HISTORY OF THE TEN MILE RIVER SCOUT CAMPS (CONTINUED)
TEN MILE RIVER OUTPOST CAMPS
In 1965, T.M.R. Program Director John Duffy began the Outpost Camp program. Patterned after Philmont Scout Ranch, the eleven T.M.R. camps were each responsible for staffing a nearby Outpost Camp. Scouts participated in an afternoon program, cooked their own meals and slept overnight at the camp. Among these were canoeing, archery, survival, fishing, sailing and Indian-lore camps. Less popular Outpost Camps dropped over the years and by 1973 only five remained.
In 1966, the riverfront property known as the "Conklin Farm" was purchased. This enabled the development of a "Canoe Base" from which the Delaware River canoeing operation was first developed. A number of other parcels were purchased in both New York and immediately across the river in Pennsylvania until the land holdings at Ten Mile River totaled more than 14,000 acres.
“SELF-RELIANT” CAMPING INTRODUCED
By 1967, “self-reliant” camping programs were available at T.M.R. Instead of dining hall feeding, Troops cooked at least one meal each day in their site, using sheepherder stoves, patrol boxes, dining flies and kitchen tarps. Troops could either cook their own dinners or receive it, ready to eat, in insulated “heater stacks.” Modified Baker tents were provided for shelter. As a result, dining halls closed in Camps Kernochan and Ranachqua and many Troops moved to the remaining dining hall camps. Over the following years, many other dining hall camps closed at T.M.R.
In anticipation of further increases in population in the late 1960s, Camp Davis Lake was renovated and expanded in 1968. In that same year a brand new and expansive Camp Aquehonga was constructed on the opposite shore of Half Moon Lake and the much smaller old Camp Aquehonga was abandoned. In 1969, yet another new camp was completed and opened on the opposite shore of Davis Lake. It was first called Davis Lake West but was rededicated as Camp Hayden in 1970. Also in 1970, Camp Sanita Hills in Holmes, New York, was prepared for summer camp usage and Tom Voute, the successful camp director from Davis Lake, got the call as its first director. For the first time in almost two decades, the Greater New York Councils was operating summer camps in two distinct locations.
In August of 1969, not long after the Scouts in Ten Mile River had applauded the great event of the first manned moon landing, another momentous occasion took place not 240,000 miles away but less than ten. The Woodstock Music Festival was held at Yasgur's Farm in Bethel, N.Y., not three miles from the northernmost boundary of the Ten Mile River Scout Camps. Though the camp management ordered heavy equipment parked at every back entrance to the reservation in an effort to dissuade enthusiastic concertgoers from camping on Scout property, many of the staff spent their days off attending the festival if they could find a way to get close. In the evenings during that time, the music of the festival could be plainly heard in Camp Keowa.
HARD TIMES IN THE 1970's
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, attendance at Ten Mile River began to dwindle. The aftermath of the Vietnam War had created a deep rift in the American consciousness. Values were changing rapidly and Scouting was getting lost in this re-adjustment. The National Scouting movement experimented with new programs, which tended to depart somewhat from the things which made Scouting great; namely, camping and the outdoor program. Scouting enrollment plummeted in New York City and the corresponding effect at Ten Mile River was fewer boys at camp. Some of the very same persons whowere involved in the ambitious capital expansions of the 1960s were now forced, by real economiccircumstances, to do an about face.