HISTORY OF THE TEN MILE RIVER SCOUT CAMPS (CONTINUED)
In 1969, Camp Lakeside was absorbed into an expanded Camp Kernochan, which closed its dining hall and converted into a Troop-cooking camp with new campsites. Camp Nianque, which had a long history going back to 1929 when it was known as Bronx Division "C," was closed in 1969 for lack of attendance. At the end of 1973, Camps Davis Lake and Rondack were closed for the same reason. Thus, by 1974, where eleven camps had operated a decade earlier, six were still open. The Ranachqua Blockhouse, an icon of the Bronx Camps since 1929, was intentionally burned down in December of 1975 as a result of decay due to inadequate maintenance.
In 1976, the Greater New York Councils no longer found it feasible to operate Camp Hayden but an agreement was worked out with Rockland County Council to lease the camp. By 1977, Camp Ranachqua also became infeasible to operate but another agreement was worked out with Hudson Delaware Council to lease this property and it reopened in 1980. In 1982, Camp Kernochan, the final remnant of the original three Queens camps, was shut down.
T.M.R.'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
On July 30, 1977 Ten Mile River celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala celebration at Camp Keowa. Members of Aquehongian Lodge hiked the 120 miles from Camp Pouch to T.M.R. on a nine-day trip, saluting the anniversary.
The same year, Federal funds became available for summer camp programs for N.Y.C. youth. This was seen as a way to dramatically increase attendance at T.M.R., which had dropped in previous years. Thus, the “Country Adventure” program was instituted, bringing many N.Y.C. youth without camping experience or even a Scouting background to Ten Mile River. Boys were organized into provisional Troops and attended camp alongside traditional Troops. Generally young and inexperienced Provisional Scoutmasters were hired, leading to considerable friction with the traditional Troops. The “Country Adventure” program ended in 1983.
DISTRICT AND COUNCIL PROVISIONAL TROOPS
By 1984, City Districts organized provisional Troops, consisting of Scouts within the District and adult leadership from the District professional staff and volunteers. This further encouraged attendance at T.M.R. G.N.Y.C. also organized its own provisional Troop, the T.M.R. Adventure Troop, which continues to the present day. While Boy Scout membership was declining in the early 1980s, Cub and Webelos membership was holding firm. The T.M.R. Cub Camp started in 1985 at Keowa for Cubs and Webelos as a one-week experimental camp.
B.S.A. 75TH ANNIVERSARY CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
In 1985, the 75th Anniversary Capital Campaign raised at least $1.2 million, mostly spent on purchasing new equipment and upgrading facilities at T.M.R. In 1986, T.M.R. offered a seven-day Junior Leader Training Conference at Camp Keowa called the “Big Oak Experience.” Scouts received instruction inScoutcraft and patrol or troop job skills. Also in 1986, the Ten Mile River Great Expedition, a weeklong backpacking program, was introduced for older Scouts with previous camp experience. Scouts hiked the T.M.R. Trail, visiting the camps and participated in a variety of exciting camp activities.
THE TEN MILE RIVER RALLY
In May of 1986, G.N.Y.C. sponsored the T.M.R. Rally for Junior Leaders. Overnight facilities, most meals and a closing show were provided at Camp Keowa. Different activity areas were established all over the reservation and transportation was provided by the camp bus. The Rally was repeated again in 1988.