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BeaverCarl

Historical and Abandon Summer Camps

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Greetings,

 

Last Month my Venturing Crew (well not mine, Im just the Advisor) was hiking South Fork Stanislaus River from Pinecrest Lake, California, and they came across an old abandon Boy Scout Camp. I found out later that it was Camp McBride. The camp was stripped from the use of the Boy Scouts by the Forest Service, because of the impact it was having on the environment there. Surprisingly, the Forest Service turned right around and leased it to a group of Girl Scouts. Now only pieces of broken foundation remain. It was apparently an important area to the foundation of some of the OA lodges in the early 1950's.

 

I have thought about this a little and I wonder if anyone has attempted putting together a gazette of the old camps in California. I think quite a few have been abandon over the years.

 

Boy Scout Archaeology!

 

Thanks.

J. Carl Dealy

cD_ BeaverCarl

 

 

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BeaverCarl,

 

This is a fascinating topic, thanks for bringing it up. About 30 years ago, I volunteered at a cub day camp that was held at an old scout camp on the edge of Sacramento.

 

The city had grown around this camp, and it must have been a fraction of it's original size. No one camped there any more, it was just used for day activities.

 

But there were still old trees and buildings. I wondered about the history of the camp; I don't recall it's name, unfortunately.

 

So many camps are closing. Lots of memories in each. I'm not aware of any consolidated research for CA camps. It could be broadened to a nation-wide guide.

 

Again, very intriguing subject. I hope other folks post their comments on the subject. Thanks,

 

Desertrat77

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desertrat,

 

That's Camp Pollock you are talking about. Though it doesn't have a regular camping program, you can still do overnights there. Its right next to the American River bike trail so we've camped overnight, rode all day and then come back for a great meal. Its in a sketchy area of town though, so unfortunatly Council recommends you have someone stand watch overnight to oversee your gear.

 

Back on subject, I see camp names mentioned on maps of the Sierras but can't tell if they are still in operation or not. Camp Cody near Lake Tahoe, some other camp whose name escapes me near Silver Lake operated by the Mt Diablo Council - I'm sure there are more.

 

 

 

 

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I've been to two around here. The first summer camping in our council took place in 1924 at Lake Silver in Seminole County. It's now a county park and Scouts do camp there. Our troop used to go there all the time to camp and swim. It's very small today because of building encroachments, but 80 years ago it would have been a kids paradise. There were no fixed facilities, except some kind of latrine and they borrowed tents and cooking gear from the National Guard.

 

Camp WeWa was the first council camp here. It's now "in town" and the Scouts moved much further out in 1948. The camp is still in operation by the YMCA and, I believe, contains some of the original buildings. WeWa is also pretty small today. The "Y" doesn't do real camping, so it's fine for them.

 

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The Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council has 4 camps at this point.

 

1) Camp Wolfeboro on the north fork of the Stanislaus river up Hwy 4 past Arnold. Been around since 1928 on national forest land. This is where summer camp is held. If you go to google maps and search for "Skyhigh, CA", you can zoom in and see the forest road heading southeast from Hwy 4 and down to the camp.

 

2) Camp Herms in the El Cerrito hills near Berkeley. Currently undergoing a big upgrade. This is the nearby camp where adult overnight training (IOLS, BALOO, Wood Badge) is held, where Webeloree is held, and other short events. Once the upgrade is done, family camp and day camp are going there.

 

3) Camp Lindblad in the Santa Cruz mountains is currently where Cub Family camp and some NYLT is held. This is being sold off for a variety of reasons (no waterfront, too far for short events, lack of capacity).

 

4) Camp Silverado is the one near Silver Lake that you're talking about, CA_Scouter. When Mt Diablo and Silverado councils merged in 1992, this once came over from the Silverado council. Currently, it's unused for Scout programs but still owned by the Council and used by a 3rd party to put on a camping program there, I think.

 

5) Camp Berryessa up in Napa was also owned by the old Silverado Council, but it is also closed and (I believe) no longer owned by Council.

 

For a pretty good list of camps in northern CA, check out http://www.gec-bsa.org/districts/trailblazer/tbcracker/tbcamp

 

 

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I was just reminiscing about my early Scouting days when I decide to try to locate my very first Boy Scout summer camp. I knew its general location, and certain features of the lake and camp was still clear in my 52 year old mind. I pretty much narrowed it down to Pinecrest lake via Google maps and then did a little word search (don't you just love the internet). Lo and behold I came across your posting (Thanks by the way for confirming my suspicions). Back in 1970, or thereabouts, I went on my first journey away from home and ended up at Camp McBride. It was a great camp and I have very fond memories of the old rail road lumber camp. There was great fishing, canoeing, hiking, and Scouting. Unfortunately, I believe that was the last year of that camp. I recall something about the sites sanitation facilities were not adequate. I hope to visit the old camp with my Eagle Scout son and my Venture daughter one of these days to check out the old campfire site and the warm water pools further up the river. I still remember my first night camping out under the stars and being worried about the scorpions and rattlesnakes that the older Scouts told me would craw into my sleeping bag. Scouting, dont you just love it.

