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Camp Watchung, Glen Gardner, NJ

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  • Camp Watchung, Glen Gardner, NJ

    On a recent trip back to my home state of NJ I discovered that my dear beloved scout camp, Camp Watchung which closed in 1981, is now a county park. It had been planned for development but the developer got into financial trouble apparently and the county took the property over a few years ago.

    After downloading a map I set out on a hike along with my dad who camped there as a scout in the late '40s and with my troop as an ASM to see if we could identify any of what was left. Most of the buildings are gone and trees filed in the campsites but there were enough reminders that all of my days and weeks there as a scout came back to me. The flagpole still stands on the parade field, albeit rusty and sans line.

    If you are curious and want to visit here's the link to the park now known as Miquin Woods (after the now retired Miquin Lodge #68.)

    http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/parks/guides/MiquinWoods.htm

  • #2
    Miquin, thanks for sharing your memories. It's amazing how strong the scouting spirit can be, even across the decades.

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    • #3
      Patriots Path Council still runs a Cub camp out of Watchung (I went ot both Watchung AND Wheeler as a cub) So the council still uses the property but has offloaded the maintenance costs. Not a bad deal!

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      • #4
        Adam,

        If I am following you correctly you are speaking of the new Camp Watchung which is in Mountainside, NJ next to or part of the Watchung Reservation, a Union County park.

        The original Camp Watchung is 30 miles west or so in Hunterdon County. It isn't even in the Watchung Mountains unlike the present camp but named for the Watchung Area Council.

        I found this out when my Den Leader sister told me she was going to day camp at Camp Watchung and I got excited thinking the old camp was re-opened.

        Is Wheeler the camp at Allamuchy? I never camped there as the Watchung Area Council had just merged with the council that operated Allamuchy right before I aged out and went off to college. Too bad for me as the area where Allamuchy is located is quite beautiful.


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        • #5
          It looks like Kittatiny Mountain Scout Reservation in northern New Jersey may meet a similar end. I hope to visit soon to take one last hike around the camp I enjoyed as a Scout.

          Ken

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          • #6
            Wheeler and Somers are the camps at Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation, though when I first went there as a Scout in the early 70's I believe it was all just Allamuchy, and later the two sides of the lake were named Frenches and... I don't remember, and now they are what they are now. This was the Morris-Sussex Council Camp. Camp Winnebago was the "local" camp of the Watchung Area Council when my son was in the Cub Scouts. What I did not realize is that the Watchung Area Council previously had a camp in Hunterdon County (the Camp Watchung discussed in this thread.)

            Morris-Sussex and Watchung Area councils merged into Patriots Path around 2000. The main council camp is Allamuchy (Somers and Wheeler). Cub Scout Day Camp is, as stated above, held in a part of the Watchung Reservation in (or near) Mountainside, Union County. This is not council property, but part of the Union County park system. Scouts use this property at other times as well; over the past 7 or so years there have been at least two camporees there that I can recall. Winnebago is used for the district-wide Cub Scout weekend camping trips and for training, and possibly other things as well.

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            • #7
              NJ,

              It must have been Camp Winnebago I was thinking of, not Allamuchy, that came into the Watchung Area Council through a merger with Union Council in 1980 (which I found out using "the Google"). I haven't been to that one either. It was the addition of the new camp (Winnebago) that led to the closure of Camp Watchung.

              Interesting personal note: I attended the 50th anniversary celebration of Camp Watchung's opening in 1978 along with my father (who as I said camped there in the '40s) and my uncle who camped there the opening year, 1928. Little did we realize it would close just 3 years later.(This message has been edited by Miquin1978)

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