the 50th anniversary of Scouting Capital Campaign with the expressed purpose of building capital projects at Ten Mile River and the other weekend camps. This campaign was enormously successful and among the facilities constructed were the staff and family cabins at Rock Lake, Crystal Lake, and Lake Nianque. The entire Headquarters service area including the administration building, the main trading post, the health lodge, the maintenance shop, the central warehouse and fourteen Adirondack shelters for housing key staff and families were also constructed during this era.


The residual effect of this capital infusion was to continue to increase the boy population so that at its peak in 1965 Ten Mile River was operating eleven camps with a peak usage of nearly 12,000 boy-weeks. In 1962, Camp Stillwaters was renamed Camp Ranachqua. In 1963, Camp Chappegat was absorbed into an expanded Camp Kunatah.

© 2019 Ten Mile River Scout Museum.

Ten Mile River Scout Museum

1481 County Road 26

Narrowsburg, NY  12764

845-252-2063