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I was just reminiscing about my early Scouting days when I decide to try to locate my very first Boy Scout summer camp. I knew its general location, and certain features of the lake and camp was still clear in my 52 year old mind. I pretty much narrowed it down to Pinecrest lake via Google maps and then did a little word search (don't you just love the internet). Lo and behold I came across your posting (Thanks by the way for confirming my suspicions). Back in 1970, or thereabouts, I went on my first journey away from home and ended up at Camp McBride. It was a great camp and I have very fond memories of the old rail road lumber camp. There was great fishing, canoeing, hiking, and Scouting. Unfortunately, I believe that was the last year of that camp. I recall something about the sites sanitation facilities were not adequate. I hope to visit the old camp with my Eagle Scout son and my Venture daughter one of these days to check out the old campfire site and the warm water pools further up the river. I still remember my first night camping out under the stars and being worried about the scorpions and rattlesnakes that the older Scouts told me would craw into my sleeping bag. Scouting, dont you just love it.

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I was just reminiscing about my early Scouting days when I decide to try to locate my very first Boy Scout summer camp. I knew its general location, and certain features of the lake and camp was still clear in my 52 year old mind. I pretty much narrowed it down to Pinecrest lake via Google maps and then did a little word search (don't you just love the internet). Lo and behold I came across your posting (Thanks by the way for confirming my suspicions). Back in 1970, or thereabouts, I went on my first journey away from home and ended up at Camp McBride. It was a great camp and I have very fond memories of the old rail road lumber camp. There was great fishing, canoeing, hiking, and Scouting. Unfortunately, I believe that was the last year of that camp. I recall something about the sites sanitation facilities were not adequate. I hope to visit the old camp with my Eagle Scout son and my Venture daughter one of these days to check out the old campfire site and the warm water pools further up the river. I still remember my first night camping out under the stars and being worried about the scorpions and rattlesnakes that the older Scouts told me would craw into my sleeping bag. Scouting, dont you just love it.

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I was just reminiscing about my early Scouting days when I decide to try to locate my very first Boy Scout summer camp. I knew its general location, and certain features of the lake and camp was still clear in my 52 year old mind. I pretty much narrowed it down to Pinecrest lake via Google maps and then did a little word search (don't you just love the internet). Lo and behold I came across your posting (Thanks by the way for confirming my suspicions). Back in 1970, or thereabouts, I went on my first journey away from home and ended up at Camp McBride. It was a great camp and I have very fond memories of the old rail road lumber camp. There was great fishing, canoeing, hiking, and Scouting. Unfortunately, I believe that was the last year of that camp. I recall something about the sites sanitation facilities were not adequate. I hope to visit the old camp with my Eagle Scout son and my Venture daughter one of these days to check out the old campfire site and the warm water pools further up the river. I still remember my first night camping out under the stars and being worried about the scorpions and rattlesnakes that the older Scouts told me would craw into my sleeping bag. Scouting, dont you just love it.

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You talk about abandoned and/or historical scout camps.There was a camp that was sold near where I live, This is Camp Roosevelt on the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County,Md. It closed in the late-50s or early 60s after 20+- years of operation.It was run by National Capital Area Council,until Goshen in southwestern Va.was obtained. It is NOW an upscale housing development,with the same name. (Prime real estate!)A few of the buildings have been refurbished,such as the dining hall,which serves as a so-called community center.Does anyone remember camping at Roosevelt? Any cool stories?

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Camp ROOOOsevelt, yes, I remember. Summer camp, OA ordeal there. Sea nettles, mile swim in the bay,stteeep trails. Still have the stepstool I made and gave to mom.

Didn't part of CR go to the Calvert Cliffs State Park? Or the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant?

This was one of four NCAC camps ,as I recall, that they sold (1967?1969?) to buy Goshen. Wilson? Thunderbird? Roosevelt? And... skips my mind...I think our Troop visited all of them.

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There is one in Arkansas. Pine Trail Reservation - Camp Cedar Valley belonged to the Eastern Arkansas Area Council and was located outside of Viola, AR. It was a nice camp of 1500 acres or so with a Jr. Olympic Swimming Pool dinning hall, medical building, admin building, plus a 40 acre lake. Back in the 90's EAAC went bankrupt and the territory it covered was taken over by the Quapaw Area Council. Quapaw had a nice camp and didn't want another one so the camp was sold to a private individual, who happens to be a Scouter. The camp has been remodeled with all of the small buildings being turned into overnight guest houses, the dinning hall and the lake are still there. The camp is available for rental, but the best thing is that every year in September they have a reunion weekend and Scouts and Scouters come back to reminisce and enjoy the camp.

